First, I want to say what it a pleasure and honor it is to represent the City of Lithonia Police Department and citizens of Lithonia. I also wish to thank Mayor Shameka Reynolds and the members of the City Council for selecting me to lead the department.
Law enforcement has reached a very critical time in our society. The historical issues of the profession and the ignored chances to fix those issues have now come to represent distrust and division throughout the United States. There is no secret that law enforcement has been given a negative report card where minorities are concerned in this country. As a Black male who has been profiled and subjected to some incidents because of his ethnic background I understand the concerns that have been expressed by the recent protest.
But I have also had the pleasure of serving as a Deputy Sheriff and Police Officer for over thirty years. I have worked side by side with women and men who have done the job right and proudly carried the tradition of serving and protecting the public. I have been to the hospital and the cemetery with members of agencies that were doing nothing but providing for their families.
What is missing is the commitment on the part of everyone to help make the system work. There have been several attempts to fix the system and address discrimination based on color, sex, gender, and economics. All have failed in one way or another because of a lack of stakeholders all putting forth the effort to solve the injustices and problems associated with discrimination. No one can tell me that everyone doesn't have some type of discriminatory thoughts in their head; if you believe that you don't wake up. But finding ways to deal with those thoughts while on the job and in life is the real challenge.
The 21st Century Policing Model initiated by President Obama and the study present by President L. B. Johnson in 1967 both addressed similar issues. The only problem is one report is over 50 years old. This shows that a "house divided will not stand." It may also have problems surviving if not repaired. All stakeholders must decide if they are willing to work the problem or continue to give "lip' service to the problem. It takes a village to raise a child, but that village needs a "sage" with wisdom and knowledge to guide.
The motto for the Lithonia Police Department is "Together We Protect Lithonia." My duty is to make sure the public and my officers work together to help promote a safe environment to live, work, and play in. That means making sure my officers are trained, have good equipment, follow policy and laws, control those inner negative thoughts, and receive the best compensation that can be afforded. But this also means the citizens have to help support our efforts to fight crime by reporting crime, participate in healing community transparency problems, and educating and preparing our children and young adults for dealing with society in the 21st Century and beyond. We want to get back to the days of officer involved community participation (I did not say policing).
I look forward to leading this agency and it's Command Staff and Officers and making this department be an example of commitment to service. "Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster person. Sooner or later the person who wins is the one who thinks they can!"
Remember our motto: "Together We Serve and Protect Lithonia!" Thank you for your support and prayers.
Chief Nathan E. Pollard
Lithonia Police Department