39 N. Hickory Avenue ∙ Bel Air, MD 21014
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Kevin M. Bianca
Amy G. Chmielewski
Erin S. Hughes
Donna L. Kahoe
Patrick T. Richards
The officials of the Town of Bel Air are disgusted and sickened by the death of Mr. Floyd, and the actions of the officers at the scene. We realize that the actions of those officers have the potential to seriously damage efforts by police agencies across the nation to build and mend relationships with the communities they serve.
The Bel Air Police Department (BAPD) has truly embraced what it means to be a “community oriented” agency. They were the first agency in Harford County to have trained their officers on understanding and overcoming implicit bias and to implement a Citizens Advisory Board (CAB), in which local citizens act as the voice of the community regarding matters of public safety. They developed a Community Policing Survey that helps the CAB work with the BAPD to address any issues or feedback from our citizens. To date, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, mainly because the BAPD takes very seriously the philosophy of Community Policing. BAPD was also one of the first local agencies to use body cameras worn by officers, which helps to increase transparency and accountability. They know that our community is stronger when we work together, which is why they work their hardest not only to keep us safe, but to treat all individuals with respect regardless of race, color, or gender.
The ability of the police to effectively perform their duties is dependent upon the public trusting in their actions and behavior and maintaining a mutual respect with the public. Their work has not only made Bel Air one of the safest Towns in MD, but they go above and beyond to make sure all our citizens and visitors are treated with the respect they deserve.
These programs are only part of the effort. The rest lies with public servants and citizens to hold themselves and our leaders accountable. These are not times to stay silent, but to collectively raise our voices to fight injustice whenever we encounter it.
In the past few days our town has accommodated peaceful demonstrations to the best of our ability with the assistance of our community. We are grateful to the attendees for remaining peaceful and productive. We hear you.
Amy G. Chmielewski
Mayor of the Town of Bel Air