A vote of ‘low confidence’ surrounds CPD’s leadership

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 10:19 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - According to a press release from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) officers in Columbus, there are 232 members in the FOP and 73 percent of those member are Columbus police officers.

Of those officers, 84 percent say they did not believe Columbus chief of police, Freddie Blackman, is fit to do the job.

At the city council meeting Tuesday night, the president of the FOP, Lieutenant Ralph Dowe released results from a survey indicating law enforcement officers doubt Blackman has the ability to fulfill his duty as chief of police.

The presentation of the survey results caused some people to question the motive behind their concerns. President of the local NAACP branch, Wayne Hailes being one of them.

He says the survey was meant to embarrass the chief of police and also says the FOP motives are racial. However, Dowe says the demographic of the vote represents the demographic of the police department.

Another issue that was brought up, which both Blackman and Mayor Skip Henderson agrees is on-going is inadequate pay and police shortages.

“Since 2016, we have hired 300 police officers and in that same time frame, 400 officers have left the department.” explains Blackman.

He adds that in order to fix the issue of pay, the department is currently undergoing a pay study.

Blackman says he will continue to work through these current issues as well as the ones that preceded him.

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