Today In Surprise

City of Surprise News

Posted on: June 12, 2020

Letter from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young

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Dear Residents, Business Owners and Visitors of Surprise,

In July of 2016, I felt compelled to share a message with each of you expressing YOUR Police Department’s commitment to professionalism and our appreciation for your partnership and extraordinary support. Today, as we see community members both locally and nationally (even globally) coming together to assure critical conversations regarding racism and social injustice are being held, I am again compelled to reach out to you.

Though I have made some revisions and included some new information, much of the language in the letter below is from the letter I shared in 2016.  I am deliberately including that four-year old information as I think it is important to know that while we continue to listen today with open minds and hearts, our proactive and consistent efforts to ensure you have trust and confidence in the men and women who are YOUR Police here in Surprise are not new.  Providing extraordinary public safety service to each and every community member in an impartial and professional manner has been and continues to be at the heart of our mission:

In 1829, Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern law enforcement, stated, “The police are the public and the public are the police.” Be assured 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 these unprecedented times, I feel 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.

I have spent my entire adult life dedicated to public service, serving first in the United States Navy, followed by what has now been more than 30 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 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 community members. 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.

I am proud of the numerous processes and procedures your Police Department has deliberately put in place to ensure our continued professionalism. To be clear, “professionalism” certainly encompasses being free of racism and discrimination. There is no place for either in our society and certainly not in the profession of policing. 

I could spend pages discussing our Police Body Worn Camera program that we have had in place for the past seven years to promote transparency, or our accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) since 2007 to assure our commitment and adherence to best practices, or our intensive hiring process that ensures we are hiring the most qualified and best suited applicants to serve you. But instead, allow me to make this offer to you:

If you find yourself having questions, doubts or concerns related to “Your Police” here in Surprise, please contact me directly. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you personally to listen and learn from you and to 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!”

Sincerely,

Terry Young
Chief of Police
City of Surprise

Office Phone: 623-222-4020
Email: terry.young@surpriseaz.gov

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