Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Update on the Crystal Police Department's Alleged Corruption

I wrote about the alleged issues in the Crystal Police Department a few months ago.

My bottom line conclusion at that time was that allegations of widespread corruption were unfounded, but I left the door open on the potential for management issues based on not having all of the facts available. After reviewing new information, I stand by that assessment.

My biggest complaint during this process was that an outside group from Minneapolis was agitating against the city, and was trying to circumvent the normal processes that are in place to resolve these types of complaints.

This is a position that I shared with the Crystal Police Officers Union and the Crystal Police Supervisors Union.

The city released an update on the issue earlier this month.

In the update, we learn that one of the officers who had been removed from duty, Alan Watt, has now been reinstated.  Watt went to arbitration on one of his complaints and it was found that the city had just cause for imposing discipline. He has two other complaints pending.

The other officer’s grievance process is ongoing.

As for the allegations of corruption, there is an ongoing investigation by the Police Officers Standards and Training Board (P.O.S.T.).

There are processes in place to address all of the issues that have been alleged, and in all cases the processes have been followed. These processes take time.

I have always found it ironic that the outside group agitating in Crystal accused the city of not following proper procedures, but then wanted to throw procedures out the window and just fire the city manager and the police chief because they said so.

I have full confidence that Crystal Mayor Jim Adams and the majority of the members of the city council will handle this issue in a responsible manner. If there are issues found with city management, they will be dealt with.

I am also glad to see the city communicating about this issue in a proactive manner, and look forward to the ultimate resolution so we can all move forward.