It was with some dismay that I heard the city manager has decided to appoint former Police Chief Richard Gummow back to that position when the current chief departs at the end of April. Is anyone passing judgment on the activities of the city manager and deputy city manager?
Inasmuch as a great deal of time/effort (and money) went into hiring the current assistant chief and captain, it seems ludicrous to set all that aside in favor of re-appointing someone who came to Juneau as a frustrated "little shark" from the Bay Area shark pond. It's a shame to discard "stand-up" candidates (the current assistant chief or captain) for the chief's position.
Mr. Palmer, and Ms. Pearce before him, have done nothing but micro-manage the police department since the appointment of the current chief, whom they have steadfastly treated like a step-child. It's as though they feel he should be grateful for being appointed to the position and their judgment is somehow better than his on most matters affecting the department. All without having done a day (or night) of police work themselves.
Gummow has a proven ability to spend the city's money and inflate the department's budget beyond any sane or defensible level, but that seems to fit right in with the thinking coming out of the manager's office these days. (Proposing the new "tourist mall" next to the parking garage while refusing to participate in new facilities for the Legislature is another bonehead move.)
This is (another) bad decision for the community and the police department.
Retired JPD employee
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