In the wake of George Floyd protests, Apex police focus on change, reform
Posted June 28, 2020 5:54 p.m. EDT
Updated June 28, 2020 7:25 p.m. EDT
Apex, N.C. — In the month since George Floyd died, calls for change have echoed from coast to coast. From peaceful protests to riots, people are calling for reform.
We've seen riots and peaceful protest -- all calling for reform.
In the Apex Police Department, that reform is underway.
With all those events happening nationally, the police chief in Apex decided to look inwardly at his department. What he found was it had work to do.
Chief John Letteney said, "We have to be more clear in our directives, training and in the message we give to our community."
After serving in the department for seven years, Letteney said he's seen the statistics.
In Apex, 7.1% of residents are black.
In 2019, black residents made up 27.7% of those arrested.
Letteney said they want to achieve balance in those statistics; however, they have to be careful they don't drive enforcement action to statistics.
The chief said his department monitors all incidents, saying, "If any of our officers are outside of the norm or acting in a way raises questions, then we ask those questions."
Data for diversity in the Apex Police Department also showed the percentage of black officers is almost spot on with the demographics of the town.
In the last month, Apex Police have also emphasized new training policies – like an officer's duty to intervene if they witness excessive force being used.
Letteney is also advocating for more neighborhood engagement.
"We have a very good relationship with our community. Can we improve it? Sure. Can we go more outreach? Sure," he said.
By having more outreach and policy changes, the chief hopes his community will step together into a brighter future.