SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The president of an organization of police chiefs meeting in San Diego apologized Monday for conditions that have led to mistrust of law enforcement in minority communities.
Terrence Cunningham, who leads the International Association of Chiefs of Police, also said current officers are not responsible for injustices of the past.
"While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future,'' Cunningham said in remarks delivered at the San Diego Convention Center.
"We must move forward together to build a shared understanding,'' he said. ``We must forge a path that allows us to move beyond our history and identify common solutions to better protect our communities.''
His statements come on the heels of a series of fatal shootings that have shocked both the public and law enforcement.
In Southern California alone, recent incidents include the killing of an apparently distraught man holding a vape inhaler in El Cajon; a San Diego gang suppression officer shot dead during a traffic stop; a Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant shot execution-style when he responded to a burglary call in Lancaster; and a pair of Palm Springs officers gunned down after responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Public trust of police around the U.S. has deteriorated over the past couple of years after a series of fatal shootings of black men.
"Events over the past several years have caused many to question the actions of our officers and has tragically undermined the trust that the public must and should have in their police departments,'' Cunningham said. "At times such as this, it is our role as leaders to assess the situation and take the steps necessary to move forward.''
He also said that at its core, policing is a ``noble profession made up of women and men who have sworn to place themselves between the innocent and those who seek to do them harm.''
He pointed out that thousands of police officers have died in the line of duty over the years to protect their communities.
The conference lineup on Tuesday, the last day of the gathering, includes a session on "critical issues'' facing police departments like targeted violence and mass casualty attacks, civil disturbances and attacks targeting police.
Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.
After traveling more than a month and walking for thousands of miles, nearly 2,000 migrants have arrived in Tijuana – all hoping to cross into the United States, but a tall fence and several border agents stand between them and their hopes.
A transient who recently traveled to Southern California from the Midwest was arrested Friday on suspicion of jumping a woman on an East Village roadside, dragging her into some shrubbery and sexually assaulting her.
Hundreds of people, dressed in pink, were up early Friday for the “Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure” opening ceremonies in Del Mar.
A 92-year-old man accused of using a shotgun to kill his son while he slept in the Old Town home they shared pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of murder.
A 37-year-old siamang gibbon at the San Diego Zoo recently gave birth to the zoo's first siamang baby in 12 years despite being on birth control, the zoo announced Friday.
Father Joe's Villages, which provides programs and housing for San Diego's homeless, and a Carlsbad-based development firm Friday announced a coordinated plan to build a mixed-use property with affordable housing in the downtown area.
An additional 4,000 migrants are expected to arrive at the border starting Friday through the weekend. The group has been growing by the hundreds each day, with about 800 migrants arriving in Tijuana Thursday.