Monday, August 26, 2013

P.S. to Bill McClellan

Hopefully you had a chance to read Bill McClellan's column today in the Post-Dispatch.  Even as kids, my dad told us that people will have a good time with our last name and the word it rhymes with.  Well played Bill, well played. 

At any rate, you might guess that those who feel threatened by this whole situation aren't just going to sit back and see what happens.  I had a front row seat when they went after Chief Jerry Lee.  I've seen this movie.  Back then, they also went after the employees in the police department.  Suddenly, our requests for training and travel were being denied.  Officer misconduct was being purposely leaked.  The price you pay for speaking out.  Chief Lee is a decent and honorable man, but he knew he had to give in so they wouldn't continue to interfere with the operations and reputation of his department.

My own experience of how this works is when I became vocal about speed cameras.  Those who felt threatened when I called for a county-wide vote to ban the cameras hired a political research company to review my taxes, work expenditures and anything else they could find to discredit me or the police department.  Those who actually hired the research company would never ask for the records themselves.  They hide behind a political research company, so nobody will know who's paying them.  That's how this stuff works.  

The best they could come up with is the fact that I promoted several officers who were named in a 2008 lawsuit that the county counselor's office settled out of court for $46,000.  This was a case where it was alleged that the officers used force and the suspect died.  Really?  Do you think if the officers actually caused a death, any plaintiff's lawyer would have settled for $46,000? 

The political researcher wrote his own news story about the lawsuit and promotions and anonymously mailed it to the Post-Dispatch, along with a "rumor" that I was contemplating running for county executive.  Good one.  That's the best he could come up with?  The political consultant is a former Post-Dispatch reporter and is known for his skill in research.  Somebody was paying him good money to find dirt on me.  He paid $250 just for my travel records.  You haven't seen a story about my travel records, so one can assume I didn't go to Hawaii on the county's dime.

So, here we go again.  More requests last week for my travel records, expenses, etc.  The people doing it this time should get with the political researcher from last year and compare notes.  It will save county government employees a lot of time.  If they can't successfully find some scandal about me, they will do their best to find misdeeds of my family and/or the 1,100 employees who belong to the county police family.  I wish them all the luck in the world.  

Here's some news for them; we are not perfect, but neither are they.  We can withstand the scrutiny.  This is a dirty game, but it's the only way they know how to play it.  They go after those who are disloyal or threaten the status quo.  You can bet that I'll keep you posted as the games continue.

In the meantime, you can count on us to continue to work hard to keep our community safe and serve the needs of our citizens.  Thank you for your support!

40 comments:

  1. Chief Fitch, well said.

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  2. Chief , we're behind you

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  3. Byron "Sarge" WatsonAugust 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    I am so proud of you Chief, I have known you for over 30 years and I have always known you to be an honest and caring Chief,

    I remember when you where a Captain in Fenton and you worked Christmas for a officer so he could be of to be with his kids, I remember when you made traffic stops as a Major, Command staff went crazy :), however you did it because of who you are and what you stand for..

    you don't do things because they are popular, nor do you do it for recognition, you do it because you signed up to be a police officer not a politician, you have many retired, active and former officers all behind you on this one,

    They can stack the police board all they want, however, we are all watching.. stand tall Chief, I have seen this movie too many time myself, and to be quite honest, I am tired of the way the movie ends... Life is a Fitch..

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  4. I agree with retired Sgt Watson. You are up there with the best and I will stand beside you.

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  5. It comes down to Character and integrity, and Chief Fitch has both.

    D.Z. North County Strong

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  6. I have known Tim Fitch for 20 Years and I can tell you that he is a good Policeofficer and a true professional. I would stand by his side come h*#% or high water. Keep up the good work Tim.

    Duke

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  7. Chief you hang in there, you're the last hope for st Louis County. Dooley and his cronies have all but ruined it. Next step for me...St Charles County.

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  8. Take the high road Chief. If there's no dirt and the best they can do is some BS about promoting hard working, honorable officers, well that's pretty weak.

    Stay above the fray. You will eventually come out on top. Stay focused, keep your command /staff informed and keep providing the best police service..anywhere!!

    Ken Dye

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  9. Chief: I have known and worked with you for many years. You are an honorable man. You took this job for the right reasons, and have done it well. You love our Department and respect those who serve. So let the mud fly. It won't stick. You have chosen to do the right thing instead of the easy thing. And we all knew you would!

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  10. I enjoyed McClellan's article and your post Chief. After 30 years in the business, I can say I've never heard of a Chief of Police who was let go due to the crime rate. Its always about politics and control. Onward thru the fog!

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  11. Stay strong Chief. STL needs more leaders like you.

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  12. Character and Integrity. Leadership traits I learned in the Marine Corps. Here is another one: Moral Courage. Chief you got them all, continue to stand tall and do the right thing. I'm a retired Firefighter and I got your six.

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  13. Chief Fitch, what you said was well received and, just so that you and your police family know, I am so very thankful for the service that you provide. You display an enormous amount of character. Please continue to stand your ground.

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  14. I remember your first day in the Affton Precinct. We were on the same squad and it didn't take long to realize that you were going to be an outstanding police officer. You were then, and continue to be, one of the hardest working people I know. I chuckle when I read about political researchers investigating your background. I would love to see these "researchers" compare your background to those who deem you as an "enemy". I know Kathy and Byron well and agree with everything they have said. Thanks for your dedication and honesty.

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  15. A real "Profile in Courage"

    Ken Dye

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  16. Well said Chief Fitch. Outstanding.

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  17. Way to go Tim! I've known you for a lot of years and am truly sorry this kind of crap has to be tolerated in order for you to do your job. Having endured the Fenton debacle, there needs to be retribution to these who falsely try to discredit good, hardworking people who's hearts and intentions are there only for the best of all those involved. Keep your head high my friend!

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  18. deborah bush aringtonAugust 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Well said Sgt. Watson and as you say there are many people who are with you, Chief Fitch and what you stand for, police and non police

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  19. Chief Fitch, you are an honest and hard working man, who is NOT afraid to tell the truth. We all appreciate your service and willingness to put politics aside and do the right thing. North County Strong!

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  20. Tim,
    Never worked with you or even around you. Our paths crossed occasionally. Really had no opinion of you one way or the other. Of course, like all the Chief's before you and the many who will follow you, there are people both within and without the department who will take issue with your agenda. Your stupid. You have no clue. Your promotions are crazy. Your command staff is incompetent.
    I admire you for how you handle yourself. The speed cameras are exactly what you say they are. Money producing opportunities. If it was about safety, why not have the fines go to a charity of choice instead to the city.
    Your handling of the current issue is admirable. It takes a set to do what you are doing. Guess Jerry had a set too. That said, look what happened to him. Stay strong. Stay professional. The past, current and future members of the department will always remember this time in the department history.
    Kind of wish we would have worked together at some point. I was such a drag to work for those without a set.
    It's ALL Good!
    1192

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  21. It never ceases to amaze me of the “LACK of INTELLIGENCE” shown from some political figure’s. It is as if, at some point in their political career, intelligence is BARTERED for POWER and INFLUENCE. Wisdom, morality, ethics, and honor, are all standard principals Chief Fitch possesses and I am confident he would not negotiate. Many of us here in North County support you, keep up the good work. Mark Behlmann

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  22. We need you in the City.

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  23. John Johnson - Retired SLMPDAugust 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Good job Chief. I'm sure you put a big smile on the faces of Ron Battelle and Jerry Lee.

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  24. Good luck Chief Fitch. Stay level headed, keep fighting the good fight, and don't ever back down. Integrity!!

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  25. Very well said Tim aka Chief Fitch. I, and many others, applaud you for taking the bull by the horn and reporting this to the Feds. Charlie needs to step down totally and let's get the county back on tract.
    It really irked me when he fired so many and not one of them was any of his friends, who made the majority of the money, while the county funds were low and policing and other budgets had to be cut, but not Charlie's friends pay checks.
    Thanks Tim for doing the right thing and standing by your principles.

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  26. Keep up the incredible work Chief Fitch. So, so many people are behind you right now. You are fighting for others, not yourself. The same can not be said for those attacking you. Ego and greed drive them. Get 'em Chief!

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  27. Integrity and Honor are words that describe the way you handle yourself. Outstanding job Chief Fitch!

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  28. As a lifelong St. Louis Countian I love and enjoy the service and protection of the St. Louis County Police force and always have. I support Chief Tim Fitch completely! Is there not a County Prosecutor that can run for County Supervisor? Preferably a Republicnan!!

    Jeff Karadja

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  29. Chief Fitch I am so happy to see you do what is right. It takes a lot of courage to ask for a Federal investigation. I was beginning to think that there were no more "good" police officers out there. Good luck- wish you were the Police Chief in the City. We could use you!!

    Veronica O'Brien

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  30. Sir, as part of a neighborhood group who once sparred with the Sansone's, your are to be commended for fighting for what is right and just.

    This family thinks they are above it all. Clearly the contract didn't meet what I call
    "The appearance of impropriety" litmus test.

    Hang in there... And keep posting-- Crooks in office have a hard time these days hiding behind Social Media.

    Kerri in the City

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  31. Stand tall Chief, I know what your facing as I have had similar political battles. It gets very dirty and the lies they can tell are vicious. BUT, I will never be quiet when it comes to doing the right thing. It has cost me dearly over the years, but I know in my heart that I have always tried to do the right thing and stand up against those that want to take advantage of others and profit from lies. I believe in you Tim and know you to be a very honorable man. Charlie Dooley has lined his pockets and brings an air of Chicago politics to St. Louis County. Shame on him and shame on his cronies. Just remember "To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men! And Chief, YOUR NO COWARD!!

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  32. Chief, you have always taken the high road. You have the full weight and support of the 1100 men and women of this Department. We are behind you all the way.

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  33. Chief, I am sorry this is happening to you and your outstanding department. This is a distraction that you and your fine officers don't need. I have always felt safe and secure on incidents that the St. Louis County police officers are on the scene. Such a great professional organization. Keep up the great work.

    Thanks for keeping us all safe,

    Captain Tom Steitz
    Fenton Fire District

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  34. I support Chief Tim Fitch completely! I applaud your dedication and wiliness to take the stand you have chosen. I know that honest citizens will support you and realize that you are the head of a great organization. Keep up the good work.
    John Skinker
    R-FFPD

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  35. Well said, Chief. My husband was a City officer for 33 years and the monkey business these politicians pull are deplorable. If they would direct their energies to helping the entire population of taxpayers rather than their 'few' we would have a much better Metro area. Stay strong, Chief.

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  36. Chief,

    Before Monday, I really didn't know much about you nor Mr. Dooley. However, I've learned a bit about both of you in the last couple of days.

    The result is that, though I'd love to see an African-American like Mr. Dooley excel in politics or any field, I can no longer support a man that would blatantly do the wrong thing. And I could not trust a man that doesn't know how to answer Elliott Davis.

    I've also witnessed some bad bahavior by the Sansones in the way of strong-arming small businesses they didn't like.

    Where are we, anyway -- Illinois?

    Please keep up the good work, Chief. Honesty and integrity are where it's at!

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  37. Take the fight to them, stay strong. You have support.

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  38. Chief, we've been friends for over 30 years! You are doing the right thing and the rest of your colleagues applaud you! My 35 years as a police chief were great with a few rocky roads we all go through. Keep your head up, shoulders back and look them in the eye, because we took that oath to do what is right! This is a perfect example why we in the Missouri Police Chiefs fought so hard to have a just cause law for police chiefs. We now have in law what we can and should be dismissed for, and doing what is right is not one! You have and always will have my backing!

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  39. Tim: I worked with you as a detective, for you as a Sergeant, Captain and Major. I told you when we worked those long nights at White Castle that you would be Chief one day. I know you didn't sign up to take the abuse from the Dooley political machine, but you always were and will always be a COP'S COP. In Fenton you worked many times so your officers could be off. You were always there as a back up, always there to be a Leader to show us the way. You were there when things were tough and helped us to get through the rough times. Now that it is the tough times for you we will be there. In Body and Spirit. Thank you for being a Friend, Leader and Chief. God Bless you and your family.

    Dave Gudermuth 1323 CoPD (Ret.)

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