Ardmore Police Union Says New Review Will Not Solve Problems - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Ardmore Police Union Says New Review Will Not Solve Problems


Ardmore's mayor wants to re-hire an independent consulting firm to review the Ardmore Police Department. But the local police union says a new study will not solve problems. KTEN's Katy Blakey has the latest. 

During an impromptu press conference Ardmore Mayor Martin Dyer said he was truly concerned over the turmoil within the police department.

"We've been concerned with the police department for a number of years," said Dyer. "Like I said, we've had eight Chiefs within 15 years. That ought to tell you something."

Backed by four uniformed officers and somewhat opposed by a gathering of off-duty law enforcement employees, Dyer said he's recommending the city re-hire the Berkshire Advisory Group. The consulting firm is the author of a 2007 report of the Ardmore Police Department that gave a scathing review of the force.

"Let's just sit back, take it easy and give time to get the Berkshire group in here and find out what the facts really are," said Martin. "Whatever it is we will act on it. I'm not saying it's favorable or unfavorable against the Chief, but whatever it says we'll consider it."

Just how much this new review will cost taxpayers is not known yet. Also unknown is if the answer to Ardmore's Police troubles will be found within the pages of a new report. The Fraternal Order of Police say no.

"The issue is not the Berkshire report," said Sgt. Eric Hamblin, spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police. "The issue is the management style and treatment of the officers of the administration and management which is causing us all the issues that we are having."

Ardmore's Police Chief says he welcomes the consulting firm reviewing his department.

"They'll be able to review those things we have accomplished, those we haven't yet accomplished," said Chief David Leonardo. "I think this is another help along the way to help make the department the best possible."

Still, many wonder if an outside firm is needed to solve an internal problem.

"I think what we've been doing is band-aiding the problem," said Vice Mayor John Moore. "It's going to take police officers, the city and citizens to come together and get it right."

One other item the mayor mentioned concerned terminated employees. The mayor said any city employee who was terminated or feels he was unfairly treated can approach the Human Resources Department.

If he's willing to make his personnel file public, the mayor will appoint an independent committee to review that file and see if there was an unfair treatment.

Katy Blakey, KTEN News