Saturday, August 15, 2015

Chief Will Johnson's Decision

After the statements given by the officers associated with the incident, Chief Johnson had enough information to make a determination.  Chief Johnson then applied the facts that were brought out in that testimony and weighed those against department protocols.  Termination was the only conclusion that he could make.  I thoroughly support his position on this issue. 

I have received letters not supporting this decision.  Those letters do not consider the facts that Chief Johnson has at his disposal.  Although termination was the result of the process, I can assure you that he made this decision based solely on violations of department stand operating procedure and departmental protocols.  He did not consider pressure from other sources, and those pressures did not affect his judgment, concerning the career of one of his officers.

The article in the Ft. Worth Star that questioned Chief Johnson’s decision highlighted the comments of a  Union called AMPA (Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association).  This Union is very critical of Chief Johnson’s position in an effort to garner rank and file support for an upcoming election.  There is no place for inflammatory rhetoric in this incident.  The Union that currently represents the Arlington Police Officers  APA (Arlington Police Association) wants to consider all of the facts before making a determination.  I ask you to please consider the unfortunate incidents in other cities, and be appreciative of the way that Chief Johnson has handled the events of this instance.  Again, I totally support Chief Johnson’s decision.


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  2. Just out of curiosity, Mr. Parker, what are you going to do if it turns out that the chief either did not review the eyewitness statements, or ignored them, before making his determination?

  3. Look I can see by the tone of this comment that either you are in the leadership or at least a cheerleader for AMPA. That's OK. The Chief is not part of the investigation, as you well know. I believe he has already stated that he did not read all of the statements made by the officers. He relies on investigators to relay pertinent information to him. Due solely to the information brought forward by the investigators, Chief Johnson made his decision. I didn't read the statements either, but I have confidence that the Police Chief has made an honest and just decision.

  4. “The investigative process used to answer these questions involves multiple segments of the criminal justice system and can be lengthy and at times frustratingly slow,” said Johnson. “It takes time to process evidence, to collect and analyze witness statements, and to form an investigative understanding of the sequence of events that took place.”

    Mr. Parker, these are the words of Chief Will Johnson from NBCDFW, just prior to him firing Officer Miller. Now, I'm not sure where you're from but where I'm from, 4 days is not lengthy or frustratingly slow for an investigation. 4 days is a pacifier for a pissed off segment of the community who is demanding someones head on a platter. Maybe, while you are defending Will (because I'm sure you have, on your desk, detailed information on this investigation and others that are being handled by the PD) you can answer as to why they did not make such an expedient decision regarding the in custody jail death that occurred March 13? As of June 4th, the official police statement was that the internal investigation was still underway and no staff had been placed on leave.

    Mr. Parker I also ask you to please lend your extensive knowledge of police policy to the conversation. Can you tell me, without making your phone calls or emails to your obvious contact with APA, the definition of "Judgment" under the discipline policy with YOUR PD. Can you also ask your friends in the command staff or APA to describe where the arrest plan mentioned in the August 12th Crime article, can be found and when it is used on patrol? Let me be clear to you Mr. Parker. Officers respond to calls such as this one, day in and day out. If you were to ask any random officer on a burglary call OR criminal mischief call OR theft in progress call OR domestic call OR traffic stop OR...for time sake, I'll carry on with my they go about setting up their 3 man arrest team with lethal, less than lethal and handcuffer, they would look at you like you were growing an additional head out of your neck. They would tell you that on many of these calls, there are 2 officers, NOT 3, NOT 4, NOT 7...2 officers. On these calls when you see a suspect, you approach the suspect and depending on the suspects actions, you DEAL with the suspect as you see fit for this fluid event. You don't get out your dry erase board and come up with a 50/3 plan or a C.R.I.M.E. plan or a SARA Project or run away. God help the good citizens if everyday officers did this. Yet it was quoted in numerous articles by Will Johnson that Officer Miller failed to communicate this 3 man arrest plan.

    Mr. Parker, I implore you to think before you speak. I understand your urge to support the Police Chief, politicians have to stick together right? However, attacking YOUR CITIZENS who take the time to send letters to you, voicing their displeasure in government handlings in their city and attacking an association (not a union sir, this is not Chicago or Boston and AMPA does not have any collective bargaining powers at this point, please educate yourself) who is rightfully standing up for their member,a member who expected a fair opportunity and thorough investigation from his superiors, is just vindictive, childish and unintelligent. It's the equivalent of calling a girl ugly who just spurned your advances. And while we are on that subject and you obviously have been speaking at length with APA, an association who Officer Miller (and the majority of APD's officers) do not belong, what exactly are they waiting on and for what reason? They do no represent Officer Miller, they are not part of any disciplinary or criminal process so I'm not sure what "determination" they are waiting to present. The wait is pointless, it is safe to say that if the Chief said the moon landing was a conspiracy, APA would take a picture of their president nodding furiously while shaking hands with Johnson and put it on Facebook.(please see next entry for further)

  5. Why is it that if someone disagrees with a decision made by the Chief or any other leader they are a disgruntle employee or associated with a certain group. I am going to choose to side with the officers that disagree with the chief. They do this job everyday and are faced with quick life or death decision making so I am going to respect their opinon's rather than some politician trying to earn his win in the next election or some chief that is so far disconnected from real police work and trying to get his next chief job. The people of your district and the rest of Arlington aren't stupid. The chief appeased a small loud group of people by firing a man that was doing his job. There was no real investigation done in 3 days. If that scenario had played out in your driveway and theatening your family your opinion would be different But I am sure the chief's decision would have been different too. Because your safety and your families is more important than the officer's and security guard that night at the dealership. Bull! The city of Arlington hasn't had a real chief since Chief Kunkle. He was a true leader that cared for his officers and their families. He knew every officer and would take the time to ask about their families. If you want your officers to respect and support the Chief you must have a Chief that does the same. And it is clear he doesn't!! And it wasn't just this poor decision that caused the disconnect. So hitch your wagon to him or go play another round of golf with him but you have lost my vote.

  6. We would like to know the answer to that question. I assure you we are not cheerleaders or leadership in AMPA or APA. We are just citizens of Arlington that live in District 1

  7. Chief Johnson was briefed on the outcome of the statements by the Assistant Chief. I talked to this Assistant Chief personally. After the statements were made Chief Johnson was briefed concerning their content. The Officer in question was on probation, and he took a life. The training officer obviously had determined that use of deadly force was not required. So he elected to use his taser instead of his service weapon. That determination by the training officer, coupled with Officer Miller's use of lethal force, laid heavy on Chief Johnson.
    I find it interesting that none of the commenting people that disapprove of the Chief's decision, have any knowledge of the content of the statements, but have made their decision. I believe that the investigating officers, including the Assistant Chief, have reviewed the material in question and made a informed and just decision. The Assistant Chief has participated in over 30 shooting investigations. I don't believe that any of the above have participated in any investigations. I have confidence in the APD to make right decision, and I still have that confidence going forward. I believe that before your decision is made, you must avail yourself of the level of information before making your decision. I believe that Chief Johnson was availed of that information and had no other choice but to terminate the Officer.

  8. You believe but you don't know if the commentators in this blog have investigative work. You see, we do live in a world of free speech but there are consequences to our words. Why do you think the comments are all anonymous. So maybe we do have insight to the investigation and have done investigative work in this case. You assume we are ignorant. What happens we assume? A real investigator looks at all angles and by you reporting and trusting in the chief you have not looked at all angles. Only the one that quiets that small loud group. Justice was not done but that officer will have his day in court and Chief Johnson needs to move on. .

  9. Your right there is free speech in this country, and that is precisely why I can also have an opinion. Now if you have done work on this case then present the evidence on this blog that would change my opinion. You apparently have more information than I do so please present the evidence. I don't pretend or assume that you are ignorant. I simply stated what insight that I had pertaining to the investigation. And I was told, "if there was any position that could have been taken we would have stood the line." I have stated my position of this issue, and I have tried to educate myself concerning the decision made by Chief Johnson. I thank you for your view on this matter and until you can substantiate evidence otherwise I will stand by my decision.

  10. You never answered any of the questions in several of these posts. I realize you don't have the answers, which is most of our points exactly. You can understand why everyone is curious as to why you are so steadfastly backing the Chief and making claims that he's in the right when you most certainly do not have the information you need to make that determination. Were you aware that the same Assistant Chief you received your facts from has already told several different stories to many different officers there? No, you wouldn't, because I"m sure it's beneath you to speak to an officer. They are just the little people. You've made it clear your feelings about officers with your political stance and the message has been received loud and clear. You also spouted off information provided by another association regarding AMPA doing all of this because they have an election coming up. When is that election sir? Last I heard, it has not even been decided on. APA is doing everything they can to throw a wrench in it out of fear. Associations are there to support officers, that's why they were created. How can you fault any association for trying to serve the officer they represent? All that anyone expects from the Chief is for him to be fair and just, no matter how much flack he may get. If that meant taking a little more time to complete the investigation before firing,then he should be able to explain that to the public, he's very adept at working the media and presenting himself well. But I"m sorry to tell you that if you think the community and family outrage that began immediately didn't have an affect on his quick decision to firing, well then sir you are not the right person to hold a spot on the council. I''m shocked that this even has to be said. I do hope this officer gets a fair shot in court because he certainly didn't get one from his department. But on a positive note, we are benefiting from all the officers that are leaving Arlington and coming to us!

  11. I want to thank you for your post, and making it perfectly clear that my first statement on this string is true, that this is all an AMPA backed ploy. On another subject I have stopped several officers and asked them how they feel about the decision that the Chief had to make. Each individual officer that I have asked has stated the following, "we haven't been given all the facts but at this point we are backing our Chief with the decision that he has made." So yes, whenever I have an opportunity to talk to the rank and file officer I take that opportunity because I want to know what they think. I don't know if APA or AMPA will be the next representing authority, and I don't care. But for you to not even put your name on this post and tell me that "I'm not the right person to hold a spot on the council," is cowardly and hypocritical. If the APD wants to be represented by people with your lack of integrity, they will find a very long road in front of them. The simple fact is, you represented an officer and the decision didn't go your way. And this is how you react. Good luck in the future.

  12. Councilman Parker, I first want to thank you for your service to your community. Being a community leader in this day and age is not easy, so I commend you.

    When you ran for office, one of your main issues was cleaning up the area of Lincoln / Washington in your district. And by your own admission, this area is much safer now. While your influence contributed to this improvement, who is really responsible for this? Boots on the ground, as I know you can recognize being a former military man. A lot of hard work, done by brave police officers, reduced the shootings and robberies in that area.

    Was it "average" police work that accomplished that? Were there "average" police men and women busting their butts in a daily basis to clean up a notoriously crime ridden area that allowed you to tell your constituents that you have improved the quality of life in their neighborhoods?

    In my humble opinion, the answer is a resounding "no". Arlington PD has the most strict hiring requirements in the state, and they frame themselves as one of the best departments in the nation, yet how does the city value their officers? Arlington is the third biggest city in the metroplex (7th biggest in the state)...we have Cowboys Stadium, Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, Rangers Ballpark, UTA.... All of which not only require huge public safety responses, but also bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue.

    And yet the city pays its' employees much less than surrounding cities. Cities that don't have near the incoming revenue that Aington has. It's great that we can pay off the Stadium debt early and save money, it's great that we have $100 million in the Tomorrow Fund...but is it worth it when you are under-paying those who made that happen?

    And as far as insult AMPA, and say you, as a city council member, don't care who is the representing authority in the department? How do you think that makes the police officers feel?

    You want to pay your employees an "average" wage, then expect "average" performance.

  13. The problem at Lincoln and Washington was there when I took office. How did this problem occur since we had the same police department. I used the assets that were available to rectify the situation. That was to increase the patrols to include bicycle and motor patrols, in that area. Secondly, I used code control to increase pressure on slum lords, and make them responsible for their properties. I did this because I saw the problem and it was going unnoticed. You all did a good job and the problem is solved for the most part and the gangs are gone.
    No I don’t believe that our PD is average. I think that they are all remarkable and I take the time to tell each officer that I meet just how much they are appreciated. Concerning your representation, that is something that I have no control over. It is your process as to who you want to represent you. There is nothing I can do about it, so I will deal with whoever wins. It is Trey’s job to Meet and Confer with whoever the representatives are, not mine. So whoever the rank and file selects is the choice of the officers.
    Concerning your pay, we are currently in budget meetings to determine just that. We know what other cities get paid, and AFFA has brought up the pay issue to their detriment. We are taking a very hard look at what our sworn people are making and it is a good wage. Our staff also does a good job, and they are way behind when it comes to making an average wage compared to other cities. The pie got bigger this year due to an increase in property values, to the tune of $8 mil. Of that $5.6 is going into wages for city employees. We understand as Council, and have directed Trey to get employee wages up to the 75th percentile in a 5 yrs window. The problem is I don’t want to get sworn wages up to 75% and leave staff at 50%. That is unjust. We might have to drop our sights to the 60th percentile across the board.

  14. Thank you for your reply, and for this's nice to see some transparency in government.

  15. Hey you are very welcome. I did not mention to "Everyone" that I appreciated his/her's comment. I am a big fan of our sworn personnel both APD and AFD. I think that each does a great job in providing public safety to our citizens. Don't think for a minute that your efforts go unnoticed. They are noticed and appreciated each and every day.


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