Mayor Asked To Reconsider Pick For Police Chief

LAWRENCE, Ind. – A resolution introduced at Monday night’s city council meeting in Lawrence asked the mayor to reconsider his pick for chief of police.

The meeting came after the Fraternal Order of Police gave Chief Michael Walton a vote of no confidence in September for what members called 18 months of turbulent and hostile working conditions.

Mayor Dean Jessup said the problem is Walton holds people accountable, which isn’t always popular.

The council sent a proposal to the mayor and asked him to reconsider Walton’s appointment to the Public Safety Committee.

“We’re not going to sit back and wait while we all figure what’s going on, but understand that’s an appointment by the mayor and the council has nothing to do with personnel,” FOP Central District Trustee Tom Ashcraft said.

Before Monday night’s meeting, Jessup told RTV6 that he stood by Walton.

“I have every confidence in the chief, so if they ask me to reconsider, yeah I will do that, but it will take me all of three seconds probably,” Jessup said.

The mayor’s support comes despite many outspoken concerns.

“The chief is his ex-brother-in-law. The chief’s secretary was given a car which is right over there, why does a secretary need a car?” Lawrence resident Mark Bristo said.

FOP leaders said the differences need to be put aside and the fighting needs to stop. Leaders said the departments need to come together.

Their next step is to display billboards and send out direct mailers to bring the concerns of the police to the public.


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