After extensive research, we found that Rockford is not alone when it comes to dealing with no confidence votes for our top cop.
No fewer than 16 other cities in the U.S. have seen it's police chief lose a no confidence vote in 2007. They include towns as small as Litchfield, New Hampshire and Gallup, New Mexico., to cities as large as Miami, St. Louis and Dallas. Another city, Corpus Christi, Texas, is deciding on a no confidence vote this week.
By our research, 4 of the 16 chiefs on the wrong end of the no confidence vote are no longer on the job, but all 4 come from towns of 43,000 or fewer.
Only one of the 16 cities had a larger percentage of no confidence vote than Chief Epperson's 98. That was Lincoln, Rhode Island, where it was a unanimous vote back in June. That Chief, Robert Kells, resigned in September.
One city, Sante Fe, New Mexico, had a no confidence vote, but that June 2007 vote went in favor of Chief Eric Johnson 59-30.
Also internationally, both London England and Queensland Australia passed no confidence votes on it's Police Chiefs.
Here's some more information on the cities whose union or city council passed no confidence votes on it's Chief of Police.
Police Chief No Confidence votes in U.S. calendar year 2007
(Listed in order of City Size)
Litchfield, NH (Pop. 7,360) Mar. 2007, Joseph, O'Brion
Coatesville, PA (Pop. 10,838 ) Oct. 2007, William
Matthews (No longer there)
Gallup, NM (Pop.20,209) June 2007, Sylvester Stanley, 93% vote (No longer there)
Smithfield, RI (Pop. 20,613) July 2007, William McCarry, 31-5 vote
*Lincoln, RI (Pop. 20,898 ) June 2007, Robert Kells, unanimous vote, resigned in September 2007 at age 63. Said it had nothing to do with no confidence vote. According to the The union identified "three key areas that have deeply affected this department and its ability to run
properly and professionally."
-- Failure to issue and enforce policy and proceduresthat are essential in the day-to-day operations of thepolice department.
-- Inappropriate, improper, unprofessional and harmful disclosure of both sensitive and confidential information to the media concerning investigations.
-- An inability and unwillingness to administer a fair disciplinary process despite serious and obvious infractions brought to Chief Kells' attention by his senior staff.
(Source: The Valley Breeze Newspaper.)
Longview, WA (Pop. 34,660 ) March 2007, Alex Perez
Bartlesville, OK (Pop. 34,748) Jan. 2007, Leo Willey
Cedar Falls, IA (Pop. 36,145) Jan. 2007, Rich Ahlstrom, 21-5 vote
Methuen, MA (Pop. 43,789) May 2007, Joseph Solomon,
US Dept of Justice was investigating improper use of federal grants. He no longer works there. (Source: The Eagle Tribune newspaper)
Pontiac, MI (Pop. 66,337) Jan. 2007, Val Gross, 85-74 vote
Portsmouth, VA (Pop. 100,565) Nov. 2007, Ed Long
Richmond, CA (Pop. 103,818) Feb. 2007, Chris Magnus
South Bend, IN (Pop. 107,789) Nov. 2007, Thomas Fautz,
75% to 25%. Retiring after 35 years in December.
*Corpus Christi, TX (Pop. 277,454) Considering a vote this week, Bryan Smith. (Source: Texas Police News)
St. Louis, MO (Pop. 353,837) Sept. 2007, Joe Mokwa, 56-44% vote
Miami, FL (Pop. 404,048) Sept. 2007, John Timoney, 520-125 vote. Admitted to Driving Hybrid Lexus for free for more than a year. (Source: Miami Herald)
Dallas, TX (Pop. 1, 232,940 Million) May 2007, David Kunkle, 568-332 vote.