Kirkland, Wash – The City of Kirkland and the Kirkland Police Department would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Byron Ragland and the residents and businesses of Kirkland for the events at Menchie’s Yogurt in Totem Lake on November 7.
We take our commitment to fostering a safe, welcoming and inclusive community very seriously. When we first learned of the incident we asked our Detectives to immediately initiate an investigation. Today we were presented with the preliminary findings of that investigation.
Our initial assessment showed that the interaction that occurred did not meet the expectations of our community or the high standards we set for ourselves. As a result, Mr. Ragland and the other individuals with him were left feeling unwelcome in Kirkland. No one regrets this more than the men and women of the Kirkland Police Department. We are truly sorry.
The badge our officers wear reminds us that we pledge our very lives to protect and serve our community. Our police officers face difficult decisions every day that require them to make thousands of judgment calls. Last year, we responded to 45,517 calls for service, nearly 128 calls each day. We are on pace to exceed that number this year. Our residents and businesses can be proud knowing that because of our training, and the support of our Council and community, we consistently perform at the highest professional standards. On November 7 we fell short of those expectations. When we make mistakes, we investigate them openly and transparently.
When we identify errors, we acknowledge them publicly and take corrective action. We always strive to improve. We understand that achieving and maintaining the high standards we set for ourselves is not easy, and that it is not a one-time process. Rest assured, we will continue our commitment to provide ongoing training to our officers to ensure the highest possible level of service to our community. We will evaluate our policies and practices, and change what needs to fixed. We will learn from our mistakes and continue doing the hard work necessary to maintain the highest standards.
The City of Kirkland is also committed to leading a broader conversation about the issues we face as a community together. Over the coming months, we will continue to reach out to experts, community members, and business leaders to discuss how to become the community we want to be. Together, we will make progress, and through our collective efforts we will continue to make our community safe, welcoming, and inclusive.