Police vote shows low confidence in Springfield chief

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Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Springfield police officers say they disapprove of their chief’s leadership ability.

Their union, known as the Springfield Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit No. 5, officially placed a vote of no confidence in Chief Kenny Winslow in the last week. Union meetings from Oct. 25 to 27 involved the vote, which asked: “Do you have confidence in Chief Winslow’s ability to lead the Springfield Police Department?”

The union says 82 percent of officers who are members voted, and 89 percent of those who answered said “no” in response to the question. Winslow had a support vote of 9 percent.

The union said in a press release that action needed to happen after morale dropped in recent years. Full performance evaluation results showed a 95 percent disapproval rate in a “timely decision-making” category and a 92 percent grade in “leadership effectiveness”.

Chief Winslow offered a response Monday night.

“I fully understood when I accepted the position as Chief that my decisions would be scrutinized by those who disagree, or may not comprehend, the responsibility and complexity of moving the department forward with 21st century policing,” Winslow said.

Springfield mayor James Langfelder says the union hasn’t fully supported community policing efforts, but added those changes are “something our Springfield community deserves”.

“The goal is to have every Springfield police officer involved, and that is a tough culture to change,” Langfelder said. “In his brief tenure, Chief Winslow has taken great strides to engage the neighborhoods and bring people together. He provides stability and adaptability to move the Springfield Police Department and community forward together."

Winslow became police chief in 2013 and kept the job when Langfelder became mayor in 2015. Statements from the police union and Langfelder are attached to this story.

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