Asheville Daily Planet
RSS Facebook
APD’s exodus surges to 40 officers
Friday, 16 October 2020 22:31

From Staff Reports 

Since June 1, the number of resignations accepted at the Asheville Police Department has jumped to 40 sworn and non-sworn police personnel, Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported on Oct. 7.

APD’s police force, which numbered 283 officers as of June 1, is now down to 243 officers.

“About half are leaving the profession altogether,” News 13’s report added.

The 40-officer loss amounts to a significant jump in resignations since a report in the Oct. 1 edition of the Daily Planet, which noted that  31 officers had left since June 1.

News 13’s investigative unit contacted former officers to get their side of the story and quoted from a blog by Lindsay Rose, a recently resigned APD officer, as follows:

 “I’m lucky that I’m only leaving with mental scars and a few scrapes... I’m leaving in a time where people are screaming in my face that I should quit, be ashamed of myself and who I am. Well, I am leaving. But it’s not because I’m ashamed.”

When News 13 asked former APD Sgt. James French how tough it was to turn in his badge, he responded as follows:

“‘Agonizing’ would be the word I would use. Back and forth, I considered it for a period of time before this, the kind of national situation we have going on now.”

City manager responds to APD resignations

EDITOR”S NOTE: The following is a statement that Asheville City Manager Debra Campbell released in early October to Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) in response to the station’s questions about the massive city police resignations:

“We understand these are difficult discussions, but we want our Asheville Police Officers to know they are appreciated and respected every day they show up for work to help our community. This isn’t an effort to defund the police but rather an effort to reimagine, reallocate responsibilities that should have never been theirs to start with and to look at policies and practices to ensure they support community problem solving and make people feel safe in their individual neighborhoods and throughout the city.

“On the city’s Virtual Engagement Hub you can read about all of the engagement the city did around the reimagining public safety and yes, that did include an in-person listening session with the Asheville Police Department, as you will see summarized on page 10 of the consultant’s report. The 70-minute “Reimagine Public Safety in Asheville” listening session with the Asheville Police Department (APD) included over 40 sworn and non-sworn APD employees, with primarily sworn officers in attendance. Their input was and continues to be vitally important to this discussion.

"In terms of potential new protocols, we have focused a lot of our attention on the Eugene, Oregon, model called CAHOOTS or Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets. CAHOOTS is essentially a few decades old model that has great performance and budgetary information on successes and failures.

“We will be working with a consultant that will provide us with information on innovative crowd management techniques and protocol. That consultant is due to present to the Public Safety Committee at their next meeting in October.

“The City’s soft hiring freeze does not apply to community safety positions, i.e. police or fire. The positions will be filled. The money comes from salary savings from not having to pay salaries of vacant positions. APD Chief Zack will be handling recruitment and selection of future officers. Also our goal is to try to recruit a more diverse pool of officers.

“The city of Asheville respects people’s First Amendment rights to peacefully protest so long as they remain peaceful and do not threaten the safety and wellbeing of the community and property. But as Mayor Manheimer said Friday (Sept. 25), violence only undermines the effort to create real, meaningful change and also co-opts the fight for racial justice. No one should be subject to threatening behavior, and that includes our Asheville Police Officers.

“I think we’ve made the first steps in healing our community through the listening sessions conducted in September in which we asked our residents what does reimagining public safety look like to them. We’ve shown we are listening by making the initial reallocation of duties and responsibilities of APD. And as I have said, this is the beginning of the process. We’re still listening and considering ways we can improve our service to this community.

“I have said consistently that our goal isn’t to defund the Asheville Police Department but rather reimagine how we as a community address the complex issues of public safety. What we are doing, in response to a clear call from the community, is to look at how we can deliver services more effectively — and in a way that builds trust. We are also identifying ways to collaborate with other partners to address other systemic social and economic issues.”




 



 


contact | home

Copyright ©2005-2015 Star Fleet Communications

224 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 | P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814
phone (828) 252-6565 | fax (828) 252-6567

a Cube Creative Design site