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THE RANT: A look at Chief Jayne's "action plan," Leland's personnel policy & state law for "misuse of property"

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LELAND, NC (WWAY'S "THE RANT") -- Best I can tell, Leland Police Chief Tim Jayne has a free ticket to ride. The man has broken a multitude of policies and laws, yet he skates by with not a slap-on-the-wrist, but more like a light tap.

Back in September, ironically on the same day that the town agreed to settle former Leland Officer Sherry Lewis's EEOC complaint for $25,000, then Town Manager Bill Farris put Jayne on a six month probation and made him pay back an unknown amount of money for "misuse of town property." Although current Town Manager David Hollis refuses to say how much and what was misused, reports are that it was less than $100.

As we were the first to report, Lewis says she was shot at least 12 times in the crotch by Leland Officer Michael Landen over several hours during a training exercise last year. She says the higher ups in the department instructed Landen to shoot her and helped him by making it clear where her position would be during the exercise.

Hollis announced that Jayne had been put on probation last week, four months after the fact. He and the town council said they made the decision to announce it to help clear the air and start the new year off on the right foot.

Problem is, Leland's personnel policy book has no probation contingency. On page 42, under disciplinary actions, the only choices are suspension, demotion or dismissal. Now, I understand managers can meet out punishment as they see fit, but if written town policy doesn't approve or condone it, is that a wise move to make?

Even more interesting still are the reasons mentioned for suspension, demotion or dismissal. Things like, "Careless, negligent or improper use of Town property or equipment." There's also, "Discourteous treatment of the public or other employees." And then there's always, "Conduct unbecoming a public officer."

Then there's state law, which Jayne admits he broke by paying the town back for misuse of town property. North Carolina General Statute 159-181.(b) states, "If any person embezzles any funds belonging to any local government or public authority, or appropriates to his own use any personal property having a value of more than fifty dollars ($50.00) belonging to any local government or public authority, in addition to the crimes and punishment otherwise provided by law, upon conviction he forfeits his office or position and is forever thereafter barred from holding any office or place of trust or profit under the State of North Carolina or any political subdivisions thereof until the disability is removed in the manner provided for restoration of citizenship in Chapter 13 of the General Statutes."

As part of his probation, Farris requested that Jayne formulate an action plan, which we requested to see and have posted below.

By releasing this information last week, Hollis actually raised more questions than he answered. What did Jayne do to be put on probation? How much money did he have to repay to the town? How did he misuse town property (his vehicle?)? And why was he only put on probation when everything he's accused of doing is a terminable offense? Are these the people Leland residents want running their town and their police department? Something still stinks across the river, and it's not drifting over from Riegelwood.

CHIEF JAYNE'S ACTION PLAN:

POLICE DEPARTMENT ACTION PLAN October 2011

This is my action plan for the Leland Police Department to ensure a professional relationship
with the command staff and officers of the police Department I have developed a four part
action plan based on these focus areas

Open Communication
Ethics Discipline
Professional Development
Benchmark Goals

Open Communication

Open Communication within the Leland Police Department is one of our core values and is
also mentioned in our mission statement While I have maintained an open door policy since
taking command of the police department it is apparent that officers and commanders have not
taken advantage of this open door policy

As part of this action plan and benchmark goal 1 we will begin open format meetings in small
group settings quarterly in the police department we completed the first round in early
October During these meetings open exchanges of information comments and concerns will
be encouraged Officers will be told that they can communicate during these meetings without
fear of retaliation Certain ground rules will be established for these meetings so that personnel
privacy issues are not discussed but rather private meeting encouraged if the information is of
a sensitive nature

Open communication with command staff member needs improvement as well During our
weekly Monday morning 9am meetings we routinely discuss administrative and operational
issues We will add a third agenda item benchmark goal 2 will be open format
communications during Monday morning command staff meetings This will allow commanders
to inform me of personnel issues that might be of concern to the entire command staff and
serve as an early warning intervention mechanism to avoid issues that might compromise the
reputation of the department

Ethics

The Leland Police Department values the publics trust in our aTgehnecy state mandates
ethics training annually and our disciplinary philosophy see attached addresses topic areas
such as

employee motivation
degree of harm
employee experience
intentional and unintentional errors

When making disciplinary recommendations for allegations of misconduct commanders are
asked to address the four areas above and give them weigh when handling discipline
During my time with another agency the Chief made a habit of asking police chiefs from larger
nationally recognized police departments come and speak to the department Most notably he
had the Chief of the Metro Washington DC Police Department and the Seattle Police
Department come and address forums on ethics

Some believe that the same message from a different speaker outside the agency is more
beneficial than hearing from those you work with daily Benchmark goal 3 will be to invite
regionally know Police Chiefs to Leland to speak to officers and commanders in an open forum
on ethics

Professional Development

A colleague once described improving a police department as attempting to complete complex
repairs on a jet engine while in flight While the repairs are necessary and sometimes can be
accomplished while in flight the repairs prove temporary and the emergency nature of a
successful repair place considerable stress on those involved

Organizational change that is meaningful and lasting takes time and persistence While I am
proud of some of the changes I have initiated since 2008 it is apparent that I have accepted
the status quo in some cases

To achieve departmental excellence I must reject the status quo and expect higher standards
To assist with this process I will be searching for training opportunities for myself and my staff
so we might benefit from off site training that encourages professional excellence and
networking to form relationships with other professional who have some of the same
challenges and might have solutions to share

Benchmark goal 4 will be to attend training opportunities geared toward professional
development I have attached a training opportunity from the UNC School of Government
entitled Positive Problem Solving This one day course is designed to

Designed to strengthen your osrganization resilience
Build on past successes in implementing change
Identify ad use existing assets to address current situations
Discover additional resources to support your work

I will also be attending
Seminar Thomas and Means Managing Police Discipline March 26-28 2012

Benchmark Goals

The four benchmark goals I have described are

1 Open format meetings with officers
2 Open format meetings with command staff
3 Regional Police Chiefs to speak in Leland
4 Professional Development training opportunities

In addition to the four benchmark goals I have discussed I believe it is critical that the Leland
Police Department has critical support from professionals outside of the agency I will be
exploring ways that my office can more easily access police attorney services to assist with
policy development and internal training I will also be seeking the advice and counsel of
human resources professionals and hope that the Town of Leland will hire a dedicated human
resources partner to assist my office with complex personnel issues moving forward

Benchmark Goals

5 Seek a police attorneys assistance with the police department
6 Seek a human resources psrofessional assistance with personnel issues

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