WWU and Bellingham Chiefs of Police issue joint statement about Memphis, police brutality, and departmental culture

Along with many of you, we watched the video release from the Memphis Police Department. What we saw was horrendous and criminal, and we are disgusted and outraged. The actions of those directly involved, and those who stood by and did not intervene, have discredited themselves and the law enforcement profession. They have betrayed their oaths of office and brought disgrace to officers across the nation who work selflessly each day to protect their communities. 

Such indifference for human life and lack of respect for humanity is not the culture of the Western Washington University Police Department or the Bellingham Police Department. We will continue to abide by the State of Washington’s laws regarding use of force and the duty to intervene and report by peace officers involved in or witnessing illegal and/or excessive force. We will also continue to hire and train police officers to maintain our agencies’ integrity, commitments to our community, and professionalism for which we are known.

We are proud of our agencies and the culture of care and open accountability we provide our community.  Before we conclude this message, we would like to thank President Sabah Randhawa and the President’s Cabinet for providing this space for us to address the University community during this especially difficult time of pain and sincere sadness. We stand together as a community and with the family of Tyre Nichols in their call for justice.


Chief Katy Potts, Western Washington University Police Department

Chief Rebecca Mertzig, Bellingham Police Department