The recent incident which involved the Police Department and Hickman High School students was instructive to us all regarding police behavior during a crisis. The incident was a crisis.
The most disconcerting action was the deliberate decision to return the officer to Hickman before the investigation of the incident and his behavior had been completed.
The following are some questions that citizens, parents, police and the school system ought to be seeking answers to that will enable them to preserve and protect the school environment in a responsible manner.
- Who made the decision to return the officer to Hickman after the altercation seen on TV?
- What was the process used to make that decision?
- Did the mayor or city council members inquire about it or give any approval?
- Is this a normal procedure when an officer is involved in a questionable act, to return him to duty where a violent situation is being investigated?
- Are there unwritten policies of procedures to address matters of this kind? Can we see them?
- Did the principal of Hickman or the school administration have any say in this matter?
- Did the school raise any questions regarding the officer's return?
- Did the school request the officer's return before the matter was investigated and the officer was cleared?
- Have you developed any plans to address future incidents of the kind that occurred at Hickman?
- Has the school administration suggested any actions policies, or procedures to you?
- When do you expect the investigation to be completed?
- Is the school system planning an investigation? What do they perceive as their responsibility to address potential occurrences or reoccurrences of incidents akin to this recent incident at Hickman?