Published on: Friday, November 11, 2016 City Manager & Staff Blog

A Message from the Police Chief

Chief Alan Goldberg, Takoma Park Police Department
Chief Alan Goldberg, Takoma Park Police Department

I know that some of our residents have expressed angst over the recent political events. Like any other change in administration, there are unknowns. There have been concerns raised as to how the Takoma Park Police Department might change focus under the new President.

Unlike many of our European counterparts, the responsibility for protecting and serving the public is a local and state responsibility. State, county and municipal agencies do not work for the federal government. Our Constitution specifically prohibits a “National Police Force.”  American law enforcement has always focused at the community level.

The Takoma Park Police Department is committed to Constitutional Policing where the rights of all individuals are respected. As a local police department, we have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, the Maryland Constitution and the local laws and codes. Our priority is and always has been the preservation of life and protection of property. To that end, I can assure our residents that we are apolitical and will continue to build and maintain our bridges with the community. Procedural Justice is a term used that speaks to law enforcement’s commitment to the spirit of the law, not just the letter. How we interact with our community is just as important as the act itself.

I know that there are specific concerns from some that fear that local police agencies will become an enforcement arm for the deportation of immigrants. Several years ago, the court in Maryland ruled that local law enforcement did not have the authority to arrest individuals for “civil ICE warrants.” We have no interest or authority in the deportation of immigrants. The mission and commitment of the Takoma Park Police Department is the safety and welfare of all our residents and visitors. We value and will continue to maintain our relationships with all members of our community.

The men and women of the Takoma Park Police Department are proud to partner with the residents of Takoma Park in building and maintaining a safe and livable community.  The message of unity in the community that we have been celebrating will continue.