Many Ferdinand residents demand former police chief be reinstate - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Many Ferdinand residents demand former police chief be reinstated

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Many residents in the small town of Ferdinand demanded on Tuesday night that the former police chief be reinstated.

The town council asked Ted Bieker to resign back in May and that upset a lot of folks, many who packed the town hall on Tuesday. 

It was a packed house at the town hall as residents demanded answers as to why their popular police chief was forced to step down.

"It's devastating. I don't think it's fair," resident Raymond Buechlein says.

Buechlein is one of several residents demanding that former Chief Ted Bieker be given his job back.

"I don't think they went through the right steps to do what they're doing right now," Buechlein says.

"The proverbial rug was in no way pulled from underneath this man's feet," Council President Ken Sicard says.

The council's president defended his actions by making public the steps that were taken and why.

"We have a split police force that is divided due to inadequate management practices. This became very evident in my interviews with the officers," Sicard says.

Council members say they first began meeting with Bieker about their concerns back in 2005.

"After some meetings, I could see improvement, but gradually that improvement declined and in some cases became worse," Sicard says.

Council members say that among other things, Bieker did not properly budget for equipment repairs meaning town officials had to then find that money elsewhere.

"While Ted is wonderful with the public, I will never argue that. He has a great way of defusing tension and things. He has a great way of talking to people. He's great with interaction, but he's not good at management," says Debbie Johnson, who is on the town council.

Still, many residents here believe Bieker is the only man for this job. Many even signing a petition stating his track record proves it.

"This town was safe and he has a lot of good qualities and he needs to be put back into the Chief's nest," resident Donald Farina Sr. tells 14 News.  

For now, an interim chief has been named and town officials are interviewing candidates for a new chief.  

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