Key West Police Ford Police Interceptor. Photo by Steven Straiton.

To the Key West Community,

I join all of you in my shock at the video death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. While that community and their court system pursue justice in the case, I want to assure you that the Key West Police Department in no way condones the excessive use of force.

We take pride in our professionalism and our close bond with this community. Our role is to protect and serve our residents and our visitors. Our accredited department is constantly striving to build relationships that go beyond the uniform we wear. Our members serve on boards, organize fundraisers, and mentor children. We are part of this community in every sense of the word.

Key West Police Officers are constantly training to ensure that they deal with any situation appropriately. When met with resistance, there are levels of response, and every one of our officers is well-versed and trained in a variety of responses.

Public safety is paramount, and that includes the safety of individuals we take into custody. If we do meet with resistance, we respond appropriately. Once an individual is in custody, it is our duty to keep them safe.

When our officers take the oath to protect and serve, they do so out of pride in our community. Many of them grew up here, have family here. It is an honor to serve Key West, and we do not take it lightly.

When an incident like the one in Minneapolis occurs, it puts a dark blotch on professional police officers everywhere who have dedicated their lives to protecting others. It means we must work harder to retain your trust in the Key West Police Department.

This department has worked diligently for years to ensure we live up to the standards this community deserves. I, and Chief Donie Lee before me, have worked hard to keep strong, open lines of communication. We are constantly working to better our service. Our department has a good set of checks and balances, including an internal affairs department and a citizen’s review board.

I want to assure you that I and every member of my department will continue to better our agency and engage in active communication with all the people of Key West.

Respectfully,
Sean Brandenburg
Chief of Police

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