Letter to the Citizens of the City of Madison:
Recently, a retired Chief of Police visited our agency to instruct supervisors in a class on Leadership. One of the pearls of wisdom he left us with is a phrase he often uses. He said, “Trust is never owned. It is rented, and the rent is due every day.” Madison Police Department officers ask ourselves daily, are we paying the rent?
This month we are re-accrediting our agency through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The Madison Police Department earned accreditation last year, and CALEA accreditation is held as one of the department’s greatest accomplishments. Re-accreditation comes annually and upholds policies and high standards for our department as we promote trust within the community we serve. Madison was the ninth municipality in Alabama to receive this prestigious level of professionalism and to become part of the 5% of all law enforcement agencies in the nation to do so.
Our department’s CALEA-accredited policies prohibit the use of choke holds and require us to render aid to anyone injured in a police encounter. Our officers are trained in topics including ethics, less than lethal response to resistance, de-escalation, procedural justice, recognizing biased based policing, and understanding multicultural differences. Understanding Constitutional policing, employing Body Worn Cameras, and responding to those in a mental health crisis all contribute to MPD’s established community policing. Madison officers voluntarily raised our hands to say we want to be the most professional while becoming a 21st century policing organization.
The City of Madison is and continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. As the city continues to grow, this agency will remain engaged in relationships with our citizens, communities, neighborhoods, and businesses to address crime issues, enhance the quality of life, and reduce the fear of crime throughout the city. Working with our Mayor and City Council, we will be taking community policing an extra step further in the next few months by establishing a Citizen Advisory Council.
As your Chief of Police, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support of our agency and the men and women of law enforcement who serve our city on a daily basis. Together we will meet the challenges we may face together as a community, and in partnership, overcome them. We will continue to pay the rent of trust to our community – each and every day.
David K. Jernigan
Chief of Police