No confidence vote in police chief leads to meeting

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Pictured: Chief Kenny Winslow Pictured: Chief Kenny Winslow

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Springfield’s police union is planning to meet with the city’s chief after taking a vote of no confidence.

Officers in the union took the vote in late October, asking if officers were confident in Chief Kenny Winslow’s ability to lead the department. Around 82 percent of the union membership voted, with 89 percent of the voters saying they were not confident. Chief Winslow will meet with leadership of the Springfield Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit No. 5.

The union board, along with president Sgt. Grant Barksdale, are expected to take part in the meeting next week.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder says he does not plan to fire Winslow and instead hopes to strengthen communications with the police union on issues. In its vote, 92 percent of members graded Winslow poorly in “leadership effectiveness” and 95 percent rated him as “unsatisfactory” in “timely decision-making”. 

Chuck Kean, a retired Springfield sergeant, took to Facebook in an effort to be open about issues with Winslow’s leadership. He says Langfelder gave Winslow credit for projects and programs created by other members of the department, adding the chief wasn’t very involved in them and sometimes “tried to kill” the efforts.

He also took issue with Winslow’s claim that officers weren’t happy with community outreach and policing efforts.

“There is no effort by the bargaining unit or the officers it represents to resist community policing," Kean said. "In my career, I can say there was a time when there was resistance, but that time has since passed.”

In a statement responding to the union vote, Chief Winslow said the community can look to the future.

“The Command Staff values and respects the hardworking men and women of the Springfield Police Department regardless of the outcome of any poll,” the statement said. “Their well-being and the safety of our community remain our top priorities. We appreciate Mayor Langfelder’s continued support. Our citizens can be assured that the Springfield Police Department will continue to serve the needs of the entire Springfield community to the best of our ability.”

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