In response to last week’s letter to the editor, officers feel it is important to inform the public regarding the changes in the Belle Plaine Police Department since Chief Stolee took over the leadership in 2010.
Chief Stolee demanded that the department be brought to the highest standards in professionalism, training and personal integrity. The Belle Plaine Police Department works under the motto of “treating people like people”, a motto Chief Stolee has instilled in the department and centers all of the policies and standards around.
Chief Stolee has changed the police department’s focus from solely patrol and enforcement to community engagement.Our officers are expected and required to ensure they are involved in the community they serve; it has created a sense of belonging and working together with the citizens to ensure a safer and proactive environment.
Increasing the budget and number of officers is only in relation to the increased services and growth, essential in providing the highest level of public safety to the community we serve.
The Belle Plaine Police Department has implemented several new programs that lend to the “being a community” approach. Programs such as Tiger Watch, Crime Free Multi-Family Housing, See Something Say Something, training protocols and requirements are some that have been implemented that add to the overall service to the community and promotes a safer city.
Yes, there are times we have to take people to jail, enforce the law, and deliver bad news. Too often it is on your worse day that we meet; however, in Belle Plaine you will still be treated with dignity and respect. No, people do not like going to jail, but this is an essential part of our role to keep the community safe. Officers are held to a higher standard than ever before; this mindset was spearheaded by Chief Stolee.
The Belle Plaine Police Officers Union has full confidence and support in Chief Tom Stolee and appreciate the support we receive from the vast majority of the citizens we serve.
-Belle Plaine Police Officers Union Members