UPDATED: Tulare PD Chief’s Attorney Demands Action. Tulare Waits.

An attorney for the Tulare Police Chief says the city’s mayor overstepped his legal bounds and is demanding immediate action by city council.

Chief Wes Hensley has been on paid administrative leave for 80 days – and he appears tired of it.

In a letter from Hensley’s attorney, Michael Lampe, to the city attorney, Heather Phillips dated December 14, Lampe is insisting the issue of an investigation for the reasoning behind the chief’s leave be placed in the Tulare City Council’s hands – well, council minus its mayor.

“I am asking that this request be placed on the City Council Agenda for its next regularly scheduled meeting. Chief Hensley hereby waives any privacy rights with respect to this agenda item.

“As we have previously advised, we will insist that any administrative hearing, whether conducted by the City Council or an independent hearing officer, be held in public, as Chief Hensley has nothing to hide.”

Included with the letter were a series of exhibits, including the original Notice of Administrative Leave initiated by the city manager, Joe Carlini, and served to Hensley by Phillips. That notice gave a reference of misconduct by the chief on a specific date: Friday, September 22.

It did not reference what the alleged misconduct was.

Since that day, neither Hensley nor Lampe have received any information from the city, despite numerous attempts by Lampe for information, the attorney said.

The original Notice of Administrative Leave stated, “The City intends to contract with an outside investigator in this matter. That investigator will contact you, or your representative, to schedule an investigative interview at an appropriate time and place if the investigator determines such interview be necessary.”

Let the Investigation Begin

The problem: it had been 78 days (according to the letter dated Dec. 14), and as of yet, no investigation has begun. According to Carlini, the hiring of the investigator is up to Phillips. It is Carlini’s understanding, he said, that an investigator has now been specified and a contract is currently being negotiated. Therefore, an investigation should begin, not only into the matter of the chief, but also in regard to TPD Capt. Fred Ynclan and Lt. Jerod Boatman, who were each placed on administrative leave on November 7. All three incidents will be handled by the same investigator, Carlini said.

The Voice previously reported the three were not placed on leave for the same reason(s) as Carlini had stated.

However, it is looking more like the reasoning has a lot of commonality. Carlini also stated in the past that Hensley’s leave was “nothing criminal in nature.”

Now, he says he cannot confirm that nor for Ynclan or Boatman.

A press release was issued on December 5 from Roger Wilson, an attorney representing the Tulare Police Officers’ Union, sharing concern within the department regarding some of the command staff being placed on leave.

It also cited a poll taken within the Union. The poll, Union President James Kelly said, was prompted by a petition demanding immediate resolution for the command staff officers. The petition was generated by concerned citizens prior to the December 5 city council meeting and to date has received some 132 signatures.

Tulare Police Officers Union Poll

The union poll, was submitted to all voting union members via e-mail, Kelly said, and the result was 29 in favor of Carlini’s decision to place Hensley, Ynclan and Boatman on paid administrative leave during an investigation.

The other 21 potential votes not cast, were mostly not because of disagreeing, but rather because of fright, Kelly added.

The second question on the poll was whether the officers have confidence in Chief Hensley.

Those 29 votes said they did not. Other officers, Kelly said, did not want to admit to their lack of confidence in the chief – they fear for their jobs, he added.

The Union is comprised of mostly of the ranks from police officer to corporal. It is those ranks that define the voting membership.

There are some higher ranking sergeants who also belong to the union, but they are not a part of the voting membership.

Anyone who is employed by the TPD is welcome to join the union, including its support staff, or non-sworn officers up to the police chief.

There are three major benefits to the union, Kelly explained. It provides:

Information and membership of the Peace Officers Research Association of California.

Long-term benefits to members, beyond what the TPD itself offers.

Legal representation and advice.

Beyond the voting membership, there are provisions desirable to some of the higher ranks and support staff, although the support staff can also, and mostly do, belong to a union that represents other city employees. Nearly all current officers and corporals belong to the union, Kelly said, save for recent hires who remain in training, or those who just have not gotten around to signing up yet.

From Those Who Say They Know

Responses to a previous Voice article, “Tulare Police Chief Still Has Job, Despite Union Misgivings” written by Dave Adalian, have been numerous.

The article followed the December 5 council meeting which exposed tensions that continue to escalate between the chief, his attorney and those citizens who support him, the city staff and council, and the officers who protect the city on a daily basis. Some rank-and-file police officers authored some of the comments.

AnonymousOfficer (AO) asked readers:

Are you aware that the chief stood against his people getting a raise during the last negotiation (even though he negotiated a 15% increase in his own pay)?

Are you aware he went as far as actively campaigning against them by telling the council that his people don’t need anymore money.

Are you aware the chief called his officers “dumb asses” to another chief at a social gathering…with one of his own officers present!? The reason for the insult was that his people were fighting for higher wages (which is a battle they won after an independent arbiter stepped in).

Are you aware the chief and his command staff have threatened to derail the careers of specific employees if they disagree with him?

Are you aware that if you met with the chief and his staff and it didn’t go well they would immediately take childish action against you? Meeting doesn’t go well so you aren’t allowed to eat with any of your fellow officers while on duty.

Are you aware the punishment for violations of policy differ dependent on who you are and your current rank? Accident discharge of you firearm in field by officer….major problems. Desk pop by command staff…hilarity, back slaps and then a slap on the wrist.

Are you aware that the chief launched personal insults at an employee, who wasn’t present, at a management retreat simply because that employee was a member of the union board?

Are you aware the command staff and the chief attempted to implement body cameras without a policy in place and when he was advised of the legal ramifications of implementing this system without a policy he sent his attack dog, a captain, out and he told a union board member, F you, F Roger, and F the union we don’t need to have a policy in place and we don’t need to meet and confer with you (which is a legal requirement, btw)?

Are you aware that union members were forced to step down from the board under threat of having their career ruined? Yup, a lieutenant pulls specific members aside and tells them that it is not good for their career to continue to be a union member.

Are you aware the chief ran an internal affairs investigation into what was said at a union meeting? A conversation which he and everyone else knew was privileged. The goal, simply to teach the union president a lesson. The result was unfounded but the stress it caused the union president sent the message.

Are you aware that members of the command staff regularly refer to female officers by derogatory names? But the chief has failed to do anything.

Are you aware that sexual harassment has been a long standing issue at the department? Yet chief has failed to take appropriate action to curb this behavior.

Are you aware that physical and verbal abuse are constant issues within the department? People have been physically assaulted! But the chief has failed to address this issue.

Are you aware that the chief failed to take action against an employee who was arrested for sex trafficking?

Are you aware that 10%-15% of the police force is currently looking for employment elsewhere. The reason these people are looking is due to how they are treated by command staff on a daily basis.

Are you aware that we have lost 3 tenured officers to outside agencies recently? And the reason they’re all gone is because of how they were treated by specific members of the command staff.

AO has been confirmed by Voice staff as a viable source for his comments, although we cannot confirm, at this time, the accuracy of his comments.

AO states that he hopes that with the investigation, these will be proven. He remains anonymous because he has a job and family to protect, he said. He did wish to correct his remark regarding the chief negotiating his own pay to say 12-15%, not a clear 15%. He does not wish to promote incorrect information, he said.

In his comments, AO accused the Voice and other reporting as to not digging deep enough and providing “puff pieces.”

He asked, “Is that enough for you, Valley Voice! Can you finally start doing some investigative journalism instead of the puff pieces and pro chief b.s. that you’ve been running for the past two months? You have some information to look into! Stop the ‘Pro Hensley’ b.s. and start investigating! Do your job and start poking around.”

He backed away from a bit during an interview, commenting on the article to which he was referring was actually an opinion piece.

However, in another online statement, AO said, “Sexual harassment, verbal abuse, assault, intimidation, union busting, etc. are all serious issues, and all have occurred with frightening frequency at the Tulare Police Department. These are serious problems and they need to be addressed, but you seem to want to ignore these problems and then deflect the conversation onto Mayor [Carlton] Jones.”

The Mayor’s Involvement

Mayor Jones is part of the problem, according to Lampe’s letter to the city manager. Lampe cited several episodes, the latest of which Lampe said of a Facebook post made by Jones, “crossed the line.”

The post appears to be a screenshot of AO’s comments from the Voice website.

“Are you aware that chief ran an internal affairs investigation into what was said at a union meeting? A conversation which he and everyone else knew was privileged. The goal, simply to teach the union president a lesson. The result was unfounded but the stress it caused the union president sent the message.”

“This statement is completely false, and the mayor knows it is false,” Lampe said in his letter. “The investigation that he refers to was actually an investigation into the mayor’s improper, and possibly illegal, use of a city-issued credit card.

“The mayor’s statement is not only false, in constitutes an outrageous violation of Chief Hensley’s rights under both the Peace Officers Bill of Rights and the City of Tulare’s personnel rules.”

Also included was evidence of a meeting between the mayor, Kelly and a third party.

A restaurant receipt dated September 16 was exhibited in which Jones had requested reimbursement for a meal during a meeting he had with “Mayor Jones dinner w/TPOU Kelly + 1” as noted by Jones.

Further, on November 14, Lampe states:

“In order that Chief Hensley be afforded due process, and to protect his reputation from further harm, we asked that the mayor do the following:

Publicly retract his remarks to KTIP Radio of November 6, 2017;

Publicly announce that he will not seek additional “updates” regarding personnel matters; and

Publicly announce that he will take no part in any action before the City Council, should such action arise, concerning any disciplinary action against the chief relating to the alleged incident on September 22, 2017.

The mayor has refused all three of these requests.”

Lampe also states, despite requests, the chief has not been allowed to view his own personnel file and was attacked by the mayor during a K-TIP radio interview.

City Attorney’s Release to Media

Following Lampe’s letter and the majority of this article being placed on the Voice website, the city’s attorney, Phillips, sent out a media release on Dec. 18.

It stated, in part, “Contrary to the letter’s assertions, Mayor Jones did not make the statements attributed to him by Mr. Lampe. It appears that the statements were made by an unidentified officer at TPD, in response to a Valley Voice article that was posted online. The City is reviewing the allegations made by the unidentified officer, to the extent that they allege misconduct and/or mismanagement within the Police Department.”

Neither Lampe, nor the Voice, stated that Jones was the originator of those remarks.

While Phillips states in her release, the comments were made by an unidentified officer – it is not clear whether she is going on an assumption of such, or may have confirmed the comments of the source.

Citizens Are Concerned

In response to a Voice online article, Tulare resident Tim Curlee commented:

“I have no idea where the truth lies when it comes to the suspension of Chief Hensley, etc. However…

If Chief Hensley has done what he is accused of by anonymous posters here and elsewhere on the VV website, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation (no, those are not dichotomous).

If the culture within the police department is as bad as anonymous posters claim it is, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation of the Chief Hensley.

If the accusations against Chief Hensley are false and politically motivated, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation.

Wherever the truth lies, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation.

But this is not what Tulare is getting. Instead it has been 80 days since Hensley was placed on Notice of Administrative Leave and the investigation has not even begun. This is at best incompetence. At worst this is malfeasance. Probably both.

Nothing from this incident inspires confidence in how the city of Tulare is currently being competently managed or lead. Instead it reinforces the perception of many Tulare citizens that this city is being run by fools, charlatans and hucksters. If city manager, attorney, mayor and council wants to dispel that perception, seeing to a swift end to this fiasco would be a good start.”

Curlee further stated in an interview, “I stated my actual name in part because I am not happy by the number of anonymous comments being made on the internet by people of both sides of the debate but in particular the critics of the chief who claim to work for him. It’s quite easy to type bile and sarcasm at and about your fellow citizens in the comments when one is using a nom de plume.”

He also questions the expense of an outside investigation, “If he [Hensley] hasn’t violated any laws,” Curlee said.

In addition, the city is paying many thousands of dollars for TPD personnel to sit on paid administrative leave.

The three command staff officers are not the only ones – Jackie Coffman, a community services officer, was placed on administrative leave in August, 2016, when she was arrested by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office for alleged involvement in a sex trafficking ring.

Her court date is set for early March. It is not clear if the department intends to keep her on the payroll until the outcome of that trial. The total the city is currently paying out for those on leave is more than $42,000 per month.

Should Council Become Involved?

Lampe asked the city council to place it on the next meeting agenda taking the matter out of the city manager’s hands and allowing Hensley an administrative hearing by council or by an independent hearing officer.

He added that Mayor Jones should be not take part of the process, “for obvious reasons.”

In an interview, Lampe said that the mayor went on Facebook rampage upon receiving the letter. His rants were taken down sometime later, Lampe added.

“Facebook really is a platform for 14-year-olds,” he said. “The mayor really ought to stay off of it.”

Regarding AO, and others, Lampe added, “It’s easy to make allegations under anonymity, I’d be happy to take their testimony on the record.”

Lampe’s request was not placed on the agenda for the Dec. 19 meeting. Councilman Jose Sigala said he is in receipt of the letter.

At the Dec. 5 meeting, he requested council to receive an update as to the situation of the on-leave TPD staff in closed session. No other council members thought it appropriate at the time.

Sigala said he will make a further request as to just how much the upcoming investigation may cost, as council is responsible for the city budget. He further stated he found Lampe’s letter informative and has learned things that council and the public had not been privy to prior.

Meanwhile, Tulare citizens want further answers – and an investigation has yet to begin.

Of course, so do Hensley and the Tulare PD, and everyone else involved.

33 thoughts on “UPDATED: Tulare PD Chief’s Attorney Demands Action. Tulare Waits.

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  1. So I figured why not cut and paste this again. This is a situation that seems to have a lot of accusations flying around. It’s hard to understand why the POA has taken this platform and this timeline to go after the command staff? It is as if somebody or a group of somebodies were laying in wait.

    The good Mayor is definitely involved. There is at least a couple of Brown Act violations and the use of the city credit card for at least one unauthorized meal……It’s very obvious. Mr. Lampe obviously sees it. How many more violations have to be committed?

    I say good luck to all…… I would like to thank all of you……. from the good Mayor on down to whoever else is taking part in this, for the destruction of our City. I hope everyone gets what they want. I hope this is/was all worth It……..Really …….the citizens who have been here for generations will pick up the pieces.

    Funny, It seems we all WOKE one morning and there was Mayor Carlton Jones. Who appears to be the common denominator to a host of issues.
    Welcome to the Octagon Tulare.

    Ok, based on current events…..The Chief of Police is put on Admin leave? Then shortly after two additional command staff officers, a Captain and a Lieutenant?

    Fast forward a few weeks and now the POA is all for the investigation and the demise of the Chief and for the most part it would be assumed the other command staffers?

    You have “Anonymous Officer” “Woke” and “Wokest” all but crying mutiny, based on the “Gestapo” style command tactics. I believe I read officers have been threatened with their careers sexually harassed, assaulted, cursed at, pressured, stressed, and asked to step down from POA positions (if they know what’s good for them).

    Also I read where The Chief is accused of dropping the ball on an internal affairs investigation? I think the year long criminal investigation trumps the I.A.. Also I believe there is case law on this.

    One of you even took the time to bash your own civilian support staff….. dispatchers and office/clerical staff. Simply for supporting their Chief and not having the same mindset or opinion as you………that speaks volumes of the situation.

    This all comes after a steak, shrimp and a Shirley Temple? Between the Mayor, his family and the POA President and a retired officer……..Wow.

    So I/We, the citizens of the Peoples Republic of Tulare are supposed to stomach all this?

    To the officers in peril and being mistreated by the command staff for so long……….Why? Based on the posts these incidents didn’t start the night of the (Now) infamous Cattlemans Dinner? This has been on going…….I would even venture to say that some of those on the command staff, were not on the command staff?

    You have a POA….. you obviously have representation of an Attorney…… why not take all of these allegations to a higher power? District Attorney, Calif. Department of Justice, State Attorney General, Labor board, heck maybe the ghost busters?
    In today’s magical world allegations like this pay out handsomely……….and you keep your job or go to another agency on your own accord.

    Something is a little funky and everyone is starting to see it unfold. If more officers are against the command staff, than are for the command staff and you have waited for this particular time to stand on your soapboxes, expose the dirty laundry, grand stand and throw mud……..you brothers and sisters got problems, big problems.

    Your relying on the good Mayor Jones, City Manager Carlini and City Attorney Phillips to properly run an investigation you (or some of you) agree with? Or is this simply a cheap means to an end of the “Gestapo” . You think they start dumping command staffers, all of a sudden you’ll be in the good graces of those three? The City’s purse strings will open up, the homeless, the gangs, and dope will disappear?

    How about this, everything you have accused or claimed the Chief/Command has done to you…… The good Mayor and City Manager have also been accused of. I mean the things that people have accused the good Mayor of are pretty serious right? Things you’d draw a case number for and get some statements. Shoot some of his antics are public record. The City Manager has a great article from a Palm Beach FL. newspaper on his firing. The Attorney…… meh….. all I can see is, she did represent the good Mayor in a criminal case and she is the Fresno Firefighters Union’s Attorney, which I believe the good Mayor is the President of? Not sure, but no doubt he pays union dues.

    Not to mention where this all seemed to start……. the unauthorized use of a City credit card to pay for a dinner with the POA President.

    This is your dream team, the team your vouching for to take down this great tyrant who has caused hate and discontent among the troops.

    What is the end game? A new Chief? An entirely new command staff? Who will it be? An outsider? A big city Captain from out of the area or somebody within the ranks? The POA President maybe? He seems to have a solid relationship with the good Mayor. Shirley Temple’s for everyone!!

    I just hope some of you haven’t made yourself pawns in a game you can’t win. Look at what’s happening to your department, you are allowing the Mayor to pull your strings, it’s obvious he is the City Manager’s puppet master.

    Worst case scenario, you’ll have to pull security for the good Mayor’s next party at the outlet mall. Or maybe do patrol checks on the marijuana dispensaries or guard money runs.

    Remember brothers and sisters the reason why you got into this profession. This honorable profession.

    PS – Woke’s posts appear suspiciously familiar. The structure, language, grammar and how they read…. very knowledgeable of a situation nobody seems to know anything about…….It’s like I’ve seen them before.

    • Filo, thank you for giving credence to my previous comments where I point out leadership’s obsession with finding out who is saying what and making stomping out dissent priority one instead of inclusivity and common vision. You obviously held some rank and came up through the TPD culture since you seem preoccupied with motive and dissent rather than how the department is fairing and what the future holds. Loyalties come second to the department. Good leadership takes responsibility for poor morale and turnover. They don’t point the finger at front line officers, attack character, and throw out conspiracy theories.

      And yes, if the best person to run this department and right this ship happens to be from out of the area that could be a great thing. TPD hasn’t had an outsider in decades. It shows. Every year we become more resistant and impervious to outside ideas. That’s a bad thing. Your negative opinion of an “outsider” again shows you came up in this and were taught that the “TPD way is the only way and if you don’t like it you can leave”… well… some are… good cops that don’t involve themselves in union business. Good cops not interested in promotion which you identify as being the primary motivator for a majority of officers who voted no confidence.

      You wreak of “us vs. them” and you lack the objectivity to consider that all of these incidents are a symptom of poor leadership. I get it, they’re your buddies, but the horse is out of the barn. He will NEVER be able regain control of this department and the respect of the rank and file. The three on leave are already eating each other alive and placing blame on each other.

      I remember why I got into this profession. So do a lot of us. None of us have been able to focus on our jobs since Hensley took over. Department bickering and politics have been at the forefront for years, not public service. The union was weak before Hensley stepped in. No one attended meetings. No one cared. They just wanted to be cops. Command staff and their actions gave the union power and invited support where there previously was none.

      He was unable to bridge the divide. Regardless of the players involved and the motivations of said parties he failed to unify the department and that failure is independent of this investigation. That’s his failure and the only connection it has to this investigation is that part of it was allowing his ego to get in the way of progress. If you’re going to tell me his personal vendettas with the union president and mayor have nothing to do with his investigation into the use of this credit card please tell me that’s your stance so I can at establish you’ve chosen your tribe and won’t be swayed by facts and objective observations.

      And pawns in the mayor’s game? How about the pawns command staff have been manipulating for years. Young officers with promise and pull. The kind of officers others respect. They were the ones selected by command staff to interfere with union business. They were the ones recruited and ordered into secret meetings where they were convinced that the city was broke and it was in the best interest of the union to accept the lowball offers the city was offering. They were directed to overthrow the union board and put together a recall. They were provided with government code sections on how to do it and instructed on how to change union policy. Their urgency picked up considerably in the days leading up to the council elections. Then, magically, they weren’t as concerned about union business because their candidates weren’t elected and the raise was all but sealed. Then, because they could no longer influence outcomes, they decided it was time for payback. Then the internal investigations started flying. Good officers were punished for not playing ball in those investigations.

      To your point about case law and XWZ. Sure, the criminal investigation may trump the internal investigation. I’m sure there’s case law on that. But that doesn’t preclude an internal investigation. And her part in the criminal investigation is done. When in doubt, write the paper. You can never too thoroughly investigate or document anything. In my book a CSO that investigates missing children as her primary task who is arrested for sex trafficking children and whose husband was ingesting every ounce of dope submitted into evidence would be on the top of my list as far as internal investigations. It would certainly take priority over disparaging remarks about a commanding officer. Just because there is obscure case law about the criminal investigation doesn’t mean it was handled correctly.

      Speaking of ABC, who was overseeing him for those years he was tampering with evidence? Who was his commanding officer? There were guns missing too… did we recover any of those? I seem to recall we did… where or who did we recover them from?…. I forget… no big deal. The real problem is Mayor Jones. Everything has been run impeccably here for decades. The incestuous culture and resistance to outsiders has advanced us leaps and bounds. The laughably low morale is the union’s fault. Missing guns, missing dope, sex trafficking? That’s just a few bad apples and a misunderstanding that officers can’t just walk into the evidence locker and go on a firearm shopping spree. I’m sure there’s case law there too. Multiple accusations of sexual discrimination and a hostile work environment? Union propaganda. You’re right, my brothers and sisters forgot why they got into this profession. Because according to you we got into this to abuse our power and back each other up no matter how immoral the behavior. Say what you want about this investigation and it’s merits. It doesn’t excuse the laundry list of other issues. Issues nobody takes responsibility for. Officers finally feel like they can say something. They choose now because the grip around their throats have been loosened for once. They have been powerless until now. TPD leadership has always had major influence in union business. They’ve been able to stop any grievances before they went above them. Until now. Many see this small window as their last chance to change a department they love. Because they love their brothers and sisters not because they respect and admire their leadership. Their giving it one last chance before they move onto greener pastures. And in this case the grass actually is greener on the other side.

  2. Filo, well written. I believe the Mayor, City Attorney and City Council must go. I know these alledge issue are in every police department, all the way up to the President. There is a vendetta by some officers who feel entitled, one believe was by passed because of gender, even though was down on the Sargent list etc etc etc.
    Should have reported all the above issues along time ago, if no action follow the correct chain. But now after the childish meeting at Cattleman’s everything just now is coming out. I call BS

    • Smarter, you literally can’t spell ‘sergeant’ so I’m not going to going too far into discrediting your source of information regarding recent promotions because you’ve done a fine job of that yourself. I will just simply say you’re wrong and if you’re speaking about who I think you’re speaking about just remember that you’re talking about a damn fine officer and one of the best detectives this department has ever known.

      And yes, I’m sure there are stirrings of similar issues at other departments and organizations. But very rarely does a majority of the rank and file come together to say they have no confidence in leadership. That’s the part you’re leaving out.

      The chain has been followed for years. The problem has been that the grievances get stomped out or swept under the rug with no accountability. How do you justify the chief of police having a good laugh with command staff after a NEGLIGENT (not accidental) of a firearm inside the department? A firearm that was being carried on duty without that officer qualifying at the range with that firearm. And I know they laughed about it because I was there.

      The union president was investigated for disparaging remarks about one of his bosses. Who’s never done that? If you say you haven’t you’re a damn liar. Can you imagine what they would’ve done to the union president if he was out on a call clearing a residence and had a negligent discharge of a firearm that he hadn’t qualified with that he brought from home?

      Double standards and personal loyalties are more important than integrity and accountability here. That’s a problem. That’s a deep rooted cultural problem. Cultural problems are difficult to fix. You ever notice that when a new NFL head coach or corporate CEO take over they clean house? That’s because the only way to fix a toxic culture is to clean house. Otherwise, like minded leaders who came up in that toxic culture replace the next executive and nothing changes.
      If you think a majority of officers voting no confidence is just some kind of fluke or conspiracy I don’t know what to say. You obviously have your mind made up. To add to that, only one single officer felt it necessary to actually oppose the vote of no confidence. One person felt passionate enough to say they believed in their chief. That’s sad. The others were either scared, indifferent or not motivated enough to vote either way. That’s a problem.

  3. The Chief will finally get to tell the truth about what is going on and he will be able address all of the lies, sounds like some people are getting nervous about that. I am looking foreward to reading what will come out in this investigation. FILO, Good job whoever you are!

    • The Chief will finally get to tell the truth about what is going on and he will be able address all of the lies, sounds like some people are getting nervous about that. I am looking foreward to reading what will come out in this investigation. FILO, Good job whoever you are!

  4. Basically the Mayor, the city manager and the city attorney have taken command staff off for bogus reasons and made officers fear speaking out because they may be next. Yet officers who are problem children get to defame a man who has a stellar reputation. I hope he has his day in court. My guess is that the mayor promised you something he will no longer be able to deliver.

    • Yes, a majority of officers are problem children. The chief isn’t at all responsible for the vote of no confidence. I’m sure the single, solitary officer that felt he was fit to lead will take his place someday as a person beyond reproach. Everyone is the problem instead of the person looking in the mirror. That’s juvenile. That’s what children do.

      I’ve personally never even had a conversation with the mayor. I’ve never even said hello. Never had the chance. By and large, I don’t agree with his politics, many of his statements, or his actions. But I am passionate about this department and I want to see it succeed. I lack any and all confidence based on the numerous points I’ve made and others have made in the command staff’s ability to drag us out of this hole. You continue to call people juveniles and accuse them of lying and yet you’ve failed to support one “lie” with any kind of facts.

      They’ll NEVER regain the department’s confidence. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. So if they want to run a department where nobody respects them then, by all means, be my guest. I could care less about this investigation. It’s about more than some ridiculous technicality. The fact that you and your ilk want to focus on the investigation and refuse to even open your minds to the idea that there might be some validity to a vast majority of the officers having no confidence or being indifferent to the chief’s ability to lead is unfortunate. He can win this. He can retain his job and come back. He’ll never win the officers back… never… so you’re right… we’re nervous about this investigation. We’re nervous that our department will be put back into the hands of those that don’t hold themselves accountable and whose primary concern isn’t the future of this department. We’re nervous the head hunting will continue. We’re nervous for each other because we’re the only ones looking out for our well being anymore. It shouldn’t be that way. That’s a failure of command.

    • So far you’re about 0 for 27 in regards to your assumptions about the strangers whose character you’re trying to assassinate in these threads. Saaawwwwwiiiinngggg and a miss…. please consider having something of substance to say in future posts instead of name calling. All you bloviate about is the investigation and how little we know…. Don’t care about the investigation. Neither do the officers. It’s bigger than that. You don’t have to work there, spend a majority of your life there and put it all on the line there… we do! Our opinion matters more than your friendship with the chief of police. We can’t ALL be problem children, can we? You speak like there’s some large faction at the department that is outraged that these guys are gone. That faction doesn’t exist. Nobody really misses them to be honest. Even those that have personal friendships with them see their obvious faults as leaders. That’s a red flag as you would put it.

  5. I think it’s about time the citizens of tulare VOTE for their Mayor instead of this ridiculous spin the bottle it’s your turn now! I have never seen such juvenile behavior in all aspects of this town, Tulare deserves better than this, so in the meantime with the council wrapped up in their Jerry Springer show antics Tulare is deteriorating into 99 cent stores and massage parlors (wink wink) and homelessness, Is this what you people want? If you don’t then start speaking up hold our leaders accountable, and for God sake demand that anyone who makes decisions on how this city is ran LIVE here!

  6. Wokest-
    So we can agree on one thing, the good Mayor Jones is the issue? Or were you being sarcastic?

    You are right, I have been around the TPD culture for a long time, longer than most would understand and how for that matter, but I am far from choosing my tribe…..as for wreaking of the “us vs. them” nope not even close. I am a Team guy always have been always will be. As for lacking objectivity also a farce, been through way to many scuffles for that. But like many I can only base objective thinking with facts and eveidence. I have been around the witch hunts and asked to pick a side more than once.

    As you well know Cops are some of the most vindictive people in the world, all type A personalities, many times ego driven. It just the way they are wired.

    Like I said I know the culture and the PD’s culture, yet an outsider looking in trying to figure out what has happened and where did it all go wrong. I have always cared for the folks at the PD…..bled with some of them on more than one occasion, chased the same mopes, chewed the same dirt. Laughed and cried with some.

    It simply appears to many, that the allegations brought up regarding the command staff, seem to have been occurring for sometime? Would I be correct in this? Like this stuff just didn’t come up in the last months right? Then all craziness, disgruntlement is thrown out for the public to see after the Admin leaves were issued, it appears almost premeditated and strategic. This is what people see.

    If these are documented incidents of missmanagement and can be potentially litigated, then let’s do it, put that mess out there, so people can see it and somewhat understand it. Put the conspiracies to bed…..if you have been around as long as I have you know they old saying “If it isn’t in an email, it didn’t happen”. You said it yourself nothing can be to thoroughly investigated.

    My God man, some of it sounds borderline criminal. You have a community that is backing the Chief because they don’t know what has been going on, they already have a distinctive distaste for the good Mayor and based on his current/prior actions, they have reason. So when the bomb shell drops that the union votes no confidence for the Chief and puts it out in the public comments time at a meeting? What do you expect people to do? Some of these people only see an officer in the worst of circumstances, they could care less about the union, the infighting or anything else that happens within the PD walls. All they want is a timely response to their call, their kid to go to school, their stolen property immediately located and the suspect to go to jail for life.

    My comments are more questions than anything, I don’t want to appear to be insulting to any of the men and women of the PD or the command unless an insult is warranted.

    Your right you are all pawns in the game between the good Mayor, City Manager and the command staff a very evil chess game, that will unfortunately ruin friendships and careers.

    If all that has been said is true about what is going on there, then it needs to be investigated, it demands investigation, but not by an investigator hired by the City Attorney……which will no doubt be approved by the good Mayor. You honestly think it will be fair and unbiased? The union has the ability to request a special investigation by the state. It will be ugly at any rate but if what has been said is true about the command then it’s warranted and needed. But if it doesn’t go the way that the 29 or so officers want it to, regarding an internal roe View and investigation and nothing is as horrible as it has been portrayed…… I don’t want to sound sarcastic or insensitive, but it will devistate the department. Many will look bad and the of integrity of some will be in question.

    Wokest, if you in fact walk the line and everything at the PD is as you and others explain it to be you understand exactly where I am coming from …………Stay in the fight….keep your head up and drive on. Don’t let it effect your performance, the work has got to get done, people are depending on you.

    I sincerely want this to work out for the best. I also want there to be some transparency in it. Then we can hault the conspiracies, finger pointing, and assumptions.

    The truth will set us all free.

    • I genuinely and humbly thank you for your service and appreciate and acknowledge the blood you’ve shed with us. I too want this to end. This place has the potential to be great. It has truly remarkable people. I’m glad we both want the unbiased truth and that we agree that our primary concern is the future of this department. God bless you, brother.

    • I also guarantee you that my dedication to the people of this city does not change and that the oath I took is sacred to me. We will fight on. Merry Christmas.

  7. The internal affairs investigation being referenced in Mr. Lampe’s paperwork has nothing to do with this investigation. I should know as I am the one who posted the comment being used by both Mr. Jones and Mr. Lampe.

    The investigation I was referencing in that statement was an investigation into the union president and what he said at a Union meeting. This investigation occurred around February of this year. Long story short, command staff heard that the union president said something disparaging about them, got mad and had to send a message. As we all have learned, dissent will not be tolerated and protected speech isn’t protected. The I.A. was unfounded but the person targeted was stressed and the message was sent.

  8. We all know the Union is the Lazy mans friend. Not saying all union members are lazy, but we all know who those lazy people are. It takes one apple to ruin the whole basket. I would bet money whoever AO is he fits the lazy bad apple poor me attitude. The officer who takes hours on a simple call, the officer who’s patrol car looks like a trash bin, who calls in sick on his/her Mondays or Fridays.. This is the officer who relies on the Union to defend him and know the union code better than the 10- code. Regarding pay, Tulare Police Officers start out at $58,863.48 annually or $28.48 hourly. Tulare Police Officers start with a higher wage than Anaheim, Apple Valley, Bakersfield, Chico,Costa Mesa, Fresno, Modesto, Monterey, Irvine, Long Beach, Pomona, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Simi Valley, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Ventura, West Covina, and the list goes on (See list on salaries.com) The Chief works for the Tax Payers of the City and should work for FAIR pay. Just because he didn’t roll out the red carpet and open the vault of the tax payer that does’t make him a bad Chief. I’m not sure who is worst off. the Chief who manages AO or the Officers who work with AO. Talking about new blood, How Long has James Kelly been the President of the TPA? over 20 years? Yes, So just maybe Kelly is upset he is still just a corporal and has been passed over with Chief Hill, Chief Breckinridge and now Chief Hensley. Couple Bad Apple? Hmmm

    • Well Jeb, I don’t know where to start. I’ll guess I’ll start with a simple request for you to check your sources. If you’re going to make statements like this I would assume you wouldn’t make the simple mistake of citing an unaccredited source… yet that’s what you’re doing. Believe it or not, Jeb, the “interwebs” can be misleading. Not everything you read is true.

      I got down to verify two of the various salaries you cited before I realized you were just searching the interwebs for information that fit your narrative and supported a belief you already held. Two of which I knew were complete malarkey… Santa Barbara? Anaheim? They start in the 80’s… They would have to based on the cost of living in those areas! How does that even make sense, Jeb (Clampett? Distant cousin, no?) Based on the disparity of close to 30k I’m just going to assume the rest of your list is irrelevant… forgive me, but you earned it.

      Thank god the union was much more reasonable than you when they negotiated. Otherwise, Tulare PD would be the highest paid department in Central California. Higher than Dinuba even.

      Thank god the union came to an agreement with the city on a list of cities with comparable costs of living and departments of similar size from which to do a salary comparison on. What did that salary comparison show, Jeb? You’re right! It showed TPD was FAR behind those comparable agencies in pay. Jeb, you must want a steppingstone agency. Maybe you should move to Woodlake or Huron. They’ve been steppingstones for years. I’m sure you’d love it there. An agency of new faces every year. Your attention span would love that. I only make assumptions on your attention span because you took about 4.5 minutes to do your salary research which means you’re a man that can’t be bothered with verified facts. Probably a urine stain on your pants as well that signifies that you’re a single-shaped man. Far too busy for the follow up….. never mind….

      Thank god the city not only agreed with the union on a list of comparable departments but also agreed to have an independent third party come in and make a determination on what was fair… Jeb?….. Whhhhaaaaattttya think that independent third party said? YOU’RE RIGHT, JEB! The independent third party decided the union’s request was not only fair but that it was a starting poing that only put them middle of the pack of those comparable (agreed upon) departments. Nothing gets by you, Jeb! Except sound research. That definitely gets by you, Jeb.

      That independent third party that the union and city agreed to hire determined fair pay. He came to that conclusion based upon a list of comparable agencies agreed upon by the city and the union. You emphasized “fair”, Jeb. Please point out to me what was unfair about this negotiation, and who it was unfair to, and how.

      You don’t know AO, Jeb, so quit while you’re ahead. You couldn’t hold a candle to AO. You make character assassinations because your facts are unsubstantiated and false. So you call names. Childish, Jeb. You’re better than that (probably not).

      If the chief were acting solely based on fiscal responsibility can you explain why he encouraged his command staff to storm the city manager’s office and demand the same deal the union fought and paid for? They came to a deal a year prior, then reneged… Was that to save the taxpayers money? Because I’m pretty sure the percentage of their salary increase was pretty significant compared to slick sleeves… why did the chief encourage that raise? For the fiscally concerned taxpayers, Jeb? He couldn’t have… because he took a fiscal obligation (union raise) and exacerbated it (command staff raise). So what is it, Jeb. Hensley doesn’t understand that a command staff raise is a fiscal burden on the city or you’re a mental midget who jumped into these comments and spoke before thinking objectively? You’re a sheep, Jeb… baaahhhhh… you formulate your opinions like you research salary information… you do the social equivalent of a Google search and cling to the first idea that appears plausible and presents itself professionally.

      I’m not foolish enough to think that any of this persuades you. None of this will sink in. You’re in the bag. You’re tribal. Dig in, Jeb. It’s gonna be rough.

      Speaking of the “poor me” attitude… who is the highest ranking police official screaming “poor me” in this???? Who is more responsible for their own plight and the the plight of an internally dysfunctional department than the highest ranking officer? I emphasize ‘internally’ because, operationally, we’re not missing a beat. Things are smooth as ever, externally.

      Alright then, Jed. Give my best to Elly May, Granny, and Jethro. You bone up on your research and come back, ya hear?

    • Also, Jed…”city folk” trivia coming at ya’… Name five successful chiefs of police or sheriffs that interjected themselves into negotiations between police/deputy unions and the city/county? … three seconds (Richard Dawson voice)….

  9. Thank goodness most of us “actually” know some of our local police because if we didn’t we could be left with the impression that the few who are posting these long, rambling, rude, condescending remarks are the poster boys for our entire police department (Filo excluded). Training in pubic communications specializing in NOT using verbal denigration is sorely needed with these guys (should have learned that from your parents or at the very least at the police academy)! Being snarky is one thing but verbal abuse however borderline is disheartening. Valley Voice and their readers deserve better.

    • Character assassinations and accusations of motivations including being referred to as lazy, “problem children” and passed over for promotion have been flying around these comments for weeks without basis. Then when facts were thrown out there the insults ramped up along with being called liars on top of that. You get what you give. Don’t pretend to take some kind of moral high ground all of the sudden. The union took a vote and made a public statement on the results of that vote. Then they started receiving the insults, not the other way around.

  10. I am going to say a few things and try to keep it short and to the point. I have been with the TPD for a few years (more than 2 less than 10) and I hear a lot of officers talking about all that’s going on in the media, then you have those that are quite proud trying to let others know on the down low that they are one of the few people commenting in a negative way. I have to shake my head as I am in shock at how deeply disturbed some of my co-workers are and how consumed they are with all of this when we should all keep focus on why we signed up to do the job we do. Chief Hensley did not hire me but had a very long discussion with me when I came on board here. I will never forget his encouraging words and the compassion he showed towards Law Enforcement and why we do what we do on a daily basis. I left that day feeling 10 feet tall and proud to do what I do and for the Department I do it for. People say that for the “vote of no confidence” those who didn’t vote were in fear of retaliation from command staff…come on Union Board Members and other tenured Officers, people didn’t vote because of the pressure that was coming from the union body. There was way too much work put in by officers to push the newer officers who know no better to vote against our Chief. I guess officers forget how hard it is to get picked up by an agency, how much competition there is and how you really need that 1 person to believe in you and give you that opportunity to make a difference in this community, make a good salary to provide for our families, good retirement at 50 OR 55 and to just do the job we do. Chief Hensley has hired quite a few of our newer officers and to be pressured by OUR OWN To go against that 1 person who gave them this opportunity to fulfill their dream and become a Police Officer And you vote to remove this man due to the peer pressure. Hell, I get it I deleted email when I should of voted against it. I just see so many faces on more than 1 person and I see how out of control this has all become. In my opinion Chief Hensley had done an outstanding job, definitely needs to have the opportunity to right some wrongs and address the grievances that our union body is very well aware never made it to him but went above him therefore he was never given an opportunity. We need to get back to doing our jobs we signed up to do and to support each other like brotters and sisters are supposed to do and quit spreading all of this hate and discontent.

  11. Additionally, those like SmarterThan . . . (don’t worry I always have trouble spelling Srgt. as well – it’s easier to use the abbreviation) and Barbara, and any other citizens not affiliated with the TPD. Feel free to contact us with comments beyond those you make here – we’d love to hear from you!

  12. I have no idea where the truth lies when it comes to the suspension of Chief Hensley, etc. However…

    If Chief Hensley has done what he is accused of by anonymous posters here and elsewhere on the VV website, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation (no, those are not dichotomous).

    If the culture within the police department is as bad as anonymous posters claim it is, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation of the Chief Hensley.

    If the accusations against Chief Hensley are false and politically motivated, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation.

    Wherever the truth lies, there needs to be a swift, thorough investigation.

    But this is not what Tulare is getting. Instead it has been 80 days since Hensley was placed on Notice of Administrative Leave and the investigation has not even begun. This is at best incompetence. At worst this is malfeasance. Probably both.

    Nothing from this incident inspires confidence in how the city of Tulare is currently being competently managed or lead. Instead it reinforces the perception of many Tulare citizens that this city is being run by fools, charlatans and hucksters. If city manager, attorney, mayor and council wants to dispel that perception, seeing to a swift end to this fiasco would be a good start.

  13. To the “Officer” we all know who you are by the way. Who should know better, but obviously in his haste threw caution and his personal financial interest to the wind. Commenting on an employee and making the out rages headline grabbing statements that you did when publicly naming that person, your free speech has limits and does not protect you against slandering somebodies name publicly even in the comment section of the Valley Voice. We’ll see how you enjoy having your name and now financial future called on the carpet. You’re not as smart as you think you are remember there’s always somebody smarter in the room. Hope you keep spouting comments and headline grabbing statements as it’s just more documentation for what is soon to come your way.

  14. Chief wants to make this public because he has nothing to hide. City officials don’t want that because they never thought this would ever happen, that citizens of tulare would actually come out and support our chief. Let’s not play cat and mouse game and be professional. Chief Hensley is a good man.

  15. So I was able to look into a few things. To be honest I wasn’t surprised as I have been around the business of crime fighting for awhile. In fact probably longer than than a couple of the TPD folks posting combined. But that’s neither here nor there.

    What I have found (actually already knew) is the Tulare Police Department is a pretty good place to work. Pay is good not the highest, but definitely not the lowest by any means. Benifits are solid, take home cars, there are opportunities for advancement. In fact contrary to what has been posted TPD is a very sought after department to work for. The PD draws the creme of the crop when it comes to laterals, especially from surrounding local agencies. The entry level candidates who apply come with college degrees, military pedigrees and a level of life experience. Tulare has never been a stepping stone agency nor do I believe it will ever become a stepping stone agency.

    So here lies the question, how many officers have left and why? Was is it for a better paying agency, say Fresno? I can see where a 10K signing bonus would draw a crime fighter in….. big crime-big money? Can we say that some left due to a conflict within…. say with another officer or member of the command staff? Or were they pushed out, couldn’t cut it? And by that I mean, this job ain’t for everybody. Or there is what everyone seems to believe in the ol’ passed up for promotion scenario…..simply a classic. At any rate a few have left for whatever reason, but not in a mass exit as some would want it to appear (as of in the last 80 days to a year anyway).

    Now with those officers who left (listed above reasons). What did Tulare hire to fill those vacancies? I checked it out…….you got the creme of the crop laterals from other local agencies. From my research and inquiry based on who left (I knew a couple) TPD got the better end of the deal. Officers with experience in various disciplines and some who would be considered experts certain fields. Some of you should turn to them and ask them, how was it at the department you came from? Why did you come to TPD?

    In previous posts I expressed that I was not a part of a “tribe” a fan of “us vs them” but I do know the culture. Its really basically the same at most agencies, some different variants or configurations but relatively the same. I would say it would be hard for someone not familiar with the culture or lifestyle to really understand. Let’s just say its nothing like what you may see on TV. Obviously the reality cop shows aren’t going to show the infighting, labor disputes, issues with command, political interference and drama. Of course Valley Voice has fixed that. Some look at this as pure entertainment I am sure. A cliffhanger!

    This is what I have discoverd, I guess we can chalk it up as my opinion of my discoveries. I say this because I will no doubt be bashed, berated and accused of being part of the “tribe” or the “us vs. them” although would I be us or them? But I am objectively looking at things.

    I believe there are a few officers/corporals 5-8 maybe a sergeant 1-2, (but no one above those ranks) who for reasons we
    will never truely know are taking advantage of a situation.

    I think those 5-8/1-2 have influenced some younger officers into the belief that all is bad and if they go the right way with this opportunity, they will benefit greatly. Thus you get that 50/50 vote for no confidence. The half that didn’t vote or voted in favor of the Chief, didn’t vote because they were scared of retaliation. They didn’t vote because they don’t agree with the union and most likely thought the whole situation was ridiculous.

    Now I will bring this up again from previous posts, if the accusations that have come out regarding everything the command staff has done, why is it just coming to light now? The accusations made are near criminal. It’s hard for anyone to believe that this has been going on and no one has spoke up prior to the admin leaves.

    There is something going on, call it conspiracy, call it whatever you want. But someone or some entity within the rank and file or maybe outside the rank in file stands to benifit from the demise of Chief Hensley. Maybe the union president, the un-named mysterious retired officer at dinner? Does the good Mayor have a stake in the game? He does seem to be a common denominator. Is there a legacy to be had by all of this?

    It’s not about the money, you got that. I am positive that with that raise other budgetary elements were effected within the department. Nothing comes for free.

    The Great Question:
    Who wants it? Who wants the spot, who is gonna save the Tulare Police Department? Who wants to be Chief and carry that rank, sit at the big desk, make the hard decisions, make sure all are happy…… the disgruntled, the sub-par cops, the old cops, the new cops, the union, the godforsaken millennials, the hard chargers, the ones who feel they are owed something? Who wants to carry that burden?

    Who made the deal with the good Mayor. He is knee deep in the middle of this. I don’t think there is any denying it at this point. There is two missions at hand here and one came from the other.

    I know the rebuttals that will come. More of the same to that of anyone who whispers support for the us or the them? I will be put down as a friend of the Chief and I base my opinion on that friendship and the lives of the officers mean more than my friendship, truth is I don’t know the man on a personal level, met him a few times professionally but never social, so no I wasn’t there when he called an officer or the union dumb [email protected] (after all this maybe that horrible, derogatory, insensitive and hurtful statement was warranted) if he in fact said it, the context obviously hurt somebodies feelings. Ironically when I was in the service, for the first 4 weeks of basic, I thought my name was dumb [email protected]

    I guess to the chosen few and I truly believe NOW, you are few. I have somewhat figured some things out. You will all say I know nothing. I know the good Mayor is involved, I know it’s not about a raise, or these grand accusations. I know there is more support for the Chief within the walls of the PD than you might realize. I know that the Chief, Captain and LT are not pointing fingers at each other or eating each other alive.

    I don’t doubt that there are some issues within the department. I don’t doubt that some feelings have been hurt over some things. But let us remember what we are and what we do. A para military organization with rank structure. Not everything is going to be rainbows and unicorns. You are not going to get everything you ask or put in for. Everybody isn’t going to be warm and fuzzy. There will be disagreements in policy, procedure, mission planning, operational standards and work ethic…….You may get your behind chewed on, you may get written up or disciplined. Some of your leaders may appear gruff, stern, insensitive or dare I say it demanding. You may not get that promotion/advancement based on one reason or another.

    So back to the question, if not Chief Hensley, who? And what If the next Chief comes in and he/she doesn’t see it your way? What then? Back to drawing board? Is it possible that out there in the this world there is the perfect leader? The one that through some mysterious way will make everyone happy in all the decisions he/she makes. This will include the good Mayor, City Manager, City Counsel, citizens, officers, Sergeants, LT’s, Captains, support staff (which by some accounts and posts don’t really matter). Or are we simply looking for the leader to appease a few? Good luck with that.

    I think you, the chosen few have called down a storm, a storm that may be more than you can handle in the grand scheme of things. It may come sooner or later depending the outcome of this grand investigation….. which at this point what are we investigating, the ill will of the command staff towards the rank and file or the good Mayor’s Shirley Temple? Or both? At any rate if it has been as bad as has been posted at the PD, it didn’t start on September 22nd, nor did it all come to a head that day. Somebody should have spoke up a long time ago, if all the accusations are factual then they should have been dealt with and they were not. I assume there is an excuse or reason, but it can’t be fear of retaliation.

    So now I expect to be ostracized by the chosen few. That’s ok, I get it. I will no doubt be called out in some way, given some reference of “us vs. them” or leadership qualities, tribe affiliation, the “you don’t know what your talking about Filo”. Maybe I will be called a dumb [email protected]$. At least one will point out some sort of grammatical or spelling error. All good, it’s a debate a discussion. I have probably been called worse. No matter what the degrading or personal shots given, I will still be there to back you professionally while on the job should it be needed or requested.

    Remember everyone is watching and trying to figure out who is who in the zoo. Some have showed their hand.

    Merry Christmas and please let it be a Happy New Year.

    • On the contrary, Filo. I think people appreciate your thoughtful input and appreciate the fact that you took some time to try and get as good a grasp on the situation that you had before weighing in. I certainly appreciate it. I think you brought up a lot of great points. You’re obviously someone who put the badge on for many years and I would an idiot to say you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      I admit, I’ve spit some venom and my snark-o-meter has tipped the scales a time or two as Barbara pointed out. I have failed to do what I’ve accused leadership of doing which is rise above it. I see issues and I know good cops (who haven’t been passed over for promotions) who see the same problems. Not all of them are uncommon, I’ll admit. But when people get on here and start calling every person who thinks it’s time for some positive change a “lazy cop” or “disgruntled” (without even knowing how that person has served their community) or put out bad information (pay is higher than Southern California) I have a knee jerk reaction and I fight fire with fire. It’s difficult to tell whether they intended it to be interpreted the way I did so I’m not going to attach their intentions to their comments. I took it as an attack on some good officers and I fired back. I apologize for that. I’ve worked the streets long enough to know you get more bees with honey than vinegar.

      I have no problem agreeing to disagree with you about a thing or two. I think you’re coming from a good place, Filo. So am I, believe it or not. I love TPD. If I didn’t, I’d stay on the sidelines like many have opted to do. It’s been black eye after black eye for over three years now. Many of those aren’t attributed to current leadership but there are likely some cultural issues that could be at play.

      I just want someone to take the and right the ship. You asked the most important question… who wants to step up? Who really wants that job? Everyone thinks they want it until they get it and realize it’s tougher than it looked. You’re going to have a more experienced opinion on that than I.

      I can tell you, though, that for the last three years it’s felt like mommy and daddy are fighting and we’re the scared kids locked in the bedroom who’ve all but been forgotten. We’re in dire need of a strong leader that can mend this gap. Whether that’s the current chief or someone new, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that someone steps up because that gap has been allowed to get wider and wider over the last couple years.

      You’re right in that there is no perfect leader. You’re also right in the “slippery slope” theory regarding the next one not being right, and the next one, and so on… the answers and the way forward aren’t clear.

      I don’t know if it’s better to actually care about this kind of stuff or just worry about the job. Is it better to keep your head in the sand and go to your calls and just tell yourself it’s above your pay grade? You probably have good insight into that. But I do love this city and this department. The real truth is somewhere in between all of our points of view. I’m not naive enough to think that I have all the answers no matter how I’ve come off. I want a day at work where the only thing I worry about is being a cop. Because that’s enough to worry about sometimes. But I care about this place so I do worry.

      Barbara, Jeb, Concerned, Tulare Citizen… we can disagree and we can argue. It can get ugly and we can make the mistake of not showing our best selves to one another. I’m certainly guilty of that. I for one am glad that we have people like you who are passionate about this city and this department. I apologize for my transgressions and the jabs. I know you’re all law-abiding good people who work hard.

      Let’s handle these issues, no doubt. Let’s not forget, though, that we are actually on the same team in the grand scheme of things. There is a compromise hidden amongst this heap of junk. We just have to dig around and find it.

      I wish you all a merry Christmas and I pray the good Lord keeps all of our concerns in mind in the coming year.

  16. Mathew 5:7-12
    Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

    May God Bless all of our police officers and keep them safe this Holiday Season and always. Please go before them Lord and shield them from harm. Please be with our Chief, Wes Hensley, during this difficult time and let the truth be known. Let the ugliness end and the truth come to light. Please restore joy, peace to our city of Tulare. Create in all of us a new heart. Take the ugly out of this and let your light shine on Tulare again.
    Please rid the PD of the things you hate Proverbs6:18-19
    hearts that devise wicked plans, feet that make hast to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies and one who sows discord among brothers.
    Amen

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