Columbus Fraternal Order of Police endorses John Anker for mayor

“The members basically stated that they simply can not endorse a failing administration anymore”
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:12 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Election Day is less than a week away, and now one local police organization has made a decision to support a candidate in one of the biggest races in the Fountain City.

The Columbus Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police held a press conference today to announce they will endorse Columbus Mayoral Candidate John Anker for Mayor of Columbus.

The endorsement comes nearly two months after after Lieutenant Ralph Dowe, President of the Chapter, went before Columbus City Council to express concerns, on behalf of the group, about the leadership of Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon, and the organization saying they would not endorse either candidate.

Vice president of the lodge, Christy Edenfield said at a press conference, 281 of the chapters membership were in favor of endorsing Anker, while 23 were in favor of incumbent Skip Henderson.

55 were undecided.198 were unaccounted for.

”It’s special that you presented that you read, you stood but it’s even more special because it’s from the officers. The men and women on the street. They’re listening. They heard. They’re reporting. They’re standing in the gap.” said Anker after accepting the endorsement.

In response, Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said to News Leader 9, “From the time we’ve been in office, we’ve been trying to make things better for public safety. We’ve increased pay by over ten and a half percent by three years we’ve made available about 12 thousand dollars in bonuses in salary savings through ARPA money this year. We listen to them.”

“The members basically stated that they simply can not endorse a failing administration anymore and they wanted a change, and that change is John Anker.”, said Edinfield.

Mayoral Candidate Anker said if he’s elected Tuesday he plans to sit down with Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon Wednesday to request what he calls ‘Fundamental Homework’ to be done by the chief so the two can have a conversation.

”Freddie Blackmon is a professional. He’s got a good resume he has a lot of training. He’s got a lot of good qualities. Resume and spread sheets don’t always equal effectiveness so we’ve got to get to the root cause of what the citizens want.”, said Anker.

It’s important to point out, about a week ago, Mayor Skip Henderson did receive an endorsement from the Police Benevolent Association after the group screened both candidates.

Election day is Tuesday, May 24th.

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