June 2, 2020

A message from Chief Cheesman

Updated 6/5/2020:

There is be a scheduled demonstration taking place today and the gathering will begin at TCC at 3:00 pm. The demonstrators will be walking through the streets of Fircrest and into University Place. All indications are that this will be a peaceful event. We are coordinating our response with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Tacoma Police Department, and the University Place Police Department. We believe in their right to peacefully protest and we will assist them in being heard. I am attaching a map of the route the protesters plan to take.

John Cheesman

Chief of Police

Below is the demonstration route:

I feel it is important for me to point out that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers is unconscionable, sickening, and disheartening.

I believe the incident has left everyone, including police officers, shocked and appalled.  It serves as a pointed reminder that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to, “Equal Justice for all.”

It is understandable that protests and demonstrations have been taking place across this country and right here in Tacoma and Pierce County.

Unfortunately, some of the protests have evolved into acts of violence and destruction, which in my opinion, only detracts from their message.

It is important for you to know that our officers receive diversity training, as well as de-escalation and force minimization training. We also attend Crisis Intervention Training sponsored by the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

We are currently in the final stages of implementing our Force Investigation Teams protocols, which will also involve citizen oversight.

Despite these things, there is clearly a lot of work to be done, as we must listen to and embrace the concerns being voiced during these protests.  I assure you that we will continue to work tirelessly to earn and maintain trust with our entire community.

Until there is equal justice for all, there really is no justice.


John Cheesman

Chief of police

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