Complaints about toxic atmosphere within Asheville Police Department continue to pile up

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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william_andersonThe scandal spawned by the way Asheville Police Chief William Anderson handled a car crash that his son was involved in earlier this year appeared to be coming to an end last week. That’s when Asheville City Council held closed door meetings to talk the issue, then came out with a mild criticism but overall support for the chief.

Since then, two more Asheville police lieutenants have joined Lt. Bill Wilke in criticizing the department. Wilkie said Anderson and a captain tried to coerce him into making false statements about the situation involving Anderson’s son, Chad Anderson.

Also, Rondell Lance, the head of Asheville’s Fraternal Order of Police, recently told WLOS that officers have lost confidence in their leadership in the Asheville Police Department. Wow.

Asheville Citizen-Times reporter John Boyle followed that all up with a deeper look at a recent investigation of Sheriff Van Duncan by the Asheville Police Department, an investigation that was questionable, according to Boyle. Click over and read the full story. A tidbit:

So, some folks think we’ve engaged in a witch hunt on Asheville’s police chief while letting the Buncombe County sheriff skate.

With this in mind, I decided to dig a little into the April 15 incident involving Sheriff Van Duncan and his 16-year-old son. What I found through acquiring video and talking to key players seems to pretty clearly exonerate the sheriff of any wrongdoing.

But — and I hate to pile on the Asheville Police Department — it does seem to suggest a really shoddy investigation, or lack thereof, by APD. And, in an ironic twist, APD Chief William Anderson may have even rushed to judgment in calling for the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate Duncan.

Anderson, meanwhile, has said he thinks everything in his department is fine.

I don’t know what it’s going to take to restore full confidence, faith and trust in the Asheville Police Department, but right now, it’s clear that we’re not on that path yet.


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Sean July 16, 2013

    This mess started with Chief Hogan and his series of poor command-level promotions. Chief Anderson just continued on the same track. I know what it’s going to take…


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