Chief Gonshak’s statement on the killing of Mr. George Floyd

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Seal Beach Police Chief Phil Gonshak. Courtesy photo

When I was sworn in as your Chief of Police, I vowed to put the entire City of Seal Beach first. I believe we’ve worked diligently to earn this community’s trust through transparent communication and consistent community engagement. One way to continue to build that trust is to speak up against injustices, especially when it involves the profession which most of us have dedicated more than half of our lives to.

Just like many members of our Seal Beach community, and all members of the Seal Beach Police Department, we are deeply furious with the recent events that took place in Minneapolis, which resulted in the unnecessary death of Mr. George Floyd. The actions of those four Minneapolis police officers involved in this incident do not represent the Core Values that our Seal Beach Police Officers have promised to uphold. These values include honesty, integrity, service, respect, professionalism and caring. (https://www.sealbeachca.gov/Departments/Police/Core-Values).

In my opinion, we cannot stand by and say/write nothing. What happened with Mr. George Floyd tears away at the moral fabric of what law enforcement professionals stand for. As your Chief of Police, I understand that national events create concerns for members of our community and the trust that all of you have in our police department.

The City of Seal Beach has been very selective in our hiring practices, and for good reason. I can only hope you believe we have some of the most professional police officers and staff in the State; but good hiring practices aren’t enough. Our officers are consistently trained to be sensitive to the needs of our community; which includes de- escalation of force if possible and “bias-based policing” training. But I recognize that good training is not enough. One way we can ensure that incidents like this do not occur in our community, is through the development of a culture of compassion, understanding, respect, and accountability. As your Chief of Police, I would expect nothing less.

SBPD Use of Force Policy

As a Seal Beach resident myself, I stand with all of you as not only a police officer, but as your neighbor. With that, I am so thankful for the Seal Beach community and wish for your continued support. In closing, I can assure you that the Seal Beach Police Department is here to protect ALL lives, and we will continue to do our best to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. George Floyd.

Sincerely,

Phil Gonshak

The Seal Beach Police Department encourages the community to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to receive updates and see how the SBPD is working directly with the community to ensure the safety and security for all of those in Seal Beach.

To report a violation, suspicious activity, or crime (non-emergency), call 562-594-7232. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1. Visit https://www.sealbeachca.gov/Departments/Police for more information.