FOP gives vote of "no confidence" to interim Wilm. Police Chief

By Tom Lehman 5:59pm, April 16, 2014 - Updated 11:51pm, April 16, 2014
Wilmington's interim police chief received a vote of "no confidence" from the local union, WDEL has learned.

Members of FOP Lodge 1 voted "no confidence" for Interim Police Chief Bobby Cummings on Tuesday, said Harold Bozeman, the union's president.

The vote was related to a proposed shift change and Cummings' appearance last week at a prayer service and community meeting at the scene of the city's sixth homicide this year.

During the vigil, the interim chief said a news release stating a crowd of 200 people gathered around the scene and threw rocks at responding officers wasn't as "correct" as it could have been presented. He said the account should not have made reference to the number of people in the crowd.

"They kinda felt they were being minimized or their concerns were being minimized about being pelted with rocks at the scene of a crime and the fact that they didn't feel they had the support of the management in holding onto a schedule that seems to work for the public, works for the management and is good for the cops," Bozeman said.

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Bozeman said he would discuss FOP members' concerns with Cummings, who took over the role in January after the retirement of Christine Dunning and has applied to be the next chief.

Cummings could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon but Alexandra Coppadge, a spokeswoman for Mayor Williams, issued a statement indicating support for the interim chief.

"Since stepping in to the role of interim Chief of Police, Bobby Cummings has demonstrated strong leadership in executing the sector redeployment plan and working to strengthen the bridge between the community and the Wilmington Police Department," Coppadge said.

Coppadge also said shootings under Cummings' leadership have decreased this year from the same time period in 2013.

"It is our hope the Fraternal Order of Police would support Interim Chief Cummings and his efforts to move the police department forward in a positive direction," she said.

Councilman Mike Brown, who heads the city's public safety committee said he thinks Cummings is being unfairly placed between the union and the mayor in a conflict.

"I don't think it's fair to the police chief as he's put in the middle but then when you wear that hat and sit in that seat, everything comes," Brown said. "I think he's doing a good job acting (in the interim)."

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