Police Chief Responds to Trump’s “Don’t Be Too Nice” Speech

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In response to President Donald Trump’s comments telling police officers “please don’t be too nice” to suspects who have been arrested, Wilton Manors Police Chief Paul O’Connell said his department would not follow the President’s advice.

“Of this I can assure you . . . WMPD would never hire someone who thinks or acts like Mr. Trump. The IACP [International Association of Chiefs of Police] stated as much in response to his comments. Police Officers are not bullies . . . we are public servants and professionals,” wrote O’Connell in an email to SFGN.

In his July 28 speech to law enforcement officials on Long Island, Trump called on Congress to hire 10,000 more ICE officers. He was referring to the effort to dismantle gangs like MS-13 and other criminal cartels. “Please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, and they’ve just killed somebody. I said, ‘you can take the hand away.’”

Other law enforcement agencies, including the New York Police Department, have criticized Trump’s remarks as irresponsible and not in keeping with established police practices.

In a statement on its blog, the IACP wrote, “Managing use of force is one of the most difficult challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging. For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers. Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.”

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