Valley chief gives police point of view from recent events
POINT TOWNSHIP – A Valley police chief provided a law enforcement point of view to the calls for defunding police and adding more police accountability in the US.
On WKOK’s On The Mark Monday, Point Township Police Chief Josh VanKirk says officers support police accountability, but, “We do reject the notion of some misplaced demand by our society for perfection in these very highly complex, fast paced, life-threatening situations. That’s a tall order for any person, despite any level of training, experience, whatever.”
VanKirk says the ‘profiling’ of criminals is necessary to keep our communities safe, but is always the hardest part of the job, and calls from citizens often play a role.
He says officers can’t just standby until a crime occurs, “I think that people are levying this accusation that the police target a specific group and I’m here to say we do. They’re called criminals. I would hate to see the day when police stop building profiles for what criminal behavior looks like. Every community is different, you benchmark behavior. If we want to wait until a crime happens to get police involved, haven’t we failed already? I’m telling you, that’s where the challenge is.”
VanKirk says officers already have the right to stop a vehicle for probable cause, such as a vehicular violation, or if there are reasonable grounds of criminal activity.
So in addition to police accountability, VanKirk says citizen reform is also needed, “What point do we start having the discussion about criminal accountability? If somebody chooses a life of crime and drug abuse, and they take steps year after year kind of playing Russian Roulette with their life, it kind of puts them on a collision course with a police officer.”
VanKirk says all criminal responses are always evaluated and proper investigations are conducted if an officer faces accusations from an incident. You can hear much more of VanKirk comments on the WKOK Podcast page.