Byram: Reform furor can make policing better

PENDLETON – Police Chief Chuck Byram understands the anger regarding incidents of people dying at the hands of police. He is also concerned that people are condemning all law enforcement officers as a result.

“What we saw that instigated all of this this time around was absolutely unacceptable by any professional standard,” Byram said. “We are there, obviously, to do a job. When people need aid, we render aid.”

Byram said there are basically two ways that a department can become tainted from within.

“If you see issues within smaller agencies, it becomes a leadership issue,” he said. “If you see issues in larger agencies it’s because people are just a number and they can hide. They’re anonymous.”

Byram said that in the long run, he believes law enforcement will be stronger for the current turbulence. “We’ll make changes within our profession,” he said. “We will show that we are listening, but at the same time the lawlessness that’s going on with this to effect change can’t be accepted.”