Citizens of Eagan,

The events over the past weekend involving the death of George Floyd are deeply disturbing, which is a shared sentiment of the staff at the Eagan Police Department, and on behalf of all the members of my agency, I would like to extend our condolences to his family.

I’m certain there are many in our community searching for answers and asking the question “how and why did this happen”, but unfortunately, I can’t explain that and wish I could.  However, as your Police Chief, I’ve created the expectation that all members of the department will carry themselves in a “Respectful” and “Professional” manner to build trust and legitimacy with law enforcement.  Recently, I received an e-mail from a citizen following her interactions with 11 different Eagan officers over the course of a month, and here’s an excerpt from that message:

Mental illness is a scary thing when untreated. Your Officers have encouraged me to call anytime and have been so very understanding about my circumstances that I don’t hesitate to reach out if I am concerned about Joe.  I am hoping Joe gets help and I can rescind the OFP.  I do want him in my life.  And I know that means that I might have to trouble your department to help me, yet again.  When I mentioned that to Officer Zastrow, he said to me, “Don’t worry about it.  He is your son and of course you love him.  This is the right thing for now.  It may change and I hope he stays well.  But never hesitate to call us.  We will be here for you.”

When Joe came to pick up a few of his belongings with other member’s of your department, they were equally kind to me.  The kindness made one of the worst days of my life bearable.  I hope and pray that my son gets and stays well.  I hope and pray that your officers are always appreciated and that they go home safe after every shift.  And I hope you realize what an awesome team you have. 

Please pass on my thanks to your team.  They have done you proud.  If I can ever do anything to help the Eagan Police, please let me know. 

With Heartfelt Gratitude,

This message captures the service level we strive to provide the community and we will continue to pursue this mission. 

Mr. Floyd’s death has sparked the discussion about police and community relations, where I believe it is important to engage in constructive conversations about race, humanity and equality.  The Eagan Police Department has taken part in these conversations in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

I’ve been a Police Officer with the Eagan Police Department for 26-years, and I’ve taken a lot of pride serving the community, where today I feel embarrassed for my profession.  However, as your Chief, I’m committed to doing whatever is necessary to restore the confidence in the public, and I’m certain the members of the Eagan Police Department are prepared to walk alongside of me to accomplish that goal. 

Regards,

Roger New

Chief of Police