With shootings and violence on the rise in Lawrence, and a slew of state and federal agencies in the city trying to manage the spike in gang and drug activity, the Lawrence Patrolman’s Union took a vote of “no confidence” in Mayor Dan Rivera Friday.
The vote against Rivera was 50 -26 with 24 officers not voting.
Rivera is running for reelection for a second, four year term as mayor after defeating then mayor Willlie Lantigua in 2013. The preliminary election is this coming Tuesday.
Rivera has angered police with what some call his “arrogance and micromanaging” of the department, but his refusal to even negotiate a contract for the Lawrence Patrolmen in the last three years seems to be the last straw.
“But that isn’t the only force driving this,” one patrolman told The Valley Patriot asking not to be identified for fear of retaliation.
“When he stood in front of the station and threw us all under the bus after the beheading last year, saying that we needed inside agencies to investigate how we handled the case, that was it for me and a lot of guys here,” another patrolman said frustrated.
“Our guys worked really hard on that case, and we had an arrest nearly 24 hours after it happened. But, the mayor never passes up an opportunity to play politics and pandered to the critics. That’s not leadership. He had intimate knowledge of the work we did, and he still threw us all under the bus in front of all the cameras and the press, conveying to the public that we didn’t do our jobs. Well we did.”
Still, sources in the department say there may be a chance for a re-vote as the animosity between Mayor Rivera and the patrolmen seems to be worse now than it was when Mayor Lantigua was in office.
“At least with Lantigua we know were we stood,” one officer said after the vote.
“With this guy we have no clue. He refuses to give the public information about all the good things happening here in the department and he only seems to want to criticize and micromanage what we do. We don’t try to micromanage the mayor’s office, it would be nice if he didn’t tell us how to be police officers.”