Millersville X-Police Chief Responds To City Manager’s Accusations
MILLERSVILLE TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) –On Monday, Smokey brought you the news that Millersville Police Chief David Hindman had been fired, and Lt. John Brown (who was second in command) resigned, both within minutes of each other Monday morning.
On Monday Hindman told Smokey Barn News that his termination came as a complete shock. In a video interview at his home Monday afternoon Hindman told Smokey Barn News; “I was fired without cause and due process,” (FULL Interview here)
City Manager Caryn Miller stated publicly that Hindman was just not the right person for the job and she had to let him go.
Now in a letter made public addressed to the Mayor and Commissioners of Millersville, Miller’s reasons for letting Hindman go are outlined in detail. In the letter (below) Miller states that John Brown made a “specific threat to my life” in Chief Hindman’s office while other Officers were present.” Miller says that Hindman “made me a target.” by not telling her about the threat.
After the letter was released, Hindman quickly fired back. Hindman says (in his letter below) that Miller new about the threat on the day it happened. Hindman forward his response to Smokey Barn News this afternoon. You can read the letter (in full) below Miller’s letter to city officials.
MILLERSVILLE TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – FROM: Caryn Miller, City Manager TO: Mayor and Commissioners CC: Holly Murphy, Assistant City Manager DATE: 8/8/2016 RE: Personnel Matters
As I discussed with you over the telephone on Friday, John Brown made a specific threat to my life in Chief Hindmans’ office while other Officers were present. This morning I obtained statements from the people involved that backed the threat was said. I asked Jon Brown to come into my office and I had Dustin Carr and Mark Palmer there as witnesses. After considering the situation, speaking with our attorney and much thought I was prepared to fire John Brown. John Brown resigned before I could fire him. I have accepted his resignation.
The same incident made me take a hard look at the Police Department and its leadership. For some time now I have been verbally counseling David Hindman about his priorities and given him deadlines to meet related to the following:
External hard drive for camera video downloads
A list of all uniforms and gear issued to each officer
Purchase of vests
Purchases of gear for one and not for others
Radars and Lydars
Paperwork not being given in on time or missing
Inaccurate time sheets
To date on Friday, none of this has been done much less the policy on take home vehicles that I asked him to enforce last year. I have heard complaints and discontent from the Officers feeling they have no direction and or guidance.
The fact that this incident happened in his presence and he did nothing about it except “chew him out” concerned me but did not surprise me. As a Supervisor, David did not apply discipline well or across the board, something I was constantly reminding him about. The fact that he did not tell me about the incident and allowed me to come in the next day totally in the dark about the situation made me a target. He did not properly protect me. The fact that officers were afraid to come forward and wanted the Fire Chief to let me know about this, shows that he is not a good leader. The fact that he called the other officers back into his office and told them that not a word was to be said about the incident, shows me lack of professional conduct, hiding an event and protecting the blue line above all costs. This is unacceptable to me and shows me that we need someone else to lead the department.
I decided after a long hard thought process that I would let him go today. I am glad I did, because now I really know what is going on. The Officers do not have any ammunition for their guns. Practice ammo we have a ton but not service ammo. There are a lot more things. John Brown kept syringes in his desk that were evidence. I wonder what else we will find.
My commitment is to the citizens of Millersville and a department that is not being run effectively cannot be effective. When I confronted David today he immediately began to become aggressive, his voice raised and called the Mayor demanding that something be done about me. He refused to give me his gun, shield and credentials and screamed and yelled at me while stating that he will only surrender his gun if the Mayor and Board tell him to. He also spewed some more comments in the hallway about me meddling in his department and returned in a more aggressive manner to my office. He scared me. I asked the two officers in my office to escort him out of my office and he ordered them not to. They followed what I asked and escorted him to his office. He then called Andy Cordan of the news media and several lawyers. I spoke with the Mayor who suggested that I have another department come out and escort him out. We did that but as they were in route Davis’ wife came up and he surrendered his gun, credentials and shield to our Officers and he cleaned out his vehicle while an officer was there. We called the outside agency off.
Locks have been changed and passwords changed. His office is being packed up and pictures taken. His belongings will be brought to him.
I have a mandatory meeting at 3 pm for all officers. The plan in the meantime is for me to be temporary Administrative head of th edepartment. I have two supervisors, one days, one nights, that will handle the day to day for me and report directly to me. I am hiring Matt Nelms who is a Certified Reserve and have instructed Deb to place an ad for another officer. I am calling MTAS to start the search for a new Chief.
Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions. Also be assured this was not an easy decision to make, but I strongly feel it is in the best interest of the City.
The former Chief David Hindman responded to the letter from Millersville City manager. Hindman sent us the following letter this morning.
“Alright, I have read Millers memo she sent to Andy Cordan. Do I start being snide and obtuse about Miller? No, I don’t think so because I am a better person than that. It is a fact that has been shown in news articles from Florida and Wyoming that she has had severe problems with other individuals in other cities. Flagler Beach FL would not name her the City Manager but named a man named Campbell and these two did not get along at all, even though Campbell made it seem like he had no problem with Miller. Miller told me that her chief of police in Wyoming was a Chief from hell !! I can understand the Chief not getting along with Miller, I can also understand the Chief wanting to dig up her torrid past and credit to Miller her past has been expunged from the criminal history. Miller herself told me this. Miller has told Me this Chief of Police acted in an inappropriate manner and if true I understand why these two were bitter enemies. So where there is smoke there is fire. There was problems in her past. She has been demoted and has been given less responsibilities because of her people handling skills.
“The memo she submitted has several inaccuracies if not bold face lies. First Miller states she called LT Brown in her Office to fire him but he resigned before she could fire him This is in accurate. Both Miller and Brown told
Me she gave him a choice resign or be terminated. John Brown was forced to resign with no other choice to be made. One of the main definite lies is her statement I withheld the incident from her and she came in the next morning blindsided and I caused her life to be in danger. Gee it’s funny I did not know she came in on Saturday, this incident happened on Friday afternoon and she called me on my personal cell phone Friday around 7:30 pm. Miller was very rude and very mad yelling and screaming at me. I have my cell phone records to prove it. It is a fact she did not come in the ” next morning nor was she blind sided by the news”. Miller knew about the incident and told me she would see me Monday morning, so how is it possible she did not know of this unfortunate incident before Monday.
Next she claims of my shortcomings of “priorities”. I can say that these listed reasons are also not accurate. Miller makes it seem that I had to be counseled the entire year of 2016 for not making purchases Miller sent an email to all department heads NOT to spend any money unless approved by Miller till after July 1 2016.
Miller approved for me to purchase two protective vests. Both were ordered and both officers have been measured and are wearing them today. I ordered myself a vest as well, but cancelled mine after I was terminated to save the city money (about $800). Miller also stated she has complained I have not taken care of the Radars, well anyone who wishes can contact PB Electronics located in Shepardsville KY. I sent 4 broken Radar units to this establishment for repair and had to send one of those units back a second time for a repair under warranty. Anyone wishing can contact Emergency Blue Lighting and speak with the proprietor who installed all four radar units in the new 2016 Cruisers. As for the Lidar (correct spelling) I was sending it out soon since I just spent $1300.00 for the repairs and the Lidar would cost $400.00 for repair from Stalker Comapny.
“As for the list of uniforms for each officer; what each one was issued to wear on duty. This order was given to me a week ago last Tuesday and she wanted it by Friday last week, day of the blowup. I had all the lists ready to give her but was terminated from my job before I could give it to her on Monday. The list was prepared and on my desk to give her. I don’t understand what she is talking about by purchasing gear for one and not all the officers. Except for the new Officers who were outfitted upon hiring, the other officers only had 2 or 3 outfits to wear. I believe in taking care of the Officers and see to it that they have the equipment and uniforms needed to do their jobs. Miller wanted the officers to bring in and show me a worn or torn uniform before she would authorize a new uniform pants or shirt. I trust our Officers to be sensible and use common sense when needing equipment or uniforms. I do not micro manage as Miller does.
“Miller did not authorize an external hard drive to download the body cameras until after July 1 these cost less than 250.00 I had more pressing priorities at the time, like making sure 4 brand new cruisers were outfitted properly and radios working properly and radars installed. I was receiving Quotes for new in car camera systems last week and was hopefully ordering them this week, again I did not get to finish because I was terminated.
“I am guilty of submitting officers time sheets with mistakes on them. Holiday pay is very confusing to figure out. So I make mistakes on the time sheets is this worth terminating a person for really ? Yes there was times I would miss a purchase order and submit a mistake on a purchase order but this was not an everyday occurrence but to terminate an employee for this when there are checks and balances from another employee checking paperwork. When I was shown the mistakes I would correct them or Miller would tell me it’s ok no problem it is simple mistake. I work diligently to make sure I did not turn in insufficient paperwork but I am human, mistakes will be made.
Who points out the mistakes Miller makes, such as failing to submit a proper budget balance for salaries for the part time Officers used to cover shifts or the increase in overtime going from an eight hour day to a twelve hour day. Thus being extremely over on salaries. (+ $ 25,000.00).
“Miller stated I failed to discipline John Brown for his inappropriate outburst. At the time of the outburst I told the two officers in my office to leave and to not talk among the employees no one needed to hear this tragic outburst that I was going to deal with. There is absolutely no truth to me calling officers back into my office and instruct them to silence. So much for the accusation of the blue line protection, shame on you Miller for slandering my name. The only officer I called back to my office is John Brown and I discussed his poor judgement on his statements made in front of two other employees. I then sent him home for the rest of the shift and would deal with him Monday. Which of course I was not allowed to complete. It is Miller who is creating this coverup statement to justify her actions and make herself look supervisory.
“Now her statement of her being “scared” seriously ??? Don’t flatter yourself Miller I have a 32 year career in law enforcement you are definitely not worth me wasting my life or my career by Scaring you seriously ??? Shame on you for even making accusations of such nonsense. I had just been forced to tender my own resignation for a job I have worked all
my life to obtain. That was not acceptable at all, Miller terminated me with no recourse or no formal hearing of charges or a hearing before a disciplinary review board. Was I upset sure I was and I said my peace and wanted Mayor Tim Lassiter to be there as a mediator. I called Lassiter but after waiting a while it was evident he would side with Miller. I decided to call my wife and leave.
“About me calling Andy Cordan she is assuming I did it while in my office after being terminated. NOPE that’s not the fact at all. Cordan texted me when I was at my home asking what’s up for the weekend. I told him about my termination at my home. Now as for calling “several lawyers” once again it’s Miller ASSUMING. I did call a lawyer but that again was at my home after my termination and it’s none of her business what lawyer I called or what I called the lawyer about.
“In closing this lengthy statement Miller has terminated me for disagreeing with her on some of her management decisions and her treatment of Police Employees. Sadly, those employees remaining are in fact terrified of losing their jobs by these examples of her terminating employees who cross her. It is hard working for Miller, the Commission has no power over her actions or decisions. I am positive that officers were not afraid of stating their feelings to me. Several have had to be instructed in the proper way to address supervisors on different occasions, thus seeming to me that they are definitely not afraid to say what’s on their minds to me.
“You, the public, has seen her memo and shame on her for embellishing the facts. Again she is just covering her guilt for overreacting. Now the point of ammunition, last week Cpl Tomarchio told me we were out of Duty ammunition. I contacted Guns and Leather in Green brier TN and ordered duty ammo under the price of $300.00 for the Officers. At no time were officers without duty ammunition just old ammunition. Once I learned of this fact I was in the process of correcting this. Anyone can verify this action by calling Guns and Leather gun store. This was done before my termination if Miller would have asked me she would have discovered I corrected this problem.
“Now let’s discuss the problem of take home vehicles for the Police Officers. Last year it was made a rule by Miller and the commission that no officer may take home a patrol car more than 10 miles from the driveway of city hall. Our officers have not received a pay raise in between 5-7 years. A take home police vehicle would offer a small benefit to the officers to supplement their low pay. What’s a real shame is our Commission board made a big deal on making sure the police officers would receive a pay raise on THIS years budget because the city wants to retain good employees. The officers received .10 cents for a pay raise. Of the 12 officers who drove cruisers one left his parked because of the mileage. Nine other officers lived within 11 to 11 1/2 miles from the PD lot and I allowed them to take the cars home. Miller became angry because I chose to ignore the ten mile rule because they were only over slightly and they again still only received a ten cent raise in seven years. She called me on my cell phone because officers were very upset at having to give up the take home car privilege. She yelled at me over the phone and told me to issue a memo stating anyone not happy about the take home cars can call her and if they did not like it they could resign and it’s not her problem and she does not care. I had emailed each full time officer the address form to verify there living address. Also Miller wanted an electric or water bill for proof of address. Micro management and not trusting the officers upset several of them and several stated they took offense to being called a liar or dishonest.
“There are two sides to every story, Miller states she terminated me because I was not the man for the job I disagree totally. Several times she has told Me I have changed the outlook of the department and made great advances in gapping bridges of discontent with other departments and inner departments. I have been responsible for the purchasing of new Glock handguns at no cost to the city budget. The same with antiquated shotguns. The members of the CID built and opened a very modern office and interview room at little cost to the city. Last years budget over $37,000,00 was spent on vehicle repairs of the antiquated cruisers. I came up with the idea of leasing four brand new 2016 cruisers for the price of one payment for 4 years, at the end of the lease all four vehicles would belong to the city. One officer was added to the department for additional patrol value. Officers were receiving valuable outside training and was in the process of starting on line training. When I started with Millersville policy and procedure had been neglected and untouched for several years. I was able to institute new updated policy and procedures. Instituted the use of Body Cameras to be used on each traffic stop and patrol calls. I was not yet finished with starting new things for the community and citizens.”