TOLEDO (WTOL) - Candid comments came from one Toledo police lieutenant who called it quits Thursday, April 2. That lieutenant is one of four officers who suddenly resigned Thursday due to what he calls a lack of respect.
We sat down with lieutenant Mel Stachura only an hour before he signed his final paperwork.
The police chief spent the day trying to talk many others out of doing the same thing. He now says officers will no longer lose sick time acquired up to Thursday.
The mayor did not call us back for comment.
After 27 years, this is the note Toledo Police Lt. Mel Stachura leaves on. He told News 11, "The man has no respect for any police officer. He's made that well known."
Who is he talking about? Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.
It's the disrespectful tactics he says Finkbeiner and city administration has shown officers regarding layoffs, pay cuts and possible loss of sick time pay outs that prompted his sudden decision.
Stachura said, "I voted for him. I supported him, and he has disappointed me." He adds, "I'd like to help the city. I know they're in bad shape. This administration has never even come to our union to at least talk to us about it. This is the way we're going to deal with it. If you don't like it, tough."
As it stands now, 40 officers are on the chopping block come May 1. A possible federal grant would fund 150 officers later this year.
Officer numbers now stand about 625. That's the lowest it's been since 1982. Stachura says the department has been feeling the pinch. "He promised he would get the ranks up, and all he's done was pull them down. To me, he's more concerned with his legacy than protecting the people of this city." He says all their being asked to do is take a report for an accident. He feels they don't solve any crimes, merely take the report.
Mostly, Stachura says scare tactics should not be used in ongoing negotiations. He says of Mayor Finkbeiner, "If he wants to scare somebody, these are the people who put their lives on the line everyday and would take a bullet -- even for him."