*A highly-critical report has been issued in connection with an outside review of the East Wenatchee Police Department.
The report follows an independent assessment of the police department requested by Chief Randy Harrison, Mayor Steve Lacy and the police officer’s union. Harrison and his assistant chief, Ray Coble are accused by the union of mismanagement and have received a vote of no confidence by its membership.
The review was conducted through the Washington State Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs’ Loaned Executive Management Assistance Program (LEMAP). The report’s findings appear to substantiate some of the Union’s concerns.
The report says the department has experienced significant turmoil over the past year resulting from an internal investigation where a Sergeant was eventually provided with a letter of reprimand. The LEMAP report says, “The current dispute between labor and management has created significant fracture within the department, particularly within the bargaining unit. Officers and sergeants are not united with their complaints about management and the fracture across all strata of the department needs to be resolved if the department is to move forward. Leadership on both sides will be fundamental to resolving this conflict.”
The report also acknowledges a lack of top down communication. The report says “most officers and sergeants are frustrated by the infrequent presence of both the Chief and Assistant Chief due to their offices being located outside of the headquarters building and in an adjoining house.”
The review panel found faults with various departmental functions including outdated record keeping. The report state’s “the LEMAP team discovered considerable inefficiencies and underutilization of technologies which is hindering the department and creating considerable work.”
The report also cited training as a “significant vulnerability” because “the agency does not have an actual or authentic training program.” The 79 page report provides an assessment of all facets of the police department and a set of recommendations for improving the functions of the department and morale. The final LEMAP report is available below.
Meanwhile, Chief Harrison and Assistant Chief, Coble have filed a defamation lawsuit against the Union.