Evansville mayoral candidates weigh in on FOP confidence vote on police chief

Local News

EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) — After the Fraternal Order of Police announced it would hold a vote of no confidence against Police Chief Billy Bolin, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke expressed his support for Chief Bolin.

The mayor appoints the police chief.

Mayor Winnecke faces two challengers on November 5th’s election.

As Your Local Election Headquarters, we asked the mayoral candidates about their position on the vote the Mayor’s unconditional support of the Police Chief, and what they would do if elected.

“I think the Mayor should be fired for that, for that reason alone, that he doesn’t care about the constituents or the police officers,” answered Libertarian candidate Bart Gadau.

“In my experiences, when people call a vote like this, it’s because their voice is not being heard,” said Independent candidate Steve Ary. “And I think that once their voice is heard, we’re going to see a different side of this.”

Earlier this, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke expressed his unequivocal support for Chief Bolin, no matter the outcome of the vote.

“My biggest concern is that Mayor Winnecke doesn’t care,” said Gadau. “He’s come out and said that no matter what the vote is, no matter what the police officers say he’s going to make his decision with Billy Bolin no matter what. To me that’s very authoritarian.”

Unconditional support for the police chief is a concern both candidates share.

“The most disturbing thing that I’ve seen in all of this is that Mayor Winnecke said that no matter what, no matter what the results are, that Chief Bolin remains in position,” said Ary. “Now again, don’t get me wrong, I am all for Chief Bolin. But I am not sure if that’s the best approach to take because what if the undisclosed concerns of the FOP are incriminating? What if there’s a moral failure? What if there is a misappropriation of tax dollars?”

Both also acknowledged Bolin’s service to the city.

“I would speak to Billy Bolin, I know he’s a great man. He’s served the public for a long time.”

“I am in full 100 percent support of chief Bolin,” said Ary. “I believe he is a great asset to the police force.”

I asked what both candidates plan for police chief might be if they took office.

“I’m going to sit down with Billy Bolin, I’m going to sit down with anybody else is interested in the position and I’m going to look for somebody who’s wanting to make a change,” said Gadau.

Amanda: How would you handle that situation moving forward?
Steve Ary : You know I think that’s something I could discuss later on.”

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