“This is not something I want to do right now,” said Chief Alexander. “I’ve got a lot of unfinished assignments to complete.”
Recently, Chief David Alexander has come to the cross roads of his career due to the “structure of benefits and salary policies of the City”. Chief Alexander, who was promoted to Chief two years ago, is now facing the end of his career because of the “Drop Program.” “Back in 2012 the Police pension and the Drop Program were changing and remodified at the same time,” began Chief Alexander. I was given, along with several others, a deadline of May 15, 2012, that we could either sign up and get in the ‘Drop” to keep the current benefits because they were about to change on that date and simultaneously benefits for spouses and benefits were going to change as well if we didn’t lock in at that particular rate. So I had to go ahead and get into the ‘Drop’ to ensure that the benefits of my spouse didn’t change. I had to do that because I was given no other information that would say, consider another way.”
Had I been told that I was even being considered for this position or a position of Assistant Chief, that would have changed the way I made my decision. I would have more than likely chosen not to get into the ‘Drop’ and would have taken a reduction of benefits because there was an opportunity to obtain the same amount of money. However, I was not given that information. Because I was not promoted to Assistant Chief until 2014, which was two years later, that got me closer to the drop date of my drop contract.
When the Police Contract was put together, it was about one year later and now I have about 20 months left into my drop and it became a defining time for my contract as Chief of Police.
Now beyond that contract, that’s a decision that the Mayor (Haywood), and if they want to go with the legislative change of the drop ordinance, that’s where the Mayor and City Council would have to make those decisions.” He stated.
It raises a lot concerns because when I went into the office, there were people that had the knowledge and the limitations of my being in that office and was the discussion but unfortunately, I was not privy to the information.”
He went on the say that this has been a big distraction. “I wish it could have been something that could have been resolved and I did try prior to this time.”
Chief Alexander went on to say that he has a young force that is working very hard to bridge and foster better relations in this community. “The last fifteen months, they have really gone over and beyond. They have taken ridicule and criticism and the public needs to know that they are working very hard. We receive compliments from all communities (Black, white, Asian and Hispanic) that really appreciate what they are doing. I just wish we could get the traditional mindsets of Law Enforcement to help this young generation to change.
This contract has nothing to do with job performance or poor leadership or relations with the community. “This is all about the limitations of my ability to work in that capacity,” he said. A 20 month contract put a constraint on what I could get accomplished. We were always losing personnel. When people went into the Drop it created a mass exit in the force. There was no plan in place. We are now in the mist of filling that void. It’s not an easy thing to do. We want people who are qualified. They must be trained.
The crime rate is low. We have crime, but people in the city know that if a crime is committed we are coming after you.”
“We are working to make this place a better place. We’ve got officers that are working 110%, complaints have gone down and we are moving in the right direction. We’re hearing from the federal government that we must work together and we are doing that. This is where you change the culture of Law Enforcement and actually set some things in motion that are not only going to be good for right now but for the future as well”.
The city council will hold a meeting to further discuss the contract of Chief Alexander February 4, 2017 at 5pm. The public is invited to attend.
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