Northport's Police Chief is no longer in charge. Robert Green turned in his retirement July first. He was placed on administrative leave in February until the completion of a four-month audit. The findings were made public at Monday night's city council meeting. Had the chief not retired, the research company hired to do the audit told the council they would have suggested terminating him as turnover at the department over the last six years was twice the national average.Mayor Bobby Herndon says the city wanted the audit done because they were getting complaints from employees. It revealed a lot of negative feedback. It was a survey given to more than 80 police department employees about their work environment and other issues. More than 50 employees surveyed said morale has been low. 40% of the department said they did not want Chief Green reinstated after he was put on administrative leave in February. 61% of employees feared retaliation for complaining and something else concerned the research company. Over half of the employees surveyed believed illegal activity has been going on, something the mayor says the city will be looking into.
Herndon says "It sort of shocked me as for what was really going on in our police department. We don't deal with them, they're in a different building. Some of the expressions by the people on how they felt, I really appreciate their honesty. I was taken back because I didn't know a lot of this stuff was going on."The research company now suggests doing a national search for a new police chief and restore a new chain of command. Chief Green made all the discipline decisions. The research company will present the police department with the findings Tuesday.