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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.
Police value transparency and respect for all citizens
by Andrea Iglar
Recently I have received several inquiries from residents about the South Fayette Township Police Department’s philosophy regarding training, transparency and accountability in light of serious issues facing communities across the country such as excessive use of force and racial discrimination.
South Fayette Township believes in hiring and training law enforcement professionals who uphold the values of community policing, transparency and respect for all citizens.
I believe it all starts with recruiting and hiring the proper people to serve as police officers. Candidate vetting includes an in-depth background check, polygraph exam, medical and psychological testing, and written and oral exams. Our department also reviews applicants’ social media posts and comments.
The nature of law enforcement requires continual adjustment to a myriad of ever-changing challenges, threats and obstacles. But one thing remains constant at all times, regardless of how difficult things become: We always strive to follow the South Fayette Police Department’s mission of serving the community and stay true to our oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and protect the people we serve.
Since becoming police chief in August 2014, I have made it my mission to serve the community of South Fayette and create a culture that is transparent and community oriented. I have implemented programs like Coffee with the Chief and Cup with a Cop, along with many other community-based programs that foster positive interactions between citizens and officers. We aren’t just faces in a patrol car; we care for this community.
To continue our culture of transparency, our department will be begin the use of body-worn cameras later this year. Along with our in-car cameras, body-worn cameras assist the police administration with monitoring officer and civilian behavior, which in turn helps determine how we need to improve or what type of training we should emphasize moving forward.
Our department also monitors and records any use-of-force incidents and works to ensure officers follow our policies that govern appropriate levels of force. After any critical incident, officers conduct a debrief that is documented and made available to all officers to review. This again assists us with learning what was done right and what we need to improve upon.
These are turbulent times. Through it all, I would like to ensure all South Fayette residents that our police department will continue to serve and protect its residents and will always be adapting to ever-changing challenges.
For more information about our mission and community programs, please visit the South Fayette
John R. Phoennik
Chief of Police
South Fayette Township
Government services are essential during crisis
by Andrea Iglar
I hope this message finds you well.
The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly has changed all of our lives in dramatic ways, causing all of us to change our behavior. As a result, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on how the township has responded to this crisis while offering a bit of optimism to each of you.
It is undeniable that this pandemic has impacted our core services and challenged our ability to maintain service levels to the community.
The health of township employees, residents and the public in general remain our top priority. We are balancing ‘social distancing’ with service delivery and have had to make some extreme changes, including locking the doors of the township building, closing the senior center and library, and asking residents to use email, telephone, social media and the township website to contact us and stay informed.
Township staff who are able to work from home are doing so, and we have implemented heightened cleanliness protocols for vehicles and work spaces. It is likely that by the time this message reaches you, we will have refined and modified our operations even further.
What is critical to remember is that government services are essential services, and we will continue to serve the community during this time of crisis. The police department is well trained and has the resources and equipment to respond to just about any type of emergency. Our first responders are getting the supplies and resources they need to continue to serve.
In addition, the township will not lose sight of the many projects and initiatives we have planned for 2020. While our upcoming events and recreation programming have been suspended, the township will continue to plan for major park improvements, move forward with facility projects and explore creative ways to offer programs and services to the public.
South Fayette is a resilient community, and the township remains energized and prepared to accomplish great things in 2020.
John M. Barrett
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