State College officials react to deadly shooting in Dallas
State College, PA – State College officials, the State College Police Department, and faith-based groups are reacting to the deadly shooting at Dallas that has killed five officers and injured seven others with heartfelt prayers and open dialogue about this and other tragic events that have unfolded over the past week. Pastor Dean Lindsey of the State College Presbyterian Church along with numerous other clergy from across the community arranged for a brief service at the State College Municipal Building this afternoon.
“The widely-publicized police shootings of black men - first in Louisiana and then Minnesota - then the murders of police officers at the end of a peaceful protest last night in Texas are disheartening,” said Mayor Elizabeth Goreham in reaction to the dreadful news from Dallas. “This is the time for the Borough and communities throughout the country to speak out about the inestimable importance of building respect and trust among our citizens.”
As clearly stated by the President Barack Obama, “There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”
The Borough of State College and State College Police Department have an active commitment to protecting our community, to resolving racial tensions through peaceful means and having meaningful community conversations that build trust between law enforcement and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
As an ad-hoc committee, Campus and Community United (CCU) began more than a year ago through a cooperative effort between Police Chief Thomas King and Reverend Harold McKenzie. Joined by many other community groups and those deeply concerned about community issues, the CCU has becoming an open and welcoming place for community members to voice their concerns about race relations and share ideas.
The Task Force on Policing and Communities of Color, developed in coordination with the Borough Manager and Penn State University Senior Vice President for Finance and Business David Gray, with membership representing a cross-section of campus and the local community also works diligently to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. The Task Force has examined best practices and case studies from around the country with the hopes of decreasing crime and building trust and cooperation between communities and police as part of a national movement.
“We are thankful for the people who came out today to share their prayers and support for law enforcement,” said King. Whether you carry a badge or not, we need to be respectful and choose reconciliation over violence.”