by The MSU Spokesman Staff
The labor union that represents campus police officers has taken a vote of no confidence in Chief Lance Hatcher, alleging that his management style has fostered “an atmosphere of hostility, retaliation, and unethical behavior.”
In a letter posted to its Facebook page Monday, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #142 listed a series of concerns with Hatcher’s leadership, contending that morale in the department is at “an all-time low.”
As a result, the letter says, the campus police department’s ability to “provide adequate services for the students and faculty of Morgan State” has been affected.
“His [Hatcher’s] lack of leadership, mismanagement, and poor policy decisions have damaged the relationship between the administration of Morgan State University and the men and women of FOP Lodge 142 as well as other members within the department,” the Facebook letter stated.
“Circumstances have left us with no other recourse. We have lost all trust, faith, and confidence in Chief Lance Hatcher’s ability to lead this Department.”
Clint Coleman, the university spokesman, told the Baltimore Sun that school officials were not made aware of the issues the union raised until Monday.
But, Coleman said, the school looks forward “to working with campus police officers to resolve any disputes and any issues of concern for them.”
The FOP’s letter alleges that under Hatcher the department is understaffed, inexperienced officers are undertrained and officers are forced to use “shoddy” equipment, such as broken radios as well as vehicles that are insufficient and inoperable.
The union letter says, “We have been woefully neglected of any leadership, guidance, or exposure to active shooter training, communications training, and have yet to receive riot gear for every officer,” which the union alleges is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement between the university and the union.
The union’s letter said officers have not met with Hatcher since the Feb. 1 stabbing of Gerald Williams. Williams was stabbed to death outside the Morgan View complex. Hatcher was named interim chief in July, 2012, when former Chief Adrian Wiggins was promoted to a newly created post of chief public safety officer.
The union further alleged that the Morgan police department is being investigated by Maryland State Police on misconduct and conduct unbecoming an officer charges.
“Regardless of the outcome of that investigation, we now ask that the Administration intervene on our behalf and take the necessary steps to provide quality leadership and direction at the helm of the Morgan State Police Department,” the union letter states.
The Spokesman will provide a follow up story.