Your Menifee police

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Chief Pat Walsh, Special to Valley News

In these uncertain and troubling times, it is hard to know what to trust or what to think about humanity. Amid this pandemic, economic downturn, racial divide due to police killings and racist murders, Menifee is starting a police department of their own. I have been extremely positive outwardly about success but internally worried from day one. Then 2020 hit and delivered body blow after body blow. It is 22 days until we go live as a department, July 1, as I write this letter. In these trying times I thought it would be important for Menifee residents to know what kind of police department they will have.

On Day One, we knew we had to lure experienced officers, records, property, administrative and community service officer staff. You cannot start a department with 100% inexperienced people, that is a recipe for failure and/or tragedy. Our campaign was less than orthodox with our “Where is the chief?” video series. But we were successful with over 2,300 people putting in for 77 jobs.

With two-thirds of the staff here, we have 636 years of experience, 34 with bachelor’s degrees, 11 with master’s degrees and 11 former military servicemen and women. Not a bad start.

Before the line staff showed up and before the killings and civil unrest, the command staff and supervisors spent two days together to come up with our mission statement and values. Often these can be slogans that hang on the wall and are memorized for promotional exams, then forgotten. But we determined as a group to create a meaningful mission statement that captures the type of culture we want to foster and values that determine how we treat each other and our community. This meeting was a slugfest with everyone pushing and pulling and passionately arguing their point. No one sat back and watched; everyone participated and honestly spoke their mind.

Ultimately, we landed on a mission statement and values that we believe in, are living and will intensely defend.

Menifee here is your Menifee Police Department’s mission statement and values that we promise to live by:

Our mission statement is “We deliver an experience where people feel unified, engaged and safe.”

Our values to uphold are together; see one another, know one another and empower one another; humble; learn, serve and sacrifice; creative, and encourage and pursue original ideas.

As we argued and talked about these concepts, we always had an internal and external lens. We mean to apply this mission and these values internally toward each other, and externally, in how we treat all community members.

Thank you, Menifee, for allowing us to serve, we are honored.