Denver Police Union's survey shows 94 percent are not confident in chief

Denver's police union says an overwhelming majority of its members don't have confidence in the Denver police chief.

DENVER - More than 500 people in the Denver Police Protective Association voted that they had no confidence in Chief Robert C. White's leadership of the department. 

The results are from a one question survey that was electronically sent out to all 1,300 members in the union. 

"Do you have confidence in the ability of Chief White to lead the Denver Police Department?" 

Of the 582 respondents, 94 percent said they were not confident in Chief White, according to the union

"I don't think we've had misconduct at the top by the chief and the deputy chief of this magnitude ever before," said Bryan O'Neill, vice president of the union. 

According to O'Neill, this was the most responses they got in a survey conducted by the department or the union itself in the last five years.

"When you lack integrity and when you lack transparency and honesty with your department and with the public...and when you don't value the relationship with the people that you supervise, that's a problem," O'Neill said.

He believes that although less than half of the union responded, the result of the survey is a fair representation of the current relationship between the officers and the police administration. 

Chief White released a statement on Tuesday in response to the union's no confidence vote against him.

"I highly respect the men and women of the Denver Police Department. I am now and have always been committed to doing what is best for the community and the Denver Police Department. Having been a Chief of Police for 20 years, I understand that being Chief can come with scrutiny from those who may disagree with decisions being made or fully understand all aspects of the position.

DPD is a great police department, but we must always find ways to be better as an agency.  During my time in Denver, we have focused on improving our policies and culture, and these changes have been met with resistance by some. However, it is my responsibility to make the right, and sometimes controversial, decisions for the betterment of our department and city.  I am steadfast in my beliefs of service before self and will continue to do what is best for the residents of Denver."

The vice president of the Denver police union said this vote is not about changes made by the chief.

"This is about Chief White and Chief Murray's deception the public," O'Neill said. 

In a press conference held by the union on Tuesday, President Nick Rogers said the confidence in the department was eroded by recent incidents. 

Back in May, the chief and deputy chief were not charged for mishandling a public records request of a letter accusing Deputy Chief Matthew Murray of mishandling an investigation that resulted in the arrest of a woman. 

RELATED: Top Denver cops avoid charges in public records case

A more recent event in September was a car crash involving Chief White. The union believes it may have, "involved conduct prohibited by Denver Police policies." 

RELATED: DPD Chief White taken to hospital after crash

"We would like to see some people around the city sit up, take notice of what's going on this police department," O'Neill said."It's not up to me to fire the chief of police but it certainly is my responsibility as a board member to make sure our community, our department, and our city leaders know about the temperature of this police department."

Here is the full statement from The Denver Police Protective Association: 

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