The following is the letter from the Colorado Fraternal Of Police to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock calling for the resignations of both Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley and Police Chief Robert White. Saturday’s defacing of the Denver Police Memorial was the final straw for the FOP in reaching this decision.
O’Malley and to a lesser degree Chief White have mismanaged their respective departments resulting in numerous serious issues as highlighted in the letter. A downloadable copy of this letter is available at the bottom of the page. #EnoughisEnough
Dear Mayor Hancock,
As you are probably aware the Fraternal Order of Police is the largest police union in both Colorado and our nation. In Colorado we represent several thousand members of law enforcement across the state including many employed by the City & County of Denver in your Sheriffs and Police departments. In essence we are the national and state voice of the line law enforcement officer. As President of the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, I speak on their behalf. We stand with our brothers and sisters of Denver Police FOP Lodge 41 and the Denver Police Protective Association in demanding the resignations or removal of Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley and Chief of Police Robert White from their positions within the City & County of Denver.
On February 15th an organized group of protestors marched on the Denver Police Memorial and desecrated that shrine in an outrageous act of vandalism motivated by pure hate. That shameful and disgusting violation of this hallowed ground was a direct attack on the officers who gave their lives protecting the citizens of Denver, and was a slap in the face to the family members of these slain heroes. Law enforcement officers in Denver, in Colorado, and across this country are justifiably outraged by this abhorrent act.
What happened on February 15th was unfortunate but it also was avoidable. You are well aware that the demonstration that resulted in the desecration of the Police Memorial was organized and orchestrated by well funded anarchist groups such as Occupy Denver and Anonymous. The desecration of the memorial was a planned event designed to gain the attention of the national media as a platform for their anti-government agenda which has little to do with police shootings. These anarchist groups do not have the families of recent unfortunate tragedies in mind; instead they are well known for praying on the emotions of the families and friends involved in these tragedies using them as pawns in a larger agenda. Their stated intent is to make Denver the next “Ferguson” and the administration’s current “stand and wait” policy plays into their hands. The citizens of this community are not being served well by that policy. Unless immediate changes are made the current policy position and inactions of law enforcement will only lend to more serious problems ahead putting innocent citizens and businesses at risk.
While it was organized professional protestors that perpetrated this planned hate crime, the blame lies completely at your doorstep. The “stop-and-wait” strategy that has become the standard DPD response to protests over the past several months developed by your Manager of Public Safety’s office and Denver Police Administration, fully endorsed by Director Stephanie O’Malley, Chief of Police Robert White, and yourself allowed this despicable hate based act to occur. The fact that Denver police officers working that demonstration had to watch the outrageous vandalism to this revered memorial without being able to intervene is shameful, inexcusable, and unacceptable. Your office and administration needs to accept responsibility for that.
The only organizations to immediately speak out publicly condemning this shameful act were the Denver Police Protective Association and the Fraternal Order of Police. The failure of Chief White, Director O’Malley and you to immediately make a public statement condemning this act and apologizing to the citizens of Denver, its police officers, and the family members of the fallen for it happening is unacceptable. The silence of your administration has not gone unnoticed by the proud men and women of law enforcement across Colorado and this great country. Furthermore, Chief White’s statement endorsed by you and Director O’Malley stating the decision to allow this to happen, is outrageous at best and shows an insensitive attitude towards the citizens of the city you were elected to represent. We have heard from hundreds of citizens expressing outrage at the way this was mishandled.
In supporting the way this was managed you and your administration failed to keep the memory of these fallen heroes of Denver safe. You and your administration failed to protect the honor of those who gave their lives protecting you and the citizens of your city. You and your administration failed the widows, children, parents and other family members of these fallen. You and your administration have lost the confidence of your city’s law enforcement officers and are looked on with contempt by the men and women of this proud profession both in Colorado and across this nation.
The Manager of Public Safety Stephanie O'Malley and Chief Robert White both have failed to responsibly and professionally manage their public safety positions during the 14 months since Director O’Malley was appointed. This failure has contributed significantly to the anti-police agenda in your city. In those 14 months that Director O’Malley has been responsible for public safety services, both the police and sheriff's departments have been in constant turmoil and community relations has reached an all time low. The knee jerk reaction of Director O’Malley’s office and your administration to several isolated incidents, based on media reports about those incidents, has caused Denver’s law enforcement officers to be universally portrayed negatively. As a result the proud men and women of both the Sheriffs and Police departments have been portrayed as not being the professionals that they are.
The Fraternal Order of Police is concerned that Director O’Malley has no public safety managerial experience to draw from yet she was chosen to manage the safety services of a major US city. A highly questionable appointment considering her position has oversight and makes policy decisions involving the most critical of services to the citizens of Denver. In a review of her time in office it is more than coincidental that all of the major issues that have been reported on involving both the Police and Sheriff’s departments have happened since she took office. Clearly the decision to appoint her has been a disaster, and her ability to effectively manage is questionable at best.
As you are well aware the ultimate responsibility for the image, effectiveness and confidence in Denver’s public safety services sits squarely on your shoulders and the shoulders of those who hold positions of trust and responsibility in your administration. You and they take credit when positive things happen, but you and they must assume complete responsibility when negative things happen. In other words “the buck stops there”. Unfortunately because of mismanagement, ineffectual community relations, and media mishandling the image, effectiveness and confidence in Denver’s public safety services is at an all time low.
The bottom line is that Chief White and Director O’Malley have lost the confidence, trust and respect of the men and women of Denver’s law enforcement in their ability to manage and properly provide public safety services to the citizens of Denver. Morale in both departments has been destroyed to the point that with their continued presence public safety services will suffer going forward. It is a well established fact that without the confidence, trust and respect of the employees a manager cannot effectively manage. The level of mismanagement within the public safety structure of Denver has reached the point that it cannot be fixed short of the resignations of both the Chief of Police and Manager of Safety. Therefore we ask you act in the interest of the citizens of Denver and demand their resignations.
President - Colorado State Lodge
Fraternal Order of Police