An uprising is unfolding at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
It has nothing to do with the inmates but the people who wear the metal star.
Their frustration is over a comment that Chief Deputy Michael Flynn made Friday in a bi-weekly bulletin that is emailed to all FCSO employees. Chief Deputy Flynn called it, Food for Thought.
“As we enter Spring and Summer, I wish all of you the best. These are trying times for Law Enforcement, we have been attacked on many fronts. In some cases, it has been warranted in other cases not so much.
What perplexes me more than anything is how we attack each other and the ways in which we do it. We do and say things for no reason other than to hurt and belittle each other. I would ask each of you when contemplating your work decisions to ask yourself these 3 questions:
Am I doing the right thing?
Am I doing it for the right reason?
Is it the right time to do it?
Truthfully, answering these three questions in our work environment decisions would go a long way toward restoring community trust, reducing our individual and office liability, reducing discipline, and making the workplace better for all of us.
One last thing I will leave you with is the “Golden Rule” Do unto others are you would have them do unto you.”
Those words, particularly these two lines – “These are trying times for Law Enforcement, we have been attacked on many fronts. In some cases, it has been warranted in other cases not so much.” - have created an emotional avalanche at the FCSO.
Chief Deputy Flynn is second in command. For subordinates to go on record and criticize Chief Deputy Flynn’s comments could be perceived as career suicide. It did not stop Det. Samuel Montrose.
In an email to Audra Barker, a Personnel Officer in the FCSO Human Resources Dept., Det. Montrose wrote:
“Food for thought, I was without words for several minutes since reading the latest bulletin. For those of you who know me, you may find it hard to believe I recently transferred to the Detective Bureau just over one year ago and was on the Patrol Bureau for 6 years. I feel lucky to have survived as a cop on the street in what will likely be looked back as one of the most trying times for law enforcement.
I am disgusted at what I just read. To say some attacks on law enforcement are justified is appalling. It shows how out of touch and removed some are in this agency and forgetful of the dangers some face on a day-to-day basis.
As a leader of one of the largest law enforcement agencies in Ohio, we should be an example. This is how leadership in our agency views the men and women protecting and serving our county, city, state, and nation?
I, too, am perplexed after reading the Food for Thought. I have no appetite for the meal being served, I hope those in our office reflect upon themselves and remember those we have lost.
If you feel this email is not work-related or in violation of a regulation, then I will gladly accept any disciplinary action.”
The Sussi Report learned that Det. Montrose’s bold email is supported by many of his FCSO co-workers. One of them, Deputy Joel Castle, went on record with this email to Det. Montrose and Sheriff Dallas Baldwin.
“Deputy Montrose, I would like to thank you for what you said as I also could not believe what I was reading. I applaud you for your well said professional response.”
In a copy of another email obtained by The Sussi Report, that Chief Deputy Flynn sent to Det. Montrose and FCSO employees, Chief Deputy Flynn explained that his words were taken out of context.
“Detective Montrose, the attacks I spoke were not physical attacks they were attacks by groups of people, including the media, some politicians, and people out for personal gain against our honorable profession.
Anyone that knows me knows I would never condone physical assaults on any police officer for any reason. The meaning was simply, how can we get the respect of anyone if we don’t respect the people we work with and we continue to harm them on a regular basis.
I have stood up and defended the actions of police officers and deputies for years and will continue to do so. I will show you more respect than you showed me as I will not respond to all, which is a case in point to the message I was conveying.
Some are way too eager to hurt and disrespect the very people we work alongside. I am happy to discuss this with you at any time, my door is always open.”
Eventually, Sheriff Dallas Baldwin responded to the volley of emails. The Sussi Report obtained a copy of the email Sheriff Baldwin sent to all FCSO employees.
“The use of county email in particular the SHRF All or Reply to All is to cease immediately unless you have authorization. Use of our official email system to express personal views and condemnation is inappropriate and extremely unprofessional. We have official procedure to forward concerns through the chain of command. Future violations will result in disciplinary action.”
Sheriff Baldwin’s email slammed the brakes on emails regarding Chief Deputy Flynn's Food for Thought note. However, it didn’t stop FCSO employees upset with Chief Deputy Flynn’s remarks from contacting The Sussi Report.
“He (Chief Deputy Flynn) has run the department into the ground and destroyed it,” said one FCSO deputy. “He has killed morale.”
“If Flynn would have kept his arrogant mouth shut this would not be a shitstorm. But they are going to blame troops that want to speak out,” another FCSO employee told The Sussi Report.
Said another FCSO deputy, “He (Chief Deputy Flynn) does the shit he’s calling us out on more than anyone! He treats us like second-class nuisances.”
Another FCSO employee voiced displeasure over Sheriff Baldwin avoiding Chief Flynn’s remarks. “Sheriff Baldwin, in cop-out fashion, tells us to cease without addressing the issue. Pathetic!”
The Sussi Report will continue to investigate this matter. If you have additional information, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. And, of course, you will remain anonymous.
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