Crossville police chief addresses recent police violence in letter to community

CROSSVILLE (WATE) – The Crossville Police Department sent a heartfelt letter to the community Tuesday in light of all the recent violence.

Police Chief Mark Rosser wrote about the department’s relationship with the community, saying, “We are as much a part of the community as you are.” Rosser went on to explain the police department’s role in the community, protecting people from “those who prey on the innocent.”

He also wrote about how the shooting deaths of five officers in Dallas have “further illustrated the need for unity in a world where divisiveness and hate are so pervasive.” He also said when a citizen is approached by an officer and the citizen feels like the officer’s actions are justified or unprofessional, the correct action is not to resist or challenge the officer, but to cooperate and file a complaint with the police chief or in court.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch also issued a letter to the community addressing recent events.

Read more: Knoxville police chief thanks community for support

Full letter from Crossville Police Chief Mark Rosser:

To our community:

We at the Crossville Police Department are thankful for our relationship with you. We live, work, shop, and dine among you. Our children go to school with your children. We attend churches and community events with you. We are as much a part of our community as you are. We, like you, are proud to be a part of the Crossville community.

Like you, we also have a calling. Unfortunately in our society there are those who prey on the innocent. There are those who steal, who injure, who kill, who target our children and the elderly. We deal everyday with the darkness that you don’t see. We stand ready to respond in your moment of fear. We share in that moment when you return home and feel violated as you realize someone has broken into your home. We are there with you when you lose a loved one to senseless violence. We do our best to preserve life and property, including that of those who would do others harm. We are by no means perfect, but we must remain peacemakers, even when our own blood boils. We accept that we must hold ourselves to a higher standard to maintain your trust, and we cherish and protect that trust.

Recent events leading up to and including the slaying of the five police officers in Dallas have further illustrated the need for unity in a world where divisiveness and hate are so pervasive. Yes, it makes us angry. We are not superhuman. However, we will continue to protect our relationship of trust with you. We will not let recent events change or dictate who we are or what we stand for.

When a citizen is approached by a law enforcement officer who is merely responding to a call for service, and that citizen feels like the officer’s actions are unjustified or unprofessional, resisting or challenging that officer on the street is neither a proper nor effective way to air that grievance. The proper avenue is to file a complaint with your Police Chief, or to address the issue to the court.

As your Chief, my office will always have an open door policy for the citizens to redress any grievances.

We truly appreciate the support that our community has shown us, and we thank you for helping us as we strive for a better community.

Sincerely,

Mark Rosser, Chief of Police

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