I have had the pleasure of working with Roderick O’Connor for 32 years both as a colleague in the study and teaching of the martial arts and as an invaluable assistant in my organizational trainings that I conduct throughout the world. Roderick is the epitome of integrity, character, and hard work. He exemplifies what I believe is needed in the valley regarding police work and its leadership: Somebody who first and foremost creates connection and trust among the citizens as well as embodies all the skills necessary to insure our safety. Moreover, he is a lifelong learner, someone humble and yet courageous enough to listen, change if appropriate, and to confront those in the police force who are unwilling to do so.
Although I don’t know the particulars, the resistance to positive change from some individuals in the police department may be at the core of this inter-departmental struggle, as evidenced by the unwillingness to confront Roderick directly with their concerns and to disable his ability to even address the issues. I am certain that Roderick would listen and be open to resolution, but he never got the chance. We need to allow him to speak. I know he will do so with respect, not malice, and truth, not blaming.
Roderick O’Connor has always had the community’s back. We need to have his.