ONLY ON 3: Issues identified in 2004 study persist at WPD
 
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- After a car chase ended with a police dog biting and hurting a suspect last fall, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous promised an outside review of his K-9 unit. WPD released that 21-page review today, and says it's already implementing the recommendations.

But issues in the K-9 unit are nothing new, according to a 2004 Police Executive Research Forum evaluation of WPD. Lack of training was one of the biggest issues in the 2004 evaluation. In the K-9 report released Friday, lack of training was also a problem among others.

Click here to see the full 2004 study

So what happened?

"Obviously someone dropped the ball," Evangelous said. "Prior to that, things were running really well prior to that. And we did implement those recommendations, and it was a failure of individuals within that whole structure to allow that to kind of revert back to where they were. I assure you now that that won't happen again."

But who dropped the ball?

"Well I guess you could say I dropped the ball," Evangelous said. "But you know what? I had some people there who obviously were incompetent and weren't taking care of business. That has been addressed. They will not be involved in that any longer."

But issues were not just in the K-9 unit.

In 2004, officers said morale was lower than most could ever recall due to feeling underpaid, underappreciated and subjected to unjustified pettiness.

A decade later, officers again said morale was low. In a survey last fall, WPD employees cited problems with pay, communication and unfairness as the biggest reasons for the unhappiness.

"We have over 330-40 individuals in this department," the chief said, "and you are going to have some people who aren't happy in any organization, and I understand that, but it is a state of mind."

A state of mind 85 percent of officers surveyed last fall shared.

Evangelous says he talks openly with his officers all the time.

"You would be amazed what my officers tell me when I meet with them one on one. They tell who the people are. They tell me what's going on," he said.

He says the department has been working over the years to increase pay, improve equipment and facilities, and create a new promotion process.

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.

Wow.....

Look at all the negative comments and yellow journalism from the dope smoking peace freaks who are either too scared or can't pass a drug screening to go be a cop.

Keep up the good work chief.

So ... Reporting the facts is yellow ... Those who think Evangelous is in over his head are part of a peace movement and they all smoke dope and are freaks ... They all want to be cops but are too scared or are on drugs.

Really?

Saywha...

Yes, really. Google yellow journalism. Clearly the only journalism wway is capable of generating.

Able to pass a drug test or signed up for WPD's rookie school?

No to either? Then I guess you, wway or anyone else for that matter can talk intelligently about the Wilmington police department and it's operational policies or practices.

The city council ought to tell the WPD FOP and WFD IAFF local 129 it is a right to work state and they need to get back to work, instead of worrying about things out of their scope of responsibility or above their pay grade.

Yellow journalism bases a story on conjecture not fact. In this case there are two factual reports to compare.

WWAY is only capable of generating conjectural (yellow) news? That's just silly.

So you have to be signed up for rookie school to have an opinion and if you're not doing that you probably couldn't pass a drug test. Oh puleese!

Can't comment on comparative reports on the WPD unless I'm a cop? That's like saying you can't understand a financial report from a company where you don't work.

Can't worry about decisions made by management that effect performance, even if nothing is getting fixed? Of course you can.

Can't vocalize those worries or highlight them in a survey? Again, of course you can.

Have as many opinions as you want but don't expect people to just agree with you if you start calling a rock an apple pie..

Every alleged story by the so called "media" is conjecture with their spin. Unfortunately, you and lots of others fall prey to their vices.

Surveys are a waste of time and money. They accomplish nothing other then allow the school room sissy's a mouth piece to "vent."

As a taxpayer, I'd rather my money go to putting drug addicts, criminals, habitual offenders behind bars instead of wasting our time and money on whether or not some female or male officer feels good about coming to work and doing their job.

But then again, it is Wilmywood. Land of wanna be premadonnas. And yes, you can't understand operational practices or decision making of the Wilmington Police Department unless you are gainfully employed by the Wilmington Police Department. Evangelous is running that show, not you or any other dope smoking peace freak who feels they are entitled to an opinion of the Wilmington Police Department because they spent most of their life watching "cops" on the television.

The only opinion you are entitled to is "thank you officers for showing up to work today and protecting us all because we are too lazy to do it ourselves."

Have a good day hop head.

I like how Ralph says that his officers tell him things. He's right they do and he does NOTHING.

I heard they transferred the units supervisor shortly after the evaluation began. Smoking Gun?

Chief was made aware of issues (specifically the female lieutenant that was over hiring) and he waited for quite some time until finally transferring her. But while she was there, I know of officers that were pushed out due to her, others that were in the hiring process that were pushed to the front if she liked them.

He was aware of the petty retaliation that was going on and he still allows it to continue. He is in over his head and is too stubborn or ignorant to ask for help.

Keep digging wway! You see how Ralph stalled when asked who dropped the ball ? He took the hit for someone else . There's more !

Insanity: Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.

"Obviously someone dropped the ball," ..."Prior to that, things were running really well prior to that. And we did implement those recommendations, and it was a failure of individuals within that whole structure to allow that to kind of revert back to where they were. I assure you now that that won't happen again."

Uh oh, that's starting to look like the kind of crazy nonsense Brian Berger would say except for the "I assure you now that that won't happen again." That phrase is exclusively the mantra Evangelous keeps repeating whenever he's pressed for some real answers.

He says he dropped the ball, then blames others for incompetency and not taking care of business ... He had time to prepare this response yet isn't even sure if his department has 330 or 340 on staff ... He says his officers tell him what's going on yet insists a recent survey indicating an 85% unhappiness ratio is incorrect. He's not even capable of understanding that officers might choose not to say anything negative right in front of him, out of fear of repercussion, that they would honestly respond in an anonymous survey.

Evangelous manifests all of the signs of a manager who is completely out of his depth. He's always a day late and a dollar short. Every time. That doesn't make him a bad person; just a bad person for the job taxpayers are paying him to perform.

That's why keeping Evangelous is like the definition of insanity. He keeps saying he'll fix things and then he doesn't. If he could, he would have by now and he hasn't.

You have hit the nail on the head. It is time for the City to replace him.

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.
Each officer should get his / her shift, and area assignment.

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

Add two more elements.......
6 weeks paid vacation / year
4 weeks sick leave / year
Then, by George, I think you got it.

In all seriousness........
There are almost 300 officers at the WPD. And it has come a long way in the last 10 years. Every year, problems are bound to happen. The vast majority, will tell you Chief Evangelous is a good chief.

(by the way, the word is "morale" not moral. Another finely crafted article by the tv3 team.)

I have never understood why the blame and accusations are always pointed at the police department. Why are criminals getting a universal pass? The residents of Creekwood don't help, just pointing fingers at police, never the perps. Never. But the gang violence keeps escalating. Nauseating.

As for the Chief's statements. Nothing ever changes from below. Fundamental change comes from the top and from a leader who isn't worried about maintaining their friendships with his direct reports. The Chief is so worried about angering - or as it is said, betraying the blue line of omerta - he is paralyzed by his allegiance to the mayor, his officers and city council. Everyone wants him to play nice when it comes to "reform." Reform is a false shield invoked to alleviate focus and blame, usually followed by an official hiding under their desk until the storm blows over.

Nothing is going to change here. The Chief loves his job. Solid paycheck, plenty of time for golf, no worries. Why would he do anything to upset his status quo? Correct - he won't. Self-preservation is a powerful tool of denial and inaction.