I am proud to serve with the men and women of the Oak Harbor Police Department. I have been in Law Enforcement for over 30 years and it never fails to amaze me to see the dedication, professionalism and bravery of those who choose this career. People have different motivations for choosing a career, but I truly believe that with very rare exception, those who enter our profession do so with noble purpose, wanting to help those in need and provide services to make our communities and country a safer and better place to live.
We have seen changes in support and understanding of what our mission is over the years. Events such as the 9-11 terror attacks saw support soar and events such as highly publicized and controversial police use of force have brought about criticism and demands for change. I think we'd be negligent if we didn't also recognize the impact which national media has had and some of the unrealistic expectations which come about through movies or television. When "TV Cops" are able to shoot a gun out of someone's hand or arrest a suspect with little use of force, it's difficult for some to understand these media sources more often than not, do not portray reality.
Police Officers perform most of their daily duties with time to evaluate and decide the best course of action for any given situation. However, at any given time of any given day, they can be called upon to make instant decisions, the outcome of which may decide if they or a citizen they are tasked to protect, goes home to their family. We are human and make mistakes, but law enforcement officers take great pride and make sacrifices, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, to be the best they can for you, the citizens we serve; our friends, families, community members and yes, even those who make mistakes.
The men and women of the Oak Harbor Police Department, both commissioned and non-commissioned, are dedicated to all of you and we'll do the best we can to live up to that commitment. We recently developed a Strategic Plan as a roadmap to help us with this process and commitment. It identifies internal needs as well as external commitments and is integral with other aspects of our organization in leading us towards that sought-after goal of excellence in service. It is but one tool available to us as we continue professional progression.
- Chief Kevin Dresker