Chief Probation Officers California President Statement on Death of George Floyd



El Dorado County Chief Probation Officer and Chief Probation Officers of California’s President, Chief Brian Richart, issued the following statement regarding the tragic death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd and the nationwide response:

“There are moments in history that shock the collective conscience of our nation.  The frustrations of communities throughout America have galvanized behind the death of George Floyd.  This tragic and unconscionable event has unleashed a pent-up wave of anger and frustration. This has resulted in a loud voice for reform as well as an acknowledgement of all who have been treated unfairly or unjustly.

Many people across America, Black and Brown, poor and otherwise marginalized, have felt to a greater or lesser extent the pressures of a disproportionate, inequitable, or perhaps criminal application of authority.  What we as leaders do in this moment matters far more than what we say.

As Chief Probation Officers we are duty bound to promote improvements throughout the system and to strive for a continual evolution of our ways.  For decades probation professionals have been advancing practices to reduce the systemic adverse impacts on marginalized populations and we must never stop.  As the safety net of the criminal justice system our touch is wide-ranging and our impact substantial.  Therefore, our methods and motives should always be based on the most evidence-based approach.  Our hiring, training and discipline practices must reflect the standards expected of us by every member of the communities we are entrusted to support and protect. Our values of dignity, humanity and compassion should be displayed by those we place in positions of trust.

Our collective anger and frustration are borne from the knowledge that our institutions have the capacity to do better. We are committed to continual system improvements that focus on equity and justice for all we serve. It is incumbent upon each of us to ask ourselves how we can achieve this progress for our colleagues, our neighbors, and our nation.  We must do better for the sake of this generation and the next.”