Lawrence FOP Votes 'No Confidence' in Police Chief
Michael Walton (photo courtesy RTV6)
The Lawrence Police Union has passed a vote of no confidence on Police Chief Michael Walton.
Police Lodge 159 is asking Lawrence residents to demand change. The FOP also says the department is "headed toward a crisis situation under this police administration."
In a statement, FOP President Tom Ashcraft said, "The City of Lawrence Police Officers have endured and observed Chief Walton run his administration while having very limited command experience. Officer are working under, 'Do as I say, not as I do!' working conditions have caused officer morale to deteroriate to unsafe levels (sic). Officers work the streets of Lawrence in fear of what may happen to them because the command staff of the police department does not support them."
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Ashcraft says the situation is so bad that 18% of active members of the police department are seeking employment with other agencies. He says the FOP is asking Lawrence citizens to demand change from Mayor Dean Jessup.
Walton tells our news gathering partners at RTV6 he was not aware of the vote. He said he wanted to review the information before deciding on whether to release a statement.
Mayor Jessup released a statement to RTV6 saying, "We have a fantastic group of police officers in our city, and I appreciate all the work they do... I have complete confidence in Chief Walton. He's doing what a good leader does -- he's holding people accountable for their actions and praising them when they need to be praised."