News and Tribune

Clark County

June 24, 2009

FOP: Galligan’s police comments ‘inappropriate’

The Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement to The Evening News on Tuesday calling comments made by Mayor Tom Galligan “inappropriate” and pledging support for the police officers involved in last week’s incident with Larry Wilder, the city council’s attorney.

At a press conference Sunday, Galligan apologized to Wilder’s family for photographs taken of Wilder passed out in a neighbor’s trash can last week. The pictures were sent anonymously to members of the local media. Galligan said it is still under investigation who took and distributed the photographs, but said they were taken by one or more police officers.

“We understand that the photos were taken by one of the officers,” stated Joseph Hubbard, president of FOP lodge 100. “However, there has been no proof that the photos were released to the media by any member of the Jeffersonville Police Department.

“In the course of the investigation, if any officers violated Indiana state and federal statute or any Standard Operating Procedures established by the Jeffersonville Police Department, the matter should be heard by the Police Merit Board.”

When asked at the press conference if the situation is a matter for the merit board, Galligan said, “it’s going to be a matter for the mayor.”

“We are going to take appropriate action to ensure that no police officer will be comfortable abusing their authority again,” Galligan said Sunday.

Nathan Samuel, the city council’s liaison to the police department, agreed with the FOP that any disciplinary action should be handled by the merit board.

Hubbard said that it was inappropriate for the mayor to prejudge the situation and call the officers “renegade,” as he did in the press conference. He added that the FOP is proud of all members of JPD and the FOP “sincerely hopes for a quick and positive resolution for everyone involved.

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