To: The League City Community
From: Gary D. Ratliff, Chief of Police
Date: June 3, 2020
The death of George Floyd while in the custody of officers with the Minneapolis Police Department is a tragic event that has shaken every community in the U.S., including League City. These officers had an obligation to the city of Minneapolis, along with an obligation to maintain the safety of George Floyd. These officers failed George Floyd and his family and must be held accountable. When I viewed the video, I experienced a full range of emotions that began with anger and ended with sadness. The sadness and sympathy I have for the Floyd family is coupled with my sadness for where we are as a country. When an event like this happens involving law enforcement officers, it causes every police agency to be questioned. This is a valid response, as every community should have confidence in the officers that serve them.
Within the last several days, several citizens of League City have sent emails with concerns inquiring as to how we address these issues within our department. I want to assure our citizens—the League City Police Department is stringent and selective in the hiring processes of our officer applicants. Once they are hired, our department spends a great deal of time and resources training our officers in the proper and appropriate use of force. Our officers attend a mandatory forty-hour training course every two years covering the use of force, conflict resolution, scene management techniques, as well as other varied topics. We collect metrics on all “use of force” incidents involving our officers, and a review board meets quarterly to examine and scrutinize these incidents. Our officers are well trained in the causes of positional asphyxiation and the methods used to mitigate it.
The League City Police Department is recognized by the Texas Police Chiefs Association for adopting policies derived from the Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition program. This program is a voluntary process allowing Texas police agencies the opportunity to show compliance with “168 Best Practices”. Fulfilling these requirements reduces risk and liability, assists agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of services, and protects the rights of individuals.
The League City Police Department is dedicated to protecting life, property, and individual liberties while enhancing the quality of life. To achieve these ends, we are committed to forming and promoting practical partnerships with each other and those we serve.
We have seen communities looted and destroyed over the past week, along with assaults occurring against citizens and law enforcement officers. I stand with Terrence Floyd and the Floyd family when they courageously called for these activities to stop. These willful acts of assault and destruction of property do not honor George Floyd or the Floyd family. The League City Police Department will always stand in support of those who peaceably assemble; however, lawless behavior will never be tolerated.
Over 35 years ago, I took an oath as a police officer, and I have proudly upheld my vow. What the few have done to dishonor the badge and our service to the communities we serve is a tragedy. The rest of us wearing the badge will always be here to serve and protect our fellow citizens. Please pray for all directly impacted by this tragedy and for us to unite as one. League City is a great community, and we will continue to proudly serve each one of you.