A letter drafted by the association was addressed to Police Chief Stuart Thomas and the city manager. It was sent on October 19, 2012, and it alleges the department has been inconsistent in disciplining officers charged with crimes like DWI and domestic battery, as well as on the job issues like use of excessive force.
Some officers, association members say, received no discipline while others were handed down the maximum penalties for the same offenses. Association members noted the differences often coincided with race.
The letter also says the department has quote "failed to provide an environment centered upon integrity and equality". The officers association is saying that's particularly true when it comes to promotions and assignments to special units.
The letter's overarching message is that there's simply a lack of trust for the department among its own officers and the public.
KARK requested an on-camera comment from Chief Thomas and the department spokesperson about the letter's allegations. Instead, we were provided a copy of the letter Thomas sent to the organization in response. It says in part:
I appreciate your bringing these matters forward in an organized manner. In order to accurately respond to your concerns I am consulting with Departmental and Human Resources staff. I will make every attempt to provide a written response to you within the next two weeks.
To read the full letter from the BPOA, click here.
To read Chief Thomas' full response, click here.