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PTC police supervisors send letter supporting Clark

A group of supervisors with the Peachtree City Police Dept. have delivered a letter to Mayor Don Haddix and members of the City Council stating their confidence in Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark. The May 21 letter cited misleading comments and misinterpretations in local newspapers and blogs that the group of 14 supervisors wanted to address in their affirmation of Clark and his leadership of the department.

The letter was signed by 14 supervisory staff that included six lieutenants and eight sergeants. None with the rank of captain were included as signatories. The group of supervisors referenced the letter as a “Statement of Confidence” intended to show support for Clark and his leadership in the department.

The Citizen attempted, but has been unable to identify a spokesperson for the group of supervisors to shed further light on their position. But based on the contents of the letter it would appear to be related, at least in part, to the news reports and subsequent blog postings that followed the recent proposal by City Manager Jim Pennington to eliminate three captains from the department.

The letter of support was authored two days before The Citizen published an article in which Chief Clark was accused of “intimidating witnesses” in an investigation about Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints filed by city employee and former police department employee Lisa Ficalore.

The text of the letter reads:

“The supervisors of the Peachtree City Police Department would like to take this opportunity to express a Statement of Confidence in regards to our loyalty and dedication to the leadership of Chief H.C. ‘Skip’ Clark, II. Since Chief Clark’s appointment in 2008, the quality of police services provided to the citizens of Peachtree City, and the quality of the work environment of the Peachtree City Police Department, have increased exponentially.

“Recently there have been many misleading comments made concerning Chief Clark documented in the local newspapers and blogs. We, the undersigned supervisors of the Peachtree City Police Department, have major concerns for recent misinterpretations about Chief Clark’s competent and ethical operation of the department.

“If these misinterpretations are not competently challenged, the citizens of Peachtree City could misperceive Chief Clark’s leadership ability. We, the undersigned, are prepared to support Chief Clark’s continuing vision to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of police operations. Moreover, it should be directly noted that recent threats of litigation made by anonymous bloggers against Chief Clark appear to be baseless, frivolous, and slanderous attempts to discredit Chief Clark’s character and manipulate legitimate management decisions.

“Each of us has been employed by the Peachtree City Police Department well before Chief Clark was appointed in 2008. We can all attest that, beginning with his appointment, officers at all levels within the Police Department have been expected to maintain the highest standards of leadership, professionalism, and ethics. He has led by example in all of these areas. Chief Clark has held every officer, at every level of responsibility, accountable for their actions and performance.

“As the Lieutenants and Sergeants, our education and experience levels rival any comparable police agency. Collectively, we represent over 215 years of law enforcement experience in a variety of fields, multiple Masters’ Degrees, extensive military experience, invaluable field operations experience, an FBI academy graduate, and a priest. We affirm that we believe in Chief Clark’s vision for the Peachtree City Police Department, we believe in his character, and we respect him as our leader.”

The officers signing the letter included Lt. John Jenkins, Lt. David Hill, Lt. Mark Brown, Lt. Jason Epps, Lt. Jennifer Michel, Lt. Matt Myers, Sgt. Sam Smith, Sgt. Steve McCook, Sgt. Odilia Bergh, Sgt. Brad Williams, Sgt. Heather Jones, Sgt. Gary Meier, Sgt. Kay Crider and Sgt. Leland Crider.

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