Abilene Police Department’s ‘Threshold’ initiative seeks to unify officers, citizens

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – You’ve seen the headlines surrounding the death of George Floyd and you’ve heard the stories. Now the Abilene Police Department (APD) is taking action by opening up the conversation.

“When the death of Mr. Floyd occurred it just kind of spurred everything up. The direction from our administration from Chief Standridge was something needs to happen,” said Rick Tomlin with the Abilene Police Department. “How do you know how others feel without getting together and talking about it?”

The Abilene Police department is creating a program they call ‘Threshold,’ made up of community members and Abilene police.

“We have different backgrounds, races, [and] age groups,” said Tomlin.

“A threshold implies, there’s an open door and you cross the threshold into a new beginning, a new opening,” said Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge.

While the end goal of the program is to enact change, Tomlin says it all starts with conversation, adding that the first meeting last Thursday was more of a meet and greet.

“The first part is finding out how people feel, finding out what they want,” said Tomlin. “We can guess what they want as different people, but unless we have that discussion, we’re just going to be beating around the bush.”

Even though the group has only had two meetings, one idea has been made clear: the department wants to make this program permanent.

“Doing nothing is not an option. Doing nothing or the same thing won’t help the situation,” said Tomlin.

“Police across this nation can get better, it has to get better,” said Chief Standridge.

The group’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 2.


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