Thursday, April 29, 1999

FOP has 'no confidence' in Shirey

Vote after officers taken off street duty

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati's police union has passed a unanimous vote saying the union has “no confidence” in City Manager John Shirey.

        Angry that Mr. Shirey pulled two officers involved in a fatal shooting from street duty, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Queen City Lodge 69 plans a march at City Hall next week to protest.

        The vote against Mr. Shirey originated with a motion from one of the 200 officers at Monday's meeting, FOP President Keith Fangman said.

        “We feel that there has been a pattern of deception on the part of the city manager,” Officer Fangman said. “His untrustworthiness and the contempt and arrogance that he has shown our police officers since the day he arrived in Cincinnati is appalling.”

        That pattern, Officer Fangman said, includes Mr. Shirey's treatment of officers involved in shootings such as that of Lorenzo Collins two years ago. In that case, Officer Douglas Depodesta was cleared of wrongdoing in shooting Mr. Collins, a mental patient who charged officers with a brick, but the officer was still punished with desk duty.

        The FOP feels Mr. Shirey undermined the authority of police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. by ordering that the officers involved in the latest fatal shooting be pulled from street duty, Officer Fangman said.

        Following police procedure, Chief Streicher allowed Officers Brent McCurley and Michael B. Miller II to return to street duty after three days of stress leave. Mr. Shirey overruled that decision, publicly calling the chief's decision a mistake.

        Mr. Shirey said Wednesday he had nothing to say at this time.

        The FOP's march, planned for 2 p.m. at Wednesday's council meeting at City Hall, will be in protest of Mr. Shirey and in support of Chief Streicher, Officer Fangman said.

        Chief Streicher said the FOP can voice its own opinion but that the police division must remain focused on completing the investigation.

        “The city manager has made his decision,” the chief said. “Therefore, my personal feelings and my opinions really don't have a place to even be discussed. He's the ultimate appointing authority for the city. Whatever his decision is, I have a responsibility to carry out that decision.”


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