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New Temple police chief discusses department, outreach to the community

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 12:18:56-05

TEMPLE, TX — If there's one community in Central Texas motivated to see change following the death of Michael Dean, it's Temple.

"Policing is more than just letter of the law enforcement. It has to be dedicated toward a broader purpose of protecting and the serving the community," said Chief Shawn Reynolds.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Reynolds has more than two and a half decades of law enforcement experience.

But he's new to Temple and the rank and file in the department, only starting last week.

"It requires listening to your community and hearing them, and not just hearing but following that up with action," said Chief Reynolds.

The community is speaking out, at times loudly.

As protests and demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice have swept the country, peaceful protests and rallies in Temple have focused on Michael Dean's death. The unarmed black man was shot and killed during what should've been a routine traffic stop in December.
Former officer Carmen DeCruz is now facing manslaughter charges in the case.

"Do I believe that police administrators should have the ability to get rid of bad police? I do. I do," said Chief Reynolds.

He stresses that the vast majority of his men and women are good, dedicated officers that encounter some high-stress and overwhelming situations while on the job.

He isn't opposed to some state or national policing standards when it comes to training and tactics.

"Temple police doesn't authorize chokeholds, strangleholds [...] nor will they have them when I'm here," he said.

The department recently received a $300,000 grant for more community policing efforts, something Chief Reynolds says is needed now more than ever.