Union Considers Vote on Police Chief
The Capitol Police union is considering a vote of no confidence for Chief Phillip Morse, citing deteriorating labor relations and a lack of leadership.
Labor Committee Chairman Matt Tighe announced Thursday night that union members debated a motion to have the vote, but ultimately decided to put it off until a survey of officers could be completed.
The membership feels theres no clear direction on this department anymore, Tighe said. The term kicked around [Thursday] night was devoid of leadership. They feel lost.
About 900 first-line officers are members of the Labor Committee, which is a chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the considered vote was a union issue and thus the department had no comment.
The unions announcement comes on the heels of a controversy over 15 recruits who were asked to resign after the department discovered they did not pass their background, psychological or physical tests. Blame has fallen on former Human Resources Director Jennifer McCarthy, who was removed from her post.
The recruits had already been through about two months of training at a cost of about $6 million, according to one officer familiar with the incident. At least six recruits have retained a lawyer to appeal the decision.
Tighe said the survey will gauge union members opinions on Morses job performance. It will be released online as soon as possible and completed by July 6. The union will then decide whether to have a vote of no confidence, an action never before taken in the unions history, Tighe said.
In recent months, the union has complained of Morses limited contact with officers and the forces low morale under his leadership.
I think its unfortunate that things have progressed to this point, Tighe said. Membership is highly upset.