Florence chief explains challenges his officers face moving forward

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FLORENCE, Ala. – Police Chief Ron Tyler has seen the climate of policing his community change since he took the job of chief.

With all of the unrest sweeping the country, it’s become his mission to keep the community and his officers focused and working together.

Chief Tyler recognizes the fact that it’s a human tendency to paint every police officer like all of those they see that are bad. He questions why isn’t the human tendency to judge an agency by the good things they do.

“We would hope that the community does not look at the actions of a few officers from a few police departments, and act like we are all the same, because we are not,” stated Chief Tyler.

Of the 50,000 calls Florence Police responded to in 2015, Tyler said 27 complaints were filed. Not all the complaints were justified the chief said, but he considers less than one-tenth of a percentage point to be successful policing.

But Tyler said some in the public will still swipe a broad stroke over police and their efforts to protect.

“It’s a challenge for law enforcement leaders to go and look our men in the face and say although you are judged on the failures of other men in law enforcement, what you do is important, it’s necessary. It’s never been more necessary than it is today,” Tyler explained.

Tyler said there is a bright spot about dealing with challenging times. It’s a proving ground which makes departments and individual officers better.

According to the chief, his department will continue to listen to the communities concerns and stay focused on their mission of protecting everyone.

The Florence Police Department periodically holds community outreach programs to sit and listen to residents’ concerns. They then take that information and formulate a plan in how to address the public’s requests.