LAWRENCE, Ind. - The police union in Lawrence has passed vote of no confidence about the city's Chief of Police Michael Walton.
The City of Lawrence Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 159 is now asking the residents of Lawrence to demand change from the city's mayor, saying the department is "headed toward a crisis situation under this police administration."
David Parnell is a member of the Lawrence Common Council. He said he has talked with several police officers who say their working conditions are turbulent and hostile.
"It just brings morale way down, they don't want to work, they're afraid to say anything without fear of repercussion," Parnell said.
The letter written by the FOP cited "18 months of turbulent and hostile working conditions," including a "knee jerk reaction" that led to the arrest of a fellow officer, who was ultimately acquitted.
RTV6 has reached out Walton for comment, who said he was unaware of the vote. He wanted to review the information before deciding whether or not to issue a statement.
Lawrence Mayor Dean Jessup was not aware of the vote until RTV6 forwarded him the FOP's letter on Thursday.
After reading the letter, Jessup offered the following statement:
"We have a fantastic group of police officers in our city, and I appreciate all the work they do... I have complete confidence in Chief Walton. He's doing what a good leader does -- he's holding people accountable for their actions and praising them when they need to be praised."
Parnell told a different story.
"The chief's got his upper brass I call it that are a tight clique and they're just, you know, if you go against the clique, you're targeted," Parnell said.
Jessup said his next step is to try to get leaders of the FOP, the chief and himself together to work things out.
Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1