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Formal Complaint filed on Police Chief in City of Alachua

Formal Complaint filed on Police Chief in City of Alachua

February 19, 2007

Clovis Watson Jr.,
Police Commissioner, City Manager, City Clerk
City of Alachua
P.O. Box 9
Alachua, Florida 32616

Dear Mr. Watson,
I am corresponding with you today for the purpose of notifying you as the Police Commissioner that I would like to file an Official Complaint against the Alachua Police Department. And more specifically a complaint that Chief Robert Jernigan has failed to perform critical job duties. Chief Jernigan has continually failed to identify current crime patterns, gather pertinent data and institute an action plan to solve current area crimes. Chief Jernigan's poor leadership has resulted in a continual monetary loss for area businesses. Time has come for accountability at the Office of "Chief of Police".

It concerns me that I have had three Incidents in less than thirty days at my business. They have ranged from Theft to Criminal Mischief, and then to Burglary. I have suffered thousands of dollars worth of damage, but in one case the Officer did not even look at the damaged property. The Officer just arrived, took the information from me and left. That case cost over one thousand dollars in damage and nearly two hundred dollars in fuel. Another Incident, I received a call at home from an APD dispatcher, I spent five hours at my business cleaning damages and four windshields had to be repaired, but an Officer has never arrived as of this date.

It is very apparent that Chief Jernigan's main focus is scheduling four Officers' for a City Commission Meeting due to the high crime rate that occurs there. That was very evident by the photos in this past week's Alachua County Today Newspaper, which I saw at least four Officers and the Chief in those three photos. Wow Mr. Grapski must be Alachua's A#1 Most Wanted. Mean while Businesses such as mine are suffering losses left and right.

Chief Jernigan's actions and the actions of his Officers' under his Command are very apparent current issues stemming from the Hammond Family past criticism of the Police Department. The crimes involving my business are never intended to be solved. During one incident, the Officer never attempted to check for fingerprints. The Officer never even looked if any prints were available. Later that day, I contacted another Officer and asked to borrow a fingerprint kit because I found latent prints. The Officer gave me a time when he would stop by and I waited but no Officer arrived and no courtesy telephone call yet. The latest offense, the Officer made sure he put finger print powder on all surfaces that were open. The Officer advised the suspect(s) used gloves and left no obtainable prints. The Officer failed to notice that the Building lights were on a timer. My Operations Manager and I inspected the timer and determined that the power was cut at 9pm the previous night. The air temperature from 9pm till 8am when found was around 30 degrees. The officer failed to notice the dark red frozen blood drops on the floor. So, no fingerprints were found but there was lost potential DNA evidence. Another Officer I spoke to stated that he had checked the front of the building several times up through about 10:30pm. He checked the building and the Burglary had already occurred. A real great test of how not to check a building, don't you think? Definitely, a clear indication of how to perform a security check from the driver's seat of a warm patrol car while, driving by a local business at 45mph.

This selective enforcement of crimes due to the Hammond Family history with the Police Department has left me no choice but to pick up where Chief Jernigan can't or will not. I must activate my past 16.5 years of Law Enforcement Experience from none other than the City of Alachua. Unlike Chief Jernigan, I have developed an action plan, studied the crime statistics and purchased a Latent Print Kit in anticipation of additional crimes. However, we shall be prepared to identify and process these crimes as needed. As you shall recall my vast experience included Eight Years Dedicated as a Detective and then Detective Sergeant in charge of Investigations. My experience includes a vast amount of training and on the job experience in areas such as Crime Scene Processing, Proper Collection of Evidence, Interviewing and Interrogation, Etc. Prior to those eight years I also spent over 2.5 years as a Narcotics Investigator with the Special Investigations Unit. I gained valuable knowledge of crime patterns dealing with property crimes as a result of high intensity drug areas.

Please rest assure that in due time My Family and I shall address each and every issue that seems to be unresolved between us. I shall continue to keep an open dialogue with you until each item is resolved as I may also be asked to forward the same dialogue to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at their request.

Thank you,
Glenn M. Hammond
Jean Calderwood, City of Alachua Mayor
Gib Coerper, City of Alachua Vice-Mayor
James Lewis, City of Alachua Commissioner
Orien Hills, City of Alachua Commissioner
Bonnie Burgess, City of Alachua Commissioner
Gerald Bailey, Commissioner, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Robert Jernigan, Chief of Police, City of Alachua

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