"We are Your Police"
Dear Residents, Business Owners and Visitors of Surprise,
In 1829, Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern law enforcement, stated, “The police are the public and the public are the police.” Have no doubt the Surprise Police Department wholly believes this to be true: “We are Your police.” The men and women of the Surprise Police Department have spent decades working closely with our community members to establish a strong relationship built on trust and mutual respect. It is without question the strength of that relationship that drives the success of our public safety efforts and has established Surprise as one of the safest cities in our country.
My name is Terry Young and I have the honor of serving as your Police Chief here in the City of Surprise. In light of recent events, I felt compelled to share my thoughts with you and to provide some insight into the professional men and women of the Surprise Police Department who dedicate themselves every day to the safety of our City. Today, more than any other time in recent past, we hear news stories or news briefs talking about the strained relationship between the police and the public. We routinely hear that the public has lost trust and confidence in the police and conversely, that the police feel unsupported by the public they serve. I strongly believe this message to be misleading in that it suggests this must be true amongst all police departments in all communities.
I have spent my entire adult life dedicated to public service, serving first in the United States Navy, followed by what has now been almost 27 years dedicated to public safety. In 2010, I was fortunate to become a member of the Surprise Police Department and was appointed as your Police Chief in July of last year (2015). As such, I have the privilege of seeing firsthand the unwavering dedication of your police professionals. I am inspired everyday by their acts of selfless service and genuine passion for ensuring the safety of all in our community. Additionally, I am in awe of the overwhelming support this community consistently shows for their police. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t receive a kind “thank you for your service,” or letters, phone calls and emails expressing appreciation for the service we provide and the professionalism of the men and women providing that service. Our break room is routinely filled with cards, treats, and food (yes, sometimes even donuts…..) from appreciative residents wishing to show their support. Together, our community and your Police Department have developed an extraordinary relationship – A relationship that we will continue to build upon – A relationship that will continue to serve as the foundation for our success in maintaining the safety and security of our City.
In closing, I could go on and on describing the numerous processes and procedures your Police Department has deliberately put in place to ensure our continued professionalism; I could easily spend pages discussing our Police Body Camera program that we have had in place for the past three years to promote transparency, or our intensive hiring process that ensures we are hiring the most qualified and best suited applicants to serve you, or the extent of our innovative and ongoing training that helps shape the culture of our Department. But instead, allow me to make this offer to you:
If you find the stories we see on the news related to “the police” causing you to have questions, doubts or concerns related to “your police” here in Surprise, please contact me. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you personally and share information that I am confident will ensure you are comfortable with and have confidence in the men and women who police your community.
We are proud to serve each of you – We are committed to ensuring the continued safety of our City – We are here when you need us – We are “your police!”
Chief of Police
City of Surprise