EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Current and retired EPD officers made their decision on Wednesday in the “vote of confidence” for Chief Billy Bolin.
No matter how the votes shake out they will not remove Chief Bolin from his position. Only the mayor has the power to do that and he’s made it clear, Bolin is the man for the job.
We talked with a retired EPD officer who says this vote gives them a voice.
The past EPD employee, who asked to stay anonymous out of fear of retaliation, says he worked within the department for decades. He says there is a loss of enthusiasm about their jobs and for the leadership.
“It’s heart-wrenching, it hurts a lot of people,” says the former EPD employee.
The man claims decisions made this administration has cost the city greatly.
“We’re talking a couple million dollars already this year in just overtime trying to fill positions which need to be filled,” the anonymous former employee explained to 14 News.
Also concerning for him, is an administration the man says is losing power because of a lacking chain of command.
“The chief should be worried about his people in charge," the former EPD employee said. "Those captains, those deputy chiefs, they should be worried about the lieutenants. The lieutenants should be supervising the sergeants.”
But several officers have taken to social media to publicly support their chief, who serves at the pleasure of the Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. The mayor has strongly backed Chief Bolin, sharing an unwavering stance.
“I believe with all my heart he is looking out for the best interest as well as those members of the Evansville Police Department,” stated Mayor Winnecke.
Mayoral candidate Steve Ary also showed support for Chief Bolin.
“If there’s a number of people who want their voice to be heard, it’s possible some wrong-doing has taken place and they don’t feel like what they’re saying is making any progress," Ary said. "When it comes down to it, we don’t know what that situation was, why the voice is taking place.”
FOP President Thompson says they do not plan to have third party come in to tally up these votes. However, he says EPD’s administration will have a representative here during that process.
The purpose of the vote is to attempt to at least open a dialogue with the chief on issues affecting membership and the safety in the community.
Here are the results of the vote, according to the FOP press release:
- As an Evansville Police Officer, do you believe the citizens of Evansville are safer and crime has been reduced under Chief Bolin?
- 78 percent voted ‘No’
- Do you believe Chief Bolin ensure adequate staffing of motor patrol to provide for the safety of citizens?
- 84 percent voten ‘No’
- Does Chief Bolin prioritize the duties of law enforcement officers and the everyday functions of the Evansville Police Department over media relations?
- 82 percent voted ‘No’
- Has Chief Bolin’s elimination of the traditional chain of command improved performance and morale within the ranks of the Evansville Police Department?
- 80 percent voted ‘No’
- Are taxpayer dollars appropriately allocated within the Evansville Police Department under Chief Bolin?
- 72 percent voted ‘No’
- Are policies and procedures, including those pertaining to discipline, administered fairly and consistently within the Evansville Police Department under Chief Bolin?
- 77 percent voted ‘No’
- Do you have confidence in Chief Bolin’s ability to effectively lead the Evansville Police Department?
- 74 percent voted ‘No’