Regarding the resignation of the Ferris Chief of Police
Ferris City Manager
1. Chief Braly did not resign abruptly. He had informed both the city manager and members of the city council fully two weeks in advance that he was contemplating a move.
He held off formally submitting a letter of resignation until May 19, 2008. He stated in his letter he would be leaving on the June 2, but if needed, he would remain on the job until the middle of June.
In essence, therefore, he provided the city with fair and adequate notice of his intentions.
2. Relative to his not being able to get help in controlling the department, this allegation is not correct. The two examples given regarding the use of city computers to search out porn sites and the allegation that an officer had taken a picture of a nude female and bragged about it, are also not correct.
The chief never brought these allegations before the council requesting assistance in the matter.
Moreover, both the city manager and the council assured the chief he had a free hand in dealing with the issues which existed at the police department. It is true the chief felt any action he may take would not be supported by the council, however, this misunderstanding was the result of the mixed messages he received from the former city manager and the messages he received from the council subsequent to this.
The truth of the matter was, the former city manager gave the chief his marching orders when he hired him. In the interim, however, these signals appeared to become mixed because of the directions the council gave him before the new manager was appointed and just afterword.
The new manager did not know what marching orders his predecessor had given the chief; so obviously, a communication problem exacerbated an already tenuous situation.
3. As for using city computers to view porn sites; this allegation is also not correct. The chief fully investigated the incident and discovered an officer received an advertisement related email. When he opened it, he found it to be a dating site.
He foolishly pursued the advertisement out of curiosity. When he opened the actual Web site, there were provocative pictures of women "Advertising their Wares."
It was not porno, but the pictures of women in suggestive positions certainly gave the appearance of this being a porn site. Following an extensive investigation by the chief, it was conclusively determined this was in fact the case.
However, this action was still a violation of city policy regarding use of computers. As a result, the officer received a suspension without pay for the incident. This matter has since been closed.
4. As for the Animal Control Officer, Robert McCumsey’s issuance of citations for motor vehicle violations.
Mr. McCumsey is a certified police officer and at the time he issues these tickets, he was riding as a reserve officer with another city police officer.
His issuance of citations is not part of his regular duties as an animal control officer, but before the council expressed their desire that Mr. McCumsey restrict his activities to only animal control, he was acting in both capacities with the full approval of the chief.
Losing Chief Braly was a serious blow to the city, but he has a responsibility to his family and his career.
He may have felt uneasy here, or perhaps his decision was predicated on the attraction of better money with fewer headaches. Whatever his true reason(s), I wish him well.
Yes, he will be missed. Many of the city staff and employees have expressed sorrow at this leaving because he worked so well with all departments. But this is the nature of life; we all move on if we are to progress. Certainly, the chief is no different.