MISSOULA — Missoula Mayor John Engen reacted to Tuesday's guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, calling the murder of George Floyd part of an appalling pattern of violence against people of color.
But he also reassured Missoula residents our police department is intentional in how it hires, trains and manages its officers. He says they're in the business of helping, not hurting.
"Here in Missoula, we know that our residents have real concern about police violence everywhere. I also believe that having a well-trained, professional police force maintaining public safety is critical to the quality of life of all our residents," Mayor Engen's statement reads.
The mayor also wrote, "Chief Jaeson White and his team, with my encouragement and support, have re-tooled schedules to ensure that we have more officers on the street at the right times to assist the folks we serve."
Mayor Engen went added in his statement, "each of our officers is subject to an extensive background check, physical and psychological testing and interviews that go a long way in weeding out unprofessional, sometimes dangerous, applicants from ever joining the force."