Police: Fraternal Order Of Police Political Endorsement Violates Policy

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On Wednesday (April 30) an email was sent out containing a political endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police in Fort Smith, and that endorsement has been found to be a violation of multiple policies.

The email, sent to local media, was brought to the attention of the Fort Smith Police Department by Fort Smith City Administrator Ray Gosack, according to Sgt. Grubbs of the Fort Smith Police Department.

Grubbs said sending the email was a violation of city personnel policy and police department policy, and the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement is not an endorsement by the city of Fort Smith or its police department.

Neither the city, nor the police department, would ever make such an endorsement, according to Grubbs.

Chief of Police Kevin Lindsey wrote about this violation of policy in an email sent to all members of the police department, stating that, “use of city computers, email and Internet access of this type is inappropriate and unprofessional.”

He also wrote, “Steps are being taken to insure that inappropriate usage of the city’s computer equipment and email system are not repeated.”

Richard Jones, Director of Human Resources for the city of Fort Smith, used the situation to tell all city employees that city policies prohibit participation in political activities during normal working hours.

City policy also prohibits  the use of city property or facilities for political activities, unless the activity relates to a policy matter approved by the board of directors, Jones said.

Lindsey stated that the, “dissemination of this email was not malicious, and [it] is being corrected through training and policy revisions to prohibit reoccurrences of this nature.”