TOPEKA (KSNT)- For the first time since starting the position as Director for the Riley County Police Department, Brian Peete spoke out by joining the 27 News Morning team for an interview.

Prior to accepting the position, Peete served as the Chief of Police in Montpelier, VT. Before this, he served as the Chief for the Alamogordo Police Department in New Mexico. He got a start to his career in Chicago, where he started out as a patrolman.

Peete discussed how his first month with the RCPD has been a positive one so far. He said the welcome from the community and the department towards him and his family have been warm and inviting.

“The department is just peppered with very professional people that take their job very seriously,” he said.

The department also recently released the crime statistics for 2022. According to that report, 2021 marks the 19th year Riley County has been below the state average in total crime rate. The RCPD is confident that having seen their 2022 numbers, it will soon be their 20th year in a row being below that state average.

Having said that, there is not much Peete wants to change about the department heading into the position and the new year. Looking forward, he said that he wants to look into their streamline processes, as well as incorporating different types of technology to help with staffing shortages.

In addition, Peete had some words to say to the Manhattan community regarding the events leading up to the death of Tyre Nichols. In a letter to the community, Peete writes,

It’s abundantly clear that the officers involved failed to utilize appropriate training when arresting Mr. Nichols. Most importantly they didn’t recognize Mr. Nichols as a human undeserving of the numerous terrorizing attacks they levied against him – Mr. Nichols didn’t deserve to be subjected to those attacks.

He went on to acknowledge he does not know everything about the situation, but said that there are two strong indicators he knows to be warning signs of events like the one seen in Memphis. He said it is linked to how well police officers are trained, as well as what is the culture of a department.

“In a lot of situations, when you have that many officers there, the first priority is to get that person under control,” he said. “And getting that person under control usually involves handcuffs. Once handcuffs come on and the potential threat is contained, then everything else stops and you should start moving towards whatever arrest procedures are next.”

He emphasizes that the longer you or your colleagues take to get control of a potential subject, the risk of someone involved in the situation getting hurt increases.

For more information on what you read in this article, watch the interview above.