MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF
It is both an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of the City of Walker as Chief of Police. I am blessed and so grateful for the opportunity to guide and direct the Walker Police Department and our Officers and staff as they perform the duties associated with protecting and serving our Community. We hold our Officers and staff to the highest achievable standards. Each of us recognizes that wearing a badge does not entitle us to trust and respect. We understand that trust and respect must be earned and that trust and respect can only be earned by treating others fairly, honestly and with dignity and respect. We know that trust and respect are not obtained over the short term, but instead, are earned by consistently conducting ourselves in a disciplined, selfless and exemplary manner over the longer period. We also know that regardless of the length of time over which we endeavor to earn the trust, respect and support of the Community, it only takes a split second - one bad decision - to lose what we have worked so hard to attain. Our efforts to earn and keep the trust and respect of our Community is an ongoing process, and we will always work hard to achieve our goal of never violating the confidence, the faith and the support afforded to us by our Community.
We take pride in the relationship we have with our residents and businesses. We believe that our accessibility and the transparency with which we operate our Department contributes to the close relationship we enjoy with the people of our Community. Our doors are always open to anyone who has a problem with which they need help - a question, comment or concern that needs to be addressed, or for anyone who just wants to stop by and say hello. In our fast-paced world, we know that time is at a premium and there isn’t always an opportunity during business hours to stop by our Department to discuss issues of concern, to have questions answered or obtain information. Several years ago, we recognized the need to create a means by which the public could communicate with our Department without having to come to our office. To address this need, we created a comprehensive social media program to help us better serve the public. Our award winning social media program provides a convenient way to share information between our Department and our residents and businesses (including anonymous crime tips), and promotes dialogue between our Department and the members of our social media Community. Through our social media program, the public is able to: (1) ask questions and quickly obtain needed information (we will try to find the answer to just about any question, whether related to public safety or not); (2) express concerns or voice complaints and receive follow-up responses with information as to how a concern or complaint was addressed and resolved; (3) inform us of public safety issues, including confidential information concerning a crime that has been committed or is being planned; and (4) most significantly, our social media program provides our Department with the ability to quickly disseminate critical public safety information, alerts and advisories to our Community, including alerts involving natural and man-made disasters. Of course, we also encourage the public to use our social media system as a way to “stop by and visit.” While our main social media platform is Facebook, we are available on all major social media systems. We also offer a text messaging service that allows anyone with a mobile device to quickly and easily register to receive our public safety information, alerts and advisories on their mobile devices, free of charge. To say that our social media program has been well received would be an understatement. Although the City of Walker has a population of approximately 6,300, our social media program serves nearly 30,000 people in Walker and the surrounding area.
Although our City is small, it has experienced unprecedented growth over the last two decades. We expect such growth to continue over the coming years and consequently, our Department is well positioned to keep pace with the growth of our population. Without preparation, growth can present new and unique problems for law enforcement as well as other municipal services. Rest assured that the Walker Police Department will not be caught unprepared. We have an ongoing strategic planning process in place that allows us to look ahead and plan for the future, using forecasted trends, developing technologies, improvements and advances in law enforcement related equipment and training; enhanced communications (including community policing), and new and progressive approaches related to crime detection and prevention. We also follow and analyze the experiences of other, larger cities as a guideline, as we plan for future growth and examine future improvements in our Department designed to keep our City safe. Toward that end, we enjoy a close working relationship with the Walker Mayor and City Council, as well as other City Officials, all of whom have demonstrated a commitment to public safety and the need to plan and prepare for what lies ahead. Strategic planning is an integral part of operations and we understand that if we wait to address the future needs of the City of Walker as those needs arise, it will be too late. To successfully prepare, we must continuously work to stay ahead, and act, rather than react.
As public servants, we understand what our Community expects and requires of us. We recognize the level of trust, faith and confidence that has been placed in each of us and we covenant to remain good and faithful stewards of that trust, faith, and confidence. As your Chief of Police, I am proud of the men and women of our Department who work so hard to make the City of Walker a special place to live, work and raise a family. A career in law enforcement is not for everyone. It takes special, dedicated people, willing to devote their time and give their lives to protect and serve their Community. One of my favorite scriptures, which I believe so aptly describes the heart of a police officer, is found in Isaiah, 6:8 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’” We are so fortunate to have such special people as a part of our Department; faithful and trustworthy men and women who, putting the needs of the City and its residents ahead of their own, have stepped forward and said, “Send me.” As we continue to grow and add new officers and civilian staff, we will never cease in our efforts to retain the type of people who share our core values and beliefs and who are committed to the goals that we have set for our Department and our City.
Mission of the Department
The mission of the Walker Police Department, in partnership with the Community, is to protect life and property, to understand and serve the needs of Walker’s residents and businesses, to improve the quality of life by maintaining the capacities to preserve order, to resolve problems as they are presented and to promptly apprehend persons who have violated, or who are intent on violating the law, all in a manner which is reflective of shared community values, which is unbiased, ethical, respectful and which does not unnecessarily demean the dignity of violators. The fundamental goals of the Walker Police Department are to:
1. Maintain our community in a manner which is free from crime and disorder. We recognize that such a goal remains an unachievable ideal; nevertheless, and consistent with the values of a free society, achieving this ideal must be the primary goal of the Department.
2. Promote efficiency throughout the Department, while recognizing that each person with whom our employees come into contact is an individual, and must be treated professionally and with dignity and respect.
3. Strive to work with all members of the Community with fairness and equality, without regard to race, sex, religion, age, national origin or disability. We recognize that the Officers of our Department are a part of the community, and not a separate entity.
4. Continue the level of training, discipline and professionalism that is required to reach the standards we have established for the Department. Every member of the Department should remain committed to providing quality services and protection for our Community.
5. Always remember that our actions, both on duty and off duty, reflect not only upon ourselves, but upon the character of our Department and the quality of our Community. Accordingly, we shall conduct ourselves with the decorum and professional manner that our Community deserves.