Police Officers Voice Frustration About Their Department


UPDATED: Thursday November 7, 2013 10:50 AM

Franklin Township police officers are taking a stand against "operational issues" within their department, said Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Jeff Simpson.

Those officers are concerned that staffing levels are putting both officers and the public at risk, said Simpson.

Several officers gathered at a meeting with Franklin Township trustees Wednesday evening.

They planned to voice their deep concern about a range of issues involving the department and their chief, said Simpson. Simpson said he felt the most pressing issue was staffing levels.

Staffing concerns first surfaced publicly on Tuesday. 10 Investigates obtained a letter written by Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott.

In that letter to Township trustees, Scott leveled several complaints against Chief Allan Wheeler. Among those concerns were staffing issues at the department.

Scott wrote that his deputies had handled 47 percent of Franklin Township calls in the past several months.

Simpson says that puts officers at risk. Simpson said the problems are the result of imprudent decisions by the trustees and mismanagement by Chief Wheeler.

"Something has to change," Simpson said. "For the benefit of the officers, their safety, and the citizens they serve and protect."

Simpson said he wants the trustees to fix the problem.

"That's either got to come with or without the chief," Simpson said. "That's basically going to be left up to the trustees and what they do."

Wheeler declined to comment for this story.

Simpson said despite the problems, Township officers wan the public to know that they remain committed to their jobs. He also said those officers continue to act "professionally."

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