CINCINNATI – Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he felt “secure” in the face of a possible no-confidence vote by members of the police union, which experts said may be nothing more than a political move.
Speaking to a reporter Thursday morning, Blackwell said he “didn’t know that the friction was like this here,” and that Harrell had never brought the issues to him.
“I feel good, I feel safe, I feel secure. I know I’ve done a good job,” Blackwell said. “I’m not going to buy into the negative media stuff that’s been put our there purposefully. I’m going to continue to come to work and do a good job every day.”
Votes of no confidence by police unions aren’t daily occurrences, but they’re not uncommon, either, according to Andrew Scott, president of the police and law enforcement consulting firm AJS Consulting.
The votes are sometimes used over legitimate reasons and sometimes used as a “political weapon,” Scott said. The union needs to be able to articulate the issues; otherwise they likely have no merit, he said.
“I think the public has a right to know what the chief is doing to cause this uproar,” Scott said.
City Councilmember Yvette Simpson said in a press release it was “disheartening that the FOP is considering such a measure at a time our department and our chief is being held in such high regard nationally,” adding that morale or personnel issues should be directed to the mayor, administration or council.
“[Blackwell] is working with the resources we have given him and is doing the best job he can,” Simpson said.