The City of McMinnville’s Police Chief, Matt Scales, shared the following communication with the McMinnville Police Department. As an example of “leaning in” to the reforms being demanded by people across our nation, I’d like to share it with the ELGL team. You may find it helpful in crafting messages to your employees and coworkers. The first quote is attributed to Kevin DeShazo, a speaker and author on leadership and communications; Chief Scales tweaked it a bit.
“Changing culture takes time, especially in our profession. Every day is a battle against ego, insecurity, self-preservation, busyness. What was good yesterday can be on shaky ground today, but the fight is worth it. Believe in yourself, your people, your team, and the vision.”
As I have promised to our community, and more importantly our communities of color, we will be better. Not just because the time is ripe in our profession to be better, but because our community deserves and expects it from us. Expect there to be changes in how we train, what we train on, and who we listen to. I want everyone to have an open mind and heart as we make this leap that will strengthen our community’s trust in us and what we stand for.
I believe in all of us, and that the changes which will happen in the coming days, weeks, months, and years will be worth it. Belief will push us forward and carry us through. We will rise to the challenge because that is who we are. I cannot express to you all how proud I am of all of you, you are the reason I come to work and want to be better.
Chief of Police
McMinnville Police Department
We’re at a tipping point as a nation and local government is at the forefront. I’ve learned through my involvement with ELGL to lean into the tough discussions, drink from the proverbial fire hose, and explore innovative solutions that help our communities thrive. I am proud to work for a city that doesn’t shy from the challenges of change management or difficult conversations with the community or with each other. We’ve got work to do in McMinnville. For example, our Police Department (and other departments) doesn’t reflect the racial diversity of our community; we can make improvements in community engagement; our policies, code, and charter have not yet been reviewed with an equity lens. These changes will be difficult but with strong leadership, as exemplified above, we’ll crush it.