ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington Police Chief Al Jones has lost the confidence of more than half of the city’s officers, according to a petition two Arlington police associations presented to city leaders Tuesday night, Nov. 30.
The lack of support for the chief follows his firing of an officer in October, two days after a pursuit and fatal shooting.
That decision was made with a lack of due process for Officer Robert Phillips, and before all the witnesses to the shooting had even been interviewed, according to Chris CeBallos, Presidents of the Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association.
Officer Phillips was a 7-year veteran with the Arlington Police Department.
The petition was signed by 362 out of 671 officers, according to Ceballos, who said 34 of those not signing are recruits who are not yet sworn in.
Dozens of Arlington police officers stood in the audience to show their support.
“Officers are concerned about being the next person that gets in trouble,” said Ceballos. “Makes them question whether they want to go out and be proactive. Most of them now are currently reactive because of those concerns or that the command staff is going to follow the required policies and procedures.”
Police associations gathered signatures over the past several weeks, after meeting in early November to discuss Jones’ actions and leadership.
Deputy City Manager Jennifer Wichmann released the following statement on the matter Tuesday night:
“The City supports its police chief, our police force and the community. These are complicated matters, and our leadership is committed to working collaboratively with employees to hear and resolve their concerns through our regular processes, including a future meet and confer written memorandum of understanding.”
Jones, who declined to comment Tuesday, took over as the chief in January, after working with Baltimore County Police in Maryland.
Back in October when Chief Jones fired Phillips he defended his decision during a news conference saying, “No I didn’t rush to judgment. What I would say is the facts that we know today, and the video you just saw is not going to change tomorrow. And it’s not gonna change six months from now.”