You can read the background. Here’s Annarino:
From: Will Annarino
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:18 PM
Subject: Comments made to the media on on July 10, 2013
Shame on you Ms. Bellemy. I have received many, e-mails and calls today in reference to comments you made at a news conference yesterday about the APD while I was Chief of Police. Personally I take your comments recognizing where they are coming from but I am appalled and saddened that in your misguided efforts to justify past hiring decisions you have chosen to drag the agency I worked for down with you. I cannot answer for Bill Hogan nor for what occurred on his watch but I will certainly defend the dept against your comments while I was Chief of Police.
Employees of APD and who I proudly served with were the most professional people I have ever been associated with. The Dept was not perfect by any means but no one could say that The dept ever covered anything up or failed to act on any allegations of police misconduct. In fact, most issues getting media coverage were issues brought to light by the dept’s own employee’s and/or supervisors and/ or mgt and not by the public in general.
The organizational cultural at that time was sound and employees were committed to their work and community. Relations were good in the community and the dept’s reputation across the state was outstanding. Many other agencies wanted to be like APD and probably till this day many still have policies, procedures or programs molded after Asheville.
Employees from the chief down were involved with agencies from across the state in their hiring processes, promotional processes, training their employees, consulting on policy and procedures and many other things -point being other agencies wanted APD’s input and insight.
Unless your head was in the sand back then you may recall that APD employee efforts led to the Asheville Police Department obtaining national accreditation at a time when only 3% of all Law Enforcement Agencies in the Country were Nationally Accredited.
The dept was one of the first to establish Police Community Resource Centers in a successful effort to bring the police and community even closer together and by 2004 the dept had 7 centers-all supported and funded in part by community volunteers. .
The Dept’s Community Policing efforts were recognized by the N.C Department of Crime Control and Public safety as a model for other agencies to follow and in fact the dept received well more than a half million dollars in grant money to support these efforts.
APD was recognized by the International Association of Chief’s of Police ( an organization consisting of more than 17,000 police chief’s from around the world) at their National meeting as a model Community Policing Agency and received both national and international recognition for leading the way toward better police community relations. I even had the honor to present a program on Community Oriented Government at the 2002 national conference.
The dept’s joint effort with the city in developing the concept of Community Oriented Government was copied state wide by other cities. Again unless your head was in the sand you will recall the police dept’s and City’s joint endeavor to expand community policing to include all city dept’s in being more responsive to community concerns. This included on-going community meetings on a set schedule with all depts. present and not just police, and community walks with residents to identify pressing issues with reps from all city depts. on hand to listen and give direction-even though I do not recall you ever participating in any of the community walks.
Toward the dept’s. goals in Continuous Quality Improvement APD was the 1st in N.C. including Raleigh and Charlotte to establish college degree requirements for hiring and promotion with all mid -level positions requiring a minimum 4 year degree. Most all top level positions had command staff with a masters degree. No other agency in the state even came close to these requirements.
Mandatory advanced management training was required of all supervisors and top managers that included at least one 3 month management academy. All top command were graduates of the FBI National academy as well.
From 1993 till 2003 due in large part to the depts. relations with the community and the trust developed complaints of employee misconduct were dramatically reduced and only one lawsuit was brought against the dept and was later dismissed. Can you claim that same record over the past 10 years? No more than 3 civil service appeals were heard ref APD employees and no APD disciplinary actions were overturned. Can that be said of the last 10 years?
I could go on for quite some time pointing out the accomplishments of APD prior to the last two administrations and your time as Mayor. Suffice it to say, many fine hard working employees put their hearts and souls into making APD the finest in the state only to see many of it’s innovations and accomplishments fall by the way side as it suffers thru incompetent and ineffectual leadership -both in city hall and APD. . Employees deserve better. The community deserves better.
I have not yet decided weather I will appear at the July 23 council meeting to ask you to present facts to support the derogatory comments you made during your news conf. I have had many advise me to do so to call you to task on your irresponsible comments.
I am going to closed with something retired Sgt Mike Hahn e-mailed me today in response to your comments:
“It is easy to throw around words like integrity and honor and truthfulness without applying them to ones own actions as it appears is the case in this matter.”
By the way please do not bother to respond as you have nothing to say that I wish to hear.
Chief of Police