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Trust and confidence

POSTED May 3, 2011 11:06 p.m.

Recently, law enforcement in our county has experienced a number of instances where law enforcement officers have made poor choices, violating their oath of office and the values and principles we pride ourselves on as a profession. Some have made mistakes that compromise their personal integrity and perhaps, your trust. While these cases are tragic within their own right, they do not represent the vast majority of dedicated public servants who serve with distinction and decency every day.

As leaders we assure you we take these violations seriously. One of our highest priorities is to protect your trust and confidence in us. As law enforcement leaders, we are constantly mindful of our mission to protect and serve the citizens in our communities. We are constantly aware of the public’s perception of law enforcement and the consequences of our mistakes. Rest assured the employees of both agencies do not condone aberrant behavior either.

As Chief and Sheriff, we are accountable to you, the people. We are committed to leading organizations that pride ourselves on service, sacrifice, honor, integrity and above all, honesty. We serve in open accessible roles, working tirelessly to build and strengthen your trust in us. Clearly, we are embarrassed and disappointed when a member of our respective departments chooses to knowingly ignore our values, principles and the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.

When this occurs, we are swift to take corrective action to protect your trust. We’re responsible for the conduct, behavior and performance of those who work for us and we will hold those employees accountable when they commit misconduct.

Often times, both criminal and personnel investigations take time and you may be subjected to both rumor and speculation about a particular incident. We ask for your patience. Be assured that we will never ignore a complaint from the community and will always do what is right no matter the cost or consequence.

Without the support of the community, law enforcement will be unsuccessful in our efforts to ensure that we all live in a safe community. Our ability to work together is critical and we need your help. Our strength and success is built upon your trust.

We will always put the needs of the community ahead of our own, and continue to demonstrate that we exist to protect and serve, with humility and respect, always abiding by the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.


— Chief Mike Harden - Modesto Police Department

Sheriff Adam Christianson - Stanislaus County

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