Six Akron Police Captains have filed with the Ohio Supreme Court to try and rescind Mayor Plusquellic's appointment of Assistant Police Chief Charles Brown. The Captains think they should have been considered for the post. In their filing the officers claim claim that Brown is a civilian and not a qualifying law enforcement officer, and they should not have to take orders from him. But Plusquellic says Charles Brown is a a certified peace officer, just like reserve police officers on the Akron force.
He disagrees with the Captains saying that at every level of government in the U.S. safety forces report to a civilian. he calls the officers argument preposterous.
Statement by Mayor Don Plusquellic
February 14, 2013
Six City of Akron Police Captains filed an action yesterday in the Supreme Court of Ohio in an attempt to prevent Assistant Police Chief Charles Brown from performing the duties I have assigned to him under my authority as Mayor and Safety Director. These captains wrongfully assert that Assistant Chief Charles Brown is a civilian, and that they are not required to take direction or orders from him. Their argument is preposterous, and contrary to every system of government at every level in the United States.
The fact is, Assistant Police Chief Charles Brown is a sworn, certified peace officer in the State of Ohio – just like the sworn reserve police officers our police union members use to fulfill their official police officer duties when they want Saturday nights off. Even the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund has concluded that Assistant Chief Brown continues to serve as a sworn peace officer for the City of Akron, as evidenced by Brown’s continued participation in the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.
But even if Assistant Police Chief Brown is a civilian (which he is not), everyone knows that at every level of government in the United States, the safety forces report to a civilian. Just as a civilian is in charge of the military (the President of the United States), a civilian is in charge of Akron’s police division (the Mayor). By passing the Charter decades ago, the citizens of Akron empowered the Mayor to serve as the Safety Director for both the Police and Fire Divisions. As Mayor and Safety Director, I am in charge of the police division. All members of the police division ultimately report to me. I have the right to designate an Assistant to facilitate this duty. Here, I have designated Charles Brown, a sworn, certified peace officer in the State of Ohio, to serve as an Assistant, the Assistant Police Chief, and to act as Police Chief in the Chief’s absence.
Confusing Akron, Ohio, with some Latin America junta, where military generals take over the government, these captains argue that every police officer must only report to another police officer in the chain of command -- that has never been the case in the United States of America. There is always a civilian leader at the top of the chain. There is no question as to Assistant Chief Brown’s authority here. It is by my direction and the Chief’s that he serves.