Department of Justice Releases Report on Pasco Police Department's Police - Community Relationships

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, August 22, 2016
Mary Brandenberger

PASCO, Wash. - The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today released a report, “Recommendations on Advancing Community Policing in the Pasco Police Department.”

In May 2015, U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby of the Eastern District of Washington and Pasco Police Chief Robert Metzger asked the COPS Office for technical assistance to improve police and community relations. In response to this request, the COPS Office partnered with the Police Executive Research Forum to offer technical assistance and identify recommendations for advancing community policing in Pasco, WA.

The report concludes that the PPD needs to better train officers on use of force, actively recruit a more diverse workforce to include more Hispanics and women, increase the number of officers fluent in Spanish, and promote police-community relationships to improve credibility in the Spanish–speaking community.

“I commend Pasco Police Chief Robert Metzger and the Pasco Police Department for stepping forward to enhance community policing efforts and taking steps to rebuild the community’s trust following the shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis.

“I want to thank the DOJ's COPS Office for its commitment to provide high quality technical assistance and its promise of ongoing support to assist the policing efforts in the Pasco community,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Michael C. Ormsby. “It is clear that the leadership in the Pasco Police Department, as well as the police department’s officers and staff, understand that an effective community relationship is the essential underpinning of successful policing. The police department's determination to build upon the relationship its officers and staff have with those they serve in the Pasco community is reflected by the renewed commitment exhibited by the police department and the City of Pasco leaders, in partnership with the COPS Office. I want to commend each of these entities for the efforts put forth to date. I am confident these efforts will continue.”

As part of its critical response program, the COPS Office provided training to the PPD over the last year in the areas of community policing, communication, and procedural justice, as well as guidance to implement a social media plan. The COPS Office will continue to provide technical assistance over the next six months, which may include training, policy development, and additional peer-to-peer exchanges.

To read the report, please visit:

The Critical Response for Technical Assistance program provides targeted technical assistance to law enforcement agencies dealing with high-profile events, major incidents or sensitive issues of varying need. Its goal is to institutionalize and operationalize community policing as a core fundamental philosophy for law enforcement. It also aims to build community trust through positive community perception of law enforcement legitimacy and fairness.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit