EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — The Fraternal Order of Police addressed the media today holding a conference on the issues brought up by the vote of no confidence, while Evansville Police Department did the same.
EPD Sergeant Jason Cullum did not hold back, going after President Thompson’s claims. Thompson says this vote was not intended to urge the Mayor to replace Bolin, rather an attempt to get the chief to address concerns repeatedly brought up by his officers.
“By design, a no confidence vote in a chief is a public action. President Thompson has a long history of public shaming his negotiation counterparts,” said Cullum.
The public statements come after seven yes or no questions were asked to 256 active and retired Evansville Police Department Officers. The majority of the answers were highly critical.
“They claim Chief Bolin used tax dollars for projects important to him. That claim can be perceived as financial misconduct. I challenge President DJ Thompson to elaborate on this comment. What projects and how much tax dollars,” said Cullum.
Shortly after EPD addressed the no confidence vote, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Evansville added his two cents.
“I did read some of the Facebook posts where people were saying “We love the police department, the police department does great.” The police department does great in spite of our leadership,” said Thompson.
One major issue addressed in the vote was the lack of new applications to join the police force.
“The lack of manpower has resulted in slower response times and decreased safety of our citizens. Officers often can not proactively patrol our neighborhoods because there are too few of them to do anything other than respond to calls,” said Thompson.
“The national FOP tweeted that applications all across the country are down 63% percent. The national FOP acknowledges the nation-wide staffing issue. But the local FOP wants you to believe it is a Chief Bolin leadership issue,” said Cullum.
While there was much disagreement between the two conferences, one factor remains the same; the vote was not about whether officers liked Chief Bolin as a person.
“The intent of this was not to have him replaced. The intent of it was to show that there is an issue and the issues are not things just a couple of us are making up,” said Thompson.
Cullum wants the FOP to back up claims made against Bolin and his administration. While Thompson says the results of the vote show the department wants change.
(This story was originally published on September 19, 2019)