When top brass with the Columbus Division of Police met in February for a three-day brainstorming retreat at Nationwide Arena's Founders Club, how to improve low morale was a central talking point.
The Sussi Report, through a Public Records request, obtained an Intra-Divisional report that identifies patrol officers' concerns and recommendations to address them. Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight submitted the report on March 7 to Asst. Chief Gregory Bodker.
One of their issues is to "Improve officer motivation and increase morale." The subcommittee offered two solutions.
It recommends that the Division stop the independent investigation by retired FBI Agent Rick Wozniak into alleged police misconduct complaints filed during the 2020 George Floyd Riots. And that officers Traci Shaw, Holly Kanode, and Phillip Walls be removed from administrative duty and returned to patrol.
Kanode is charged with one count of falsification and one count of dereliction of duty. Shaw is charged with three counts of assault, three counts of interfering with civil rights, and three counts of dereliction of duty. Walls is charged with two counts of assault, two counts of interfering with civil rights, and two counts of dereliction of duty. All the charges are misdemeanors.
The report also recommends that the Division improve its relationship with the elected officials at City Hall. "Division leadership should encourage elected officials to acknowledge and seek to repair the damaged relationship between sworn personnel and city officials," the report states. "Elected officials should seek to demonstrate to law enforcement that city officials value them. Elected and appointed officials should avoid publicity disparaging and devaluing statements directed at law enforcement."
The Sussi Report learned that Deputy Chiefs had to submit "Next Steps" checklists to the Executive Staff no later than March 7. The lists are recommendations on positions to be terminated, jobs to be added, plans to relocate offices, vehicle and equipment concerns, labor issues to address, and "other areas of concern or needs to accomplish subdivision-associated tasks" like improving morale,
The Sussi Report filed a Public Records request Friday morning and asked for copies of those "Next Steps" reports. We will continue to investigate and keep you informed on the Division's recommendations and which ones will be implemented.
Sources tell The Sussi Report that the Division has discussed the following recommendations.
Eliminate the Investigative Tactical Narcotics Team (INTAC). According to sources, CPD would only investigate drug houses that involve death or severe injury. "So, now if a citizen calls in about a neighbor selling crack from a house that has become a nuisance house, nothing will be done about it," said our source. "There will be little to no effort to combat drugs flowing through the streets of Columbus." It is unclear how the displaced 20 INTAC officers and two sergeants will be utilized. "For now, we have no job direction."
Downsize Mounted Unit.
Downsize Motorcycle Unit.
Downsize Patrol Unit.
Reduce Property Crimes Unit from 45 to 10 detectives. Sources tell The Sussi Report that detectives will no longer investigate car thefts, business break-ins, thefts against the elderly, and crimes. Sources said that Chief Bryant told her command staff that the public cares about homicides and shootings. "We are talking about 60,000 property crimes last year, and according to the Chief, those victims don't care," said our source.
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