Here’s the text of the letter sent Wednesday by the Tacoma Police Management Association to Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell regarding Assistant Police Chief Jim Howatson.
Ramsdell issued a response Friday.
Lights & Sirens is publishing the texts of both letters.
Chief of Police
Tacoma Police Department
3701 South Pine Street
Tacoma, WA 98409
Dear Chief Ramsdell:
It has come to our attention there has been another alleged anger flare-up involving A/C Howatson and a Washington State Trooper, which occurred on or about December 25, 2009. This makes approximately five alleged performance complaints involving A/C Howatson, which exceeds the early intervention system indicator criteria of 3 or more complaints in a 12 month period.
1. Anger flare-up with Lt. A.D. Roberts
2. Anger flare-up with Detectives Baker and Griffith
3. SID overtime fund and assignment complaint
4. Anger flare-up with WSP Trooper
5. Unauthorized/Improper access to employee’s file
We understand A/C Howatson is going through some difficult times in his personal life right now, but the combined alleged behaviors demonstrate characteristics that are affecting his performance and early intervention is imperative. Therefore, we are asking you consider intervention strategies designed to assist A/C Howatson in working through the issues he is experiencing.
Some of our members believe A/C Howatson has been given exceptionally more leniency than former A/C Mielbrecht before he was disciplined for his alleged performance issues. Also, it is believed members of our union have been drug through Internal Affairs for far less than what A/C Howatson is accused of and there appears to be inequitable treatment taking place.
We are not looking at adversely effecting A/C Howatson. We are looking for fair and equitable treatment. Also, we are looking to encourage positive and supporting intervention measures so A/C Howatson can get the help he needs.
Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.
President, TPMA, Local 26
Cc: City Manager
Human Resource Director