Oneonta Police Chief Douglas Brenner issued the statement below on the mission of the Oneonta Police Department in these troubled times:

"Contemporary law enforcement is as dynamic and challenging as we seen during any of our careers in law enforcement. While we who have chosen this profession watch national trends, tragedies and triumphs and shared challenges, we are uniquely Oneontan. We have had some low moments in this department that have prompted, over time, a near complete overhaul of the agency. These changes were a response in some cases, to public demands and outcry, internal investigations, independent investigations, changes in police training and best practices, court rulings and as with any law enforcement agency changes in State and Federal Statues.

Calls for change have been consistently applied and reviewed and in 2014 the City of Oneonta Police Department became a New York State Accredited Police Agency. Part of State Accreditation is ongoing review of best practices for law enforcement and best practices both inside of New York and across the nation. We, the City of Oneonta Police Department assure you, The People, the most important part of our city that we continue to progress each day toward the goal of being better than the day before. In 2019 we achieved re-accreditation as we strive to provide the most professional police services possible.

While we are deeply troubled and saddened by national events, our true concerns lie here at home with this community. We take great pride in wearing the uniform of a City Police Department. Local Law Enforcement is a total emersion undertaking. We get to know many of our local citizens, citizen students, business owners and workers from out of the area.

Our effectiveness increases with community support and open dialogue. We want to hear your concerns and use them as an opportunity for growth and improvement. We will stand with you in every aspect of denouncing practices that hurt, demean, and destroy trust in our agency and work to ensure those practices do not occur in the City of Oneonta.

We have had conversations with groups and individuals regarding how we as an agency operate. From our most junior officer to the Chief of the Department we all welcome constructive dialogue and we encourage anyone to ask us questions should the opportunity arise. We are proud to work here and love the opportunity to talk about the community, the issues we face and challenges that are inherent in the profession.

Community activism and involvement runs deeply in this community, it is one of the hallmarks of civil society and a sacrosanct right we swore an oath to uphold. We are incredibly proud of the most recent example of a local demonstration regarding a larger national conversation assembled and completed in an honorable and peaceful manner."

Yours in service,

Douglas W. Brenner
Chief of Police