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Written responses show roots of low morale at WPD

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A few weeks ago we found out staff at the Wilmington Police Department are not happy with their jobs according to an employee study. Today we got the written responses from that survey that show the good, the bad and the ugly.

We went through nearly 100 pages of written responses from WPD staff, and found many issues in the department.

Pay, or lack thereof, seems to be the biggest reason for low morale.

One staff member wrote, "I just lost under $1000 because my Sgt. did not put in any performance notes... When I said something to them they pulled $2 out of their pocket and tried to hand it to me."

Another wrote, "Why is the city planning on spending millions of dollars on property for a park when they pay us crap and refuse to give us meaningful raises while increasing out health insurance, which sucks anyway?"

Fairness in promotions was also a hot topic in the survey.

"If you would stop promoting racists and bigots who only care about the other members of their cliques and whoever they may be sleeping with at the time things would get better," one employee wrote.

Click here to read all the survey comments

Many others wrote they would like more training and clearer paths to promotions. But discrimination of race and gender, or as one person put it, the good ol' boy system, was mentioned several times.

"If the promotional lists don't 'look' like they want them to, with women and minorities, they do their magic monkey math, and put people that they want on the lists," read one response.

But there were some positive responses when it came to supervisors.

One person wrote, "My current supervisor shows up on calls, is always there for anyone in the squad who needs him, has lots of experience, and is a true officer's sergeant."

Another said it is not the supervisors causing problems.

"My supervisors are great," the respondant wrote. "The watch commanders suck, most district lieutenants suck or suck when they actually work... And when I say work, not just show up to work."

Not everyone was fond of their supervisors, though.

One employee said, "The department continues to let inept and incompetent supervisors run amuck without any consequences for their poor decisions."

And another staff member echoed previous comments about discrimination.

"Favoritism. Good ole boy network. Violates policies. Double standards. Always criticizes and never praises officers. Lies and gets caught in them by officers.... Bias against minorities," they wrote.

Chief Ralp Evangelous said last month the department will probably resurvey employees with more specific questions next fall.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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My solution...... Minimum

My solution......
Minimum base salary $70,000 / year.
Only new cars for all officers.
Full free insurance coverage for all family members.
30 hour work week. (10 paid hours, each week, will be dedicated to "Stress Relief")
20 year Full Retirement.

If this doesn't work. And everyone's not 'Totally Happy', we should keep adding more elements, until they are.

Most comments tend to

Most comments tend to disparage local law enforcement as one entity. There are good & bad people in every place of employment & law enforcement is no different. They have good days & bad days just like you. Imagine if you had to deal with the public (who are often difficult, argumentative, emotional, or criminals) on a daily basis. I'd rather babysit my sister's 3 preschoolers.
It's a vicious cycle. Low moral contributes to poor work performance & can affect an individual's mental & emotional wellbeing. Will it take a tragedy in our community (mass shooting, etc) from an individual pushed over the edge before these issues are taken seriously by Chief Evangelous? It's depressing just to read the survey responses. What's the point of doing the survey if nothing is done with the responses?

This is a prime example of

This is a prime example of what comes around goes around The city and county officals misuse tax dollars, lie, and cheat the system. And now we are witness record high crime and the gangs are controlling our city. These thugs are no longer afraid of the law because they know their not doing their jobs. Its the outside agencies that are responsible for the current rash of arrest that is taking these thugs off the street. Becuase wilmington couldnt handle the situation. You get what you pay for. The problem starts with the WPD. When we clean up our local law agencies we can clean up the streets.

Find another job, we only need cops who can handle the war now

Wake up, the Wilmywood scene has shifted, gangs outnumber us, they see how silly the courthouse is with mostly white folks with money in trouble, they see what's up! Ride in a gangsters car, never get pulled over. Ride in a middleclass man's car, be ready to dish out the fines. They see what's up. The system needs money to pay your salary and your busier processing the cases that allow collecting from them that have the money. They see what's up.

WPD Morale

WPD Morale...What a bunch of crap...

Seems to me these so called "officers" should do the city of Wilmington a huge favor and find a different line of work. I mean, after all, it is called law enforcement and not fun time a Disneyland.

That being said, you are going to deal with mutts and yes, they are mutts...deal with the scum of the earth....have everyone second guess your decision making, both externally and internally...make hard complicated decisions with imperfect information...work long hours for next to nothing pay. That is your job. Have never seen a bunch of school room sissy's put themselves before their department in all my life.

Don't like your job....Quit.

"Probably"??

"Probably next fall?" Just a thought, but how many experienced officers will be gone by next fall? How many new officers will be here then? Pretty much skews the numbers and issues. Big help that is.

This city and this department is WAY past "surveys". How many times or how many ways do you want to hear that a problem is a problem.

You can keep on throwing pay into this as a primary issue, but call a spade a spade - its only a part of the problem. I support the Chief, but the writing is on the wall. If he doesn't address these issues and his problem supervisors, he'll be out. Cheat'em will use this as a reason to fire him, and then the problems will be much, much worse. Cheat'em is the real problem, protecting the REAL problem personnel so that the chief can't deal with them. What a catch-22.

Chief should develop a list of specific questions, and probably call each officer individually to speak to them. His "staff" will only filter the results.

Really?

Wow, people at work have low morale? It's a job, not a vacation. You're not supposed to enjoy yourself, you're getting paid to do it.

Evangelous: "department will probably resurvey employees "

"Probably" and "next fall"? That's your management strategy Chief? That's all you've got? The value of that and $500,000 wouldn't be enough to buy yourself a cup of coffee, and God knows it's way past time for you to wake up and smell the coffee beans.

- "When I said something to them they pulled $2 out of their pocket"
- "Fairness in promotions was also a hot topic"
- "discrimination of race and gender"
- "put people that they want on the lists"
- "The watch commanders suck, most district lieutenants suck or suck when they actually work"
- "The department continues to let inept and incompetent supervisors run amuck without any consequences"

If only half of this stuff is true, and there's no reason to believe it's only half, this demonstrates a total lack of competency on the part of senior management, especially the Chief.

You're the top cop, so that's where the buck stops Chief and all you seem to have are lame excuses and platitudes. It's time for you to pack your suitcase and hit the road. Your inability to manage your police force jeopardizes the safety and well being of the very people who are paying you to protect them. Enough is enough.

Sounds like we will have a

Sounds like we will have a new mayor, city council, and city manager if these officers don't get a good raise and a step-pay system.

As good as that idea really is, maybe the city can get both.

The people of Wilmington

The people of Wilmington don't care enough to get out and vote. And when they do, they still re-elect those idiots.

New mayor, city council, city manager?

Not from around these parts stranger?

Around here, we reward incompetency and malfeasance by making sure that these kind of folks get re-elected.

Low Morale

While I wouldn't comment on the legitimacy of the complaints, the Chief's response is rather ludicrous. Hell, why wait only until fall to revisit the questions and complaints. Wait for a few years until these gripers are gone.

Survey

Didn't post my last comment on this subject so I will repeat it!

This is a leadership issue pure and simple and that starts at the top.