Troy police respond to residents’ concerns and questions

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 9, 2020

File photo


TROY — Crime reports were not available at press time from the Troy Police Department. However, in response to residents’ questions, police offered these tips and information.

The Police Department said they are monitoring public protest events. “We aim to work with organizers to ensure protests and marches on public property are protected by the First Amendment, and permits or permission from local authorities are not required.

“Our goal is to keep participants in the events safe, as well as residents and visitors in the area of the event. This may include closing roads briefly in order to ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists,” Sgt. Meghan Lehman said in a press release.

“We encourage residents to carefully vet the information they are receiving about local protests, as we’re aware that much misinformation exists. Some of this misinformation may be intended to stoke fear.

“We continue to support peaceful protests but will never tolerate the destruction of property, violence or crime,” Lehman said.

“Should the Troy Police Department ever become aware of a threat to the safety of our community, we will take swift action to protect the community and notify citizens whenever feasible and appropriate.

“The Troy Police Department has access to extensive resources, including assistance from numerous other departments, should we become aware of any violent or volatile events coming to Troy,” Lehman said. “The Troy Police Department has extensive training in tactical response to threats, as well as response to civil unrest.”


Troy police talk about training
Each Troy Police Department employee has completed a thorough Fair and Impartial Policing course, Sgt. Meghan Lehman said. The curriculum used by the Troy Police Department “helps officers recognize our own biases, know how to implement controlled (unbiased) behavioral responses and learn de-escalation techniques,” Lehman said.

Lehman said the Troy Police Department has long recognized the need for de-escalation and implicit bias training. Troy police implemented this training five years ago, though it was not required by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. Within the past week, a bill for mandatory police de-escalation training was introduced to the Michigan Senate, Lehman said.

“We also train officers in community policing, mental health and autism awareness, and more. Since at least 2011, we have trained officers in proper response to mental illness and autism awareness,” Lehman said.


Use of force scrutinized
All use of force incidents in the Troy Police Department are documented and investigated, Sgt. Meghan Lehman said. She explained that, in  every single instance where force was used by a Troy officer, it is reviewed through the chain of command, with the chief of police personally reviewing the investigation of each case.

Lehman said that, in the death of George Floyd, there were tactics observed that are not authorized by the Troy Police Department.

“All Troy officers have been trained in proper defensive tactics and have received training regarding positional asphyxia,” Lehman said. “This topic is routinely discussed and reviewed during ongoing defensive tactics instruction.”