Weeks after a Morgan State University student was stabbed and killed in an apartment complex adjacent to campus, members of the campus police department have filed a vote of no-confidence in department chief Lance Hatcher.
Citing aged and damaged equipment, a hostile work environment, high officer turnover and a lack of response from university administration, the officers disseminated a letter to media this morning and specifically cited Hatcher’s lack of response and follow-up to the stabbing death at the Morgan View apartment complex.
Hatcher was named interim chief of the department in 2012 and promoted as permanent chief in 2015 after a national search id not yield a new hire. From the letter:
…Chief Hatcher has never provided a strategy for the department to combat the rising violence we are experiencing at Morgan State University. A simple example would be the recent homicide that occurred at Morgan View. Chief Hatcher still has not met with the rank and file to lay out a strategy or even update us on the matter in hopes of deterring this from happening again. We have been woefully neglected of any leadership, guidance, or exposure to active shooter training, communications training, and have yet to receive riot gear for every officer which is a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by and between Morgan State University and FOP Lodge 142.
MSU Spokesperson Clinton R. Coleman said that the university had not been made directly aware of concerns among officers, but that only two officers had filed formal reports for internal issues, and that crime is down on campus.
I believe we have two issues going on here – a perception problem and a contract year for the officers, both combine to make it appear that, somehow, they are being mistreated. We just don’t want the public to be misled into thinking that our students and this campus are not safe…to say otherwise is an unfair characterization of reality.
Officials say that Morgan State President David Wilson will meet with union representatives later this week.