Investigation needed

Published 12:06 pm Saturday, November 14, 2009

It is with great sadness for our beloved city that I address this community with regard to the retirement of one of our city’s most outstanding police officers.

He has been a part of our lives for 25 years and is held in high esteem for his professionalism, dedication, demeanor and congeniality. He has served with distinction under six police chiefs, leaving with an outstanding record of accomplishments.

Unfortunately for our city, our present chief of police has never seen fit to promote this officer in spite of the fact that he has scored at the top of the written exams three times and has received outstanding performance evaluations.

He has never made it past the chief’s personality examination, which no doubt, had he passed, would have put him in the “Golden Circle.” This is obviously tantamount to being promoted, as opposed to more serious qualifications. Fortunately, Sgt. Ronnie McClenny’s record speaks for itself.

When the chief was selected, a very fine friend of mine brought him to my house for an introduction that was quite pleasant, resulting in a cordial friendship with him and some members of the FPD. On occasion I have had an opportunity to write about the Franklin Police Department and help encourage financial assistance for the department, as well as support some of its activities. However, once the chief realized that McClenny was a close associate and friend of my family, the apparent friendship melted away.

Realizing this, I attempted to get the two to meet to see if they could find common ground. However, the chief must have been cool to the idea.

Probably four months later Sgt. McClenny asked for such an appointment, and I am told that this was not constructive. At that time, Sgt. McClenny was ill with ulcerative colitis, and his physician would not permit him to work for six weeks. During that period not one of the upper brass in the police department called to see how he was or ask if they could help in any way, nor did they even offer to bring him food.

One must wonder what constraints might have been put on these fellow workers. This is surely not the American way. I know there are friends of his in the department who really care about him, and this is very puzzling. His other friends were there when he needed them.

I firmly believe there should be a full nonpartisan investigation of this entire department to let the citizens know the full truth in these matters. I would like to suggest that the City Council accept this entire responsibility for the citizens of Franklin.