Duluth Police Chief Releases Statement Regarding Protective Gear

This comes after concerned citizens spoke out at last night's city council meeting.

DULUTH, Minn.-  The Duluth Police Chief is pulling back on his plans to purchase $83,000 worth of riot gear.

This comes after concerned citizens spoke out at last night’s city council meeting against the protective gear. Chief Mike Tusken heard those concerns has had a change in heart releasing the following statement.

“I want to write to you today in response to the feedback we have received in relation to the Duluth Police Department’s request to purchase personal protective gear (riot gear). At this time, we have decided to hold on that decision. It is clear that the community has concerns and questions about this, and we believe it is important to hear those concerns. The decision on whether or if to purchase this gear, if made, will involve a public process that we feel is important to have. If this issue moves forward, it is important to bring it in front of the City Council where the public can see it, comment and speak to it, and you as their elected leaders can discuss it in an open setting.

Duluth as a community has a sterling track record for gathering peacefully and civilly when we protest or rally. Residents continue to show that in Duluth, we honor and value the public’s right to gather and to do so in a calm, peaceful way. DPD and the City shares these values.

In reflection of that, the DPD tries to do all that we can to not only protect that right, but to do so in a way that best serves the community, its safety, and the safety of our officers. It’s why DPD was one of the first police departments in the state to take the lead on implementing body cameras, it is why we continue to invest heavily in training our officers – de-escalation training, implicit bias training, etc. – and it is also why we continue to receive such outstanding support from the public we serve.

Ultimately, the Duluth Police Department does not get its power or authority from a gun, a badge, or a uniform. We get it from the social contract we have with our residents. We are here to serve you with dignity, respect, and selflessness.

Councilors, thank you for all that you do to serve this community, and thank you for continuing to work with the DPD in fostering and maintaining public trust and safety,” Chief Mike Tusken


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