Everyone who lives in or visits Sumner say that the best trait is our small-town charm. What contributes to this the most is the people.
Sumner is a changing community. We are getting more diverse, and that’s a very good thing. I pray that our small-town hospitality extends the warmest of welcomes to all people of every ethnicity, age, gender, religion and sexual orientation. We talk about having room for housing options and traffic, but it is my firm belief that we should never have room for hatred and discrimination. Disparate treatment continues in this country, and it needs to stop! Black lives matter. As well as lives representing all ethnicities. As well as lives representing all ages and genders. As well as lives representing all religions and sexual orientations. We strive for a community where all are safe, represented and welcome.
The actions the world saw last week that killed George Floyd were terrible and do not align with the values of our community or police department. The Sumner Police Department has actively taken steps over the past decades to build a very different culture. From our thorough hiring process to how we train, we are always conscious of how our choices enhance a culture of respect for all. We are a State-accredited agency, which means we adhere to the highest standards and evaluated by professionals outside of our own agency. Our officers participate in on-going de-escalation training and anti-racial profile training. We carefully review all use of force incidents and review traffic enforcement data to actively monitor for any disproportionate police responses. But, when it comes to a safe and respectful community, it’s work that we all need to do, not just officers, not just people in certain places or of certain demographics. All of us.
On Monday, I caught this statement from my friend, Tacoma’s Mayor Victoria Woodards, that I thought says it best, “I encourage our community to continue to come together, engage in open and honest dialogue, peacefully call out for what is just, and support one another throughout this trying time.” Please do everything you can to extend such excellent sentiments to our Sumner community so that we’re always as caring and gracious to each other as we look on the outside.