Mayor, community leader respond to police union "no confidence" vote

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Leaders at Columbus City Hall and in Columbus neighborhoods are reacting to Thursday's vote by the Fraternal Order of Police.

The police union passed a unanimous "no confidence" vote against Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, his Public Safety Director Ned Pettus, and City Council President Zach Klein.

The significance of the vote remains to be seen: is this a major fracture between law enforcement and city leaders? Or is it merely a political statement?

10TV spoke with a longtime Southside neighborhood leader who has spent years establishing block watch groups and fighting crime in her neighborhood. She worries about the community's concerns getting lost in this fight.

"Mommy and Daddy are fighting," said Debera Diggs. "I'm going to go into my room because I don't want to listen to the yelling and screaming. However, I would like to come out and say, 'Stop, you guys. Let's sit down listen and come up with some strategies. How do we get you two into some counseling so we can better resolve this, so we can have a good relationship between the police, between the city?' Because we in the community are in the middle."

Mayor Andrew Ginther glossed over any divisions, saying he's focused on keeping the citizens of Columbus safe.

Glenn McEntyre: "How do you do that without the support of your police force?"
Mayor Ginther: "I think we have strong support from the Division of Police. We've enjoyed strong working relationship as long as I've been in municipal government. That's going to continue moving forward. The people of Columbus expect us to get results for them. So I look forward to working with the Division of Police to do just that."
Glenn McEntyre: "Doesn't this statement, this vote by the FOP, contradict that?"
Mayor Ginther: "I think the results speak for themselves, the record speaks for themselves. But we know that we've got to do more. We've got to do more to make sure we're adding more police officers, and we're doing a better job of training them, and bridging this divide in police community relations."

City Council President Zach Klein was also a target of that no-confidence vote.he released a statement, saying in part: "I have unwavering support for our police officers who put their lives on the line every day to make us safe. However, I also have high expectations that they perform their duties responsibly. No vote or action by any organization will ever change that."