Remarks from Chief DeVaul's Swearing In Ceremony
From Chief Antonio DeVaul, Takoma Park Police Department
It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the Chief of Police for the City of Takoma Park. This is a homecoming for me. As many of you know, I grew up in Takoma Park. I have fond memories of my childhood in Takoma Park. Some of my fondness memories involve mentors from the Takoma Park Recreation Department and the Takoma Park Police Department. Gentleman like former Chief Tony Fisher, Recreation Director Mr. Lee Jordan and Sergeant Tony Langley were our role models growing up and kept us on track. I hope to have that same impact on the youth in our community.
I want to thank Suzanne Ludlow and staff from the city for selecting me as the next Chief of Police. I also want to thank members from my former agency the Park Police, who are out in force tonight; Chair Anderson, Director Riley, retired Director Mary Bradford, Chief Johnson, Acting Chief Coleman, my former and other staff. As always, I appreciate your support. To all my law enforcement colleagues, thank you for coming this evening. I see several of you here tonight; Chief Manger, Chief Scott, Chief Nesky and many others. To members of the Takoma Park Police Department, thank you for coming tonight. I look forward to a lasting partnership with you all.
Most importantly, I want to thank my family, my wife Queennie and my three youngest children Brayden, Layla and Jayde. Thank you for all your support.
I am fortunate to take the helm of an exceptional police department. The Takoma Park police department is well respected in the region and nationally. I have met with several staff members and they are all passionate about the wonderful work that they do. They all are committed to making a difference and bettering Takoma Park.
We are at a defining moment in our profession. There is mistrust for the police among some in our community. It is imperative that we acknowledge this mistrust and find ways to build relationships with all of our residents both documented and non-documented.
The Takoma Park Police is dedicated to a guardian approach to policing. We are the protectors of the community. There is a great foundation of community policing already in place here with the Takoma Park Police. I am fully committed to community policing and implementing the six pillars of the 21st Century Report on Policing. We are much stronger as a community when we are united.
I look forward to listening to the staff within the police department, city employees and community members to hear their ideas about how we can better operate as a department. The officers, staff and community members I met with thus far were not lacking in great ideas. The city council has set out clear expectations for the police department and I support their expectations. We are united as a city and what we expect from our police department.
Once again, thank you to you all for coming out tonight. I look forward to continuing the great tradition of the Takoma Park Police Department and finding innovative ideas to improve our operations and relationships. Thank you.