Police officers in Arcadia are concerned about the department's future.
The president of the Arcadia Professional Police Association says a city alderman told an officer the council intends to vote on disbanding the department at its Thursday meeting.
However, the council president told News 8 over the phone Tuesday night, the item is not on the agenda and he does not expect a vote.
“The Arcadia City Council has been threatening to disband the police department ever since the officers formed a union in 2003,” stated APPA president Dale Marsolek in a news release. “We are taking this threat seriously because one of the city aldermen told one of our officers the council intends to put the matter up for a vote at the Thursday meeting, stating they had four votes in favor of disbanding the department.”
Mayor of Arcadia John Kimmel released the following statement on Wednesday morning on behalf of the City of Arcadia:
“The City of Arcadia Common Council does not have any legislation or resolution that would do what the Police Association’s press release states (“disband the city police department”), especially at a meeting that is not nor has ever been scheduled for Thursday, August 29, 2013 as stated. I’m not sure what their goal of misdirecting from fact is, if it is a contract negotiating tactic or what, but trying to strike fear into our community is reckless, and that’s troubling as the Mayor, and also as a community member that calls Arcadia home.
"I have provided the agenda for an actual meeting for Wednesday August 28, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in accordance with the Open Meeting’s requirements, and also to the media for their viewing and use where there is no such pending action.
"Our shared vision is to have a safe community where people can feel confident in the services that we provide, that their families and homes and businesses are safe from crime, and that they may prosper and enjoy a high standard of living.
"A further shared community vision is that of each municipal employee discharging their duties in a professional manner, consistent with the sacred trust that the public places with them. Press releases with few or no facts that cause false alarm is not only counter-productive, but reckless and dangerous to our desire for public safety. In a time when most municipals are facing major cuts in shared revenue and other income streams, levy limits, and other limitations, we are forced to do more with less and as a community leader, I do just that and continue to provide the services that our community desires.
"I am confident that we have provided above adequate police protection in our community. While the association’s release refers to the number of FT police officers, what it fails to truthfully state is that we currently employ enough police officers to provide the 24 hour coverage that Arcadia has had for many many years."