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Sunday, November 7, 2010

[WA] Asst. Tacoma Police Chief Jim Howatson's demotion has nothing to do with anger "flare-up" allegations or "difficult times in his personal life"

Effective Nov. 15, Assistant Chief Jim Howatson, 53, will become a captain... Department spokesman Mark Fulghum said the change was not the result of disciplinary action or because of the concerns raised over Howatson’s anger [or the "difficult times in his personal life"]...

ASSISTANT TACOMA POLICE CHIEF DEMOTED AFTER TRAFFIC TICKET OUTBURST, ANGER ISSUES: Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell has demoted an assistant chief who came under criticism earlier this year after an outburst over a traffic ticket and for other anger flare-ups.
News Tribune
Stacey Mulick;
11/06/10
Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell has demoted an assistant chief who came under criticism earlier this year after an outburst over a traffic ticket and for other anger flare-ups. Effective Nov. 15, Assistant Chief Jim Howatson, 53, will become a captain. Howatson, who oversees the Investigation Bureau, will move to the Administrative Services Bureau, which handles training, hiring, accreditation and Internal Affairs. Ramsdell declined to comment Friday about the move, and Howatson couldn’t be reached. Department spokesman Mark Fulghum said the change was not the result of disciplinary action or because of the concerns raised over Howatson’s anger by the union representing other commanders in the department... [Full article here]

EXCERPTS FROM PREVIOUS ARTICLES AND COMMENTS:

ASSISTANT TACOMA POLICE CHIEF UNDER SCRUTINY FOR 'ANGER' ISSUES
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
Amy Clancy
February 11, 2010
Tacoma police officers are claiming that Assistant Chief Jim Howatson has had numerous "anger" issues. And these claims have been uncovered ONLY by KIRO 7. This week, the President of Tacoma Police Management Association #26, delivered this letter to Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell that details concerns over Howatson's "anger flare-ups." According to the letter obtained by KIRO 7, Assistant Chief Howatson has been involved in at least five "alleged performance complaints" within the past year. THREE "ANGER FLARE-UPS" IN ALL - TWO WITH FELLOW TACOMA OFFICERS, A THIRD WITH A WASHINGTON STATE PATROL TROOPER on December 25th, 2009. The letter also alleges that Howatson has had, "UNAUTHORIZED/IMPROPER ACCESS TO (AN) EMPLOYEE'S FILE." THE UNION ASKS THE TACOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT TO INTERVENE, SO THAT HOWATSON CAN "GET THE HELP HE NEEDS." The letter further states that HOWATSON IS "GOING THROUGH SOME DIFFICULT TIMES IN HIS PERSONAL LIFE."... [Full article here]

LETTER CITES TACOMA POLICE ASSISTANT CHIEF’S ‘ANGER FLARE-UPS’
News Tribune
Sean Robinson
02/12/2010
Members of a TACOMA POLICE COMMANDERS UNION have filed a complaint with Chief Don Ramsdell, contending that an assistant chief’s recurring “anger flare-ups” OVER THE PAST YEAR deserve scrutiny. The Feb. 10 complaint letter, originally obtained by KIRO-TV, comes from the Tacoma Police Management Association (Local 26). IT CITES FIVE 2009 INCIDENTS INVOLVING ASSISTANT CHIEF JAMES HOWATSON... The complaint letter urges Ramsdell to take action, noting that the number of incidents in a 12-month period triggers internal police department requirements for early intervention. It also alleges a history of favoritism toward Howatson. “The combined alleged behaviors demonstrate characteristics that are affecting his performance and early intervention is imperative,” the letter states. It was signed by Capt. Mark Feddersen, president of the union. Feddersen did not respond to a voice-mail message Thursday evening. Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said department leaders will examine the allegations and proceed accordingly [Full article here]


LETTER FROM TACOMA POLICE MANAGEMENT UNION
News Tribune, Lights & Sirens
Posted By Stacey Mulick
February 13, 2010 at 1:40 am
[Excerpts] Here's the text of the letter sent Wednesday by the Tacoma Police Management Association to Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell regarding Assistant Police Chief Jim Howatson... Dear Chief Ramsdell: It has come to our attention there has been another alleged anger flare-up involving A/C Howatson and a Washington State Trooper... This makes approximately five alleged performance complaints involving A/C Howatson, which exceeds the early intervention system indicator criteria of 3 or more complaints in a 12 month period.
1. Anger flare-up with Lt. A.D. Roberts
2. Anger flare-up with Detectives Baker and Griffith
3. SID overtime fund and assignment complaint
4. Anger flare-up with WSP Trooper
5. Unauthorized/Improper access to employee’s file
We understand A/C Howatson is going through some difficult times in his personal life right now, but the combined alleged behaviors demonstrate characteristics that are affecting his performance and early intervention is imperative... Some of our members believe A/C Howatson has been given exceptionally more leniency than former A/C Mielbrecht before he was disciplined for his alleged performance issues... We are not looking at adversely effecting A/C Howatson. We are looking for fair and equitable treatment. Also, we are looking to encourage positive and supporting intervention measures so A/C Howatson can get the help he needs... [Full article here]

‘ANGER FLARE-UP’ ALLEGATIONS, CHIEF’S RESPONSE
The News Tribune
02/13/10 12:05 am
[Excerpts] ...According to the State Patrol, the trooper issued a speeding ticket to Howatson on Dec. 25 for going 23 mph over the speed limit on Interstate 5. Four minutes into the stop, the trooper asked for a supervisor from the Tacoma Police Department to come to the scene. The officer canceled the request 11 minutes later after a trooper with a dashboard camera arrived to record the incident... Ramsdell said that during the stop the trooper became aware that Howatson was a member of the Tacoma Police Department... After the trooper was interviewed and Howatson submitted a report, [Tacoma Police Chief Don] Ramsdell said he determined no further investigation was warranted... "in the end, this was a traffic stop,” Ramsdell wrote... [Full article here]

POLICE CHIEF DEFENDS ASSISTANT: Tacoma: No wrongdoing on four accusations, he says; investigators examine newly raised issue
News Tribune
Stacey Mulick
02/13/10 12:05 am
Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell responded Friday to a union letter raising concerns about the behavior of one of his top assistants, saying four of the five allegations had been investigated and no wrongdoing found. In a detailed letter to City Manager Eric Anderson, Ramsdell went through each of five episodes the Tacoma Police Management Association Local No. 26 raised regarding assistant police chief Jim Howatson, who oversees the criminal investigation bureau. The chief said he will direct Internal Affairs to look into a fifth allegation, which had not been raised before. “While I agree that taking the letter at face value would cause a great deal of concern, I do not have concerns about assistant chief Howatson based on the actual facts,” Ramsdell states... Instead, the chief raised concern about how the union conducted itself with the letter, which was sent Wednesday to Ramsdell, Anderson and the city’s human resources director, and leaked to KIRO-TV. “I am specifically concerned with the way they have used the letter to make inflammatory conclusions for which they have provided no basis,” Ramsdell wrote... [Ramsdell] stated that each of the allegations, which came from employees, third-party reports and anonymous letters, was taken seriously... Ramsdell’s letter also noted that Local 26 had, in previously meetings with Ramsdell, raised other examples of Howatson being aggressive in personal interactions with other employees. Ramsdell said he talked to the employees named by the union. “None of them provided me with any information that assistant chief Howatson had done anything improper,” Ramsdell wrote... The Local 26 letter stated that Howatson had had five performance complaints in a year, which should have triggered the department’s so-called early intervention system... [Full article herehttp://www.thenewstribune.com/news/crime/story/1068520.html]

TICKET TELLS TROOPER’S SIDE OF TRAFFIC STOP: Assistant chief: Officer said Tacoma official’s tone surprising
Stacey Mulick
Monday, Mar. 08, 2010
[Excerpts] An assistant Tacoma police chief yelled at a Washington State Patrol trooper during a traffic stop Dec. 25 and questioned how the trooper could “clock” him going more than 20 mph above the speed limit, according to documents obtained by The News Tribune. Trooper Kenyon Wiley wrote assistant chief Jim Howatson a $206 ticket for going 83 mph on Interstate 5 in Tacoma. A hearing on the ticket is scheduled for March 16. Local 26, the union that represents the Police Department’s captains and lieutenants, cited the ticket and what it termed Howatson’s “anger flare-up” with the trooper in a letter last month to Police Chief Don Ramsdel raising concerns about Howatson’s behavior... The News Tribune received a copy of the ticket from the State Patrol after a public disclosure request. The ticket provides Wiley’s account of the encounter. Asked about the details contained in the ticket, Ramsdell declined to comment beyond what he’d said in his letter... The trooper’s digital radar unit clocked the car at 83 mph... Howatson was “exhibiting possible attack indicators ... ... “He replied in a loud sarcastic tone..." [Trooper] Wiley wrote that Howatson’s tone surprised him. When he asked for Howatson’s license, registration and proof of insurance, “He yelled ‘I am a Tacoma police officer!’”... Wiley asked another trooper to respond to record the interaction with a dashboard camera. He also requested that a Tacoma police lieutenant come because he recognized Howatson as a member of the department’s command staff... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (ipv) abuse law enforcement public safety lethal washington state repeat hx preferential]

5 comments:

  1. COMMENTS FROM: Assistant Tacoma police chief demoted after traffic ticket outburst, anger issues, News Tribune, STACEY MULICK, 11/06/10


    ...SHOULDN'T BE A COP AT ALL WITH SUCH ANGER ISSUES...

    ...WOW, THEY PUT THIS COP, WHO BERATES A WSP TROOPER FOR GIVING HIM A SPEEDING TICKET, IN CHARGE OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS!!!!! THEY HAVE QUITE THE BRAIN TRUST GOING THERE IN THE TACOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT!...

    ...THIS SHOULD NOT BE IN THE NEWSPAPER... PLUS HE WAS CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES. THE CHIEF IS AN IDIOT...

    ...THIS NEEDS TO BE IN THE PAPER. THERE IS SO VERY LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR POLICE. POLICE HAVE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, MOST DANGEROUS AND MOST STRESSFUL JOBS IN SOCIETY. THEY HAVE A LOT OF POWER. THEY CAN LEGALLY KILL ON A MOMENTS NOTICE. AS A RESULT, THEY NEED TO BE MENTALLY SOUND AND VERY CLOSELY MONITORED...

    ...I COMMEND RAMSDELL FOR TAKING ACTION. I'M SURE THIS GUY IS EXCELLENT IN CERTAIN AREAS BUT SOMEONE WITH A GUN AND LICENSE TO KILL NEEDS TO BE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD. MAYBE NOW HE WILL SEE THAT HE NEEDS HELP WITH SOME ISSUES AND TAKE SOME STEPS TO GET A GRIP ON HIS ANGER...

    ...I THINK HIS DEMOTION HASN'T GONE FAR ENOUGH. HE SHOULDN'T BE TEACHING ANYTHING TO ANYONE IF HE HAS UNCONTROLLABLE ANGER ISSUES. BRAME IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF HOW THINGS CAN GO BADLY WHEN OVERSIGHT IS THE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE...

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  2. MORE COMMENTS FROM: Assistant Tacoma police chief demoted after traffic ticket outburst, anger issues, News Tribune, STACEY MULICK, 11/06/10

    ...I'VE KNOWN HIM OVER 30 YEARS, AND YES, HE'S ALWAYS HAD ANGER FLARE-UPS. USUALLY A NICE GUY...

    ...SO WAS DAVID BRAME...

    ...IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE STRESS, GET OUT OF THE JOB AND LET SOMEONE WHO CAN, DO THE JOB...

    ...HOW CAN THERE BE "NO WRONG DOING" WHEN YOU ARE GOING 83 MPH ON I5, THEN YELL AT A STATE TROOPER FOR PULLING YOU OVER?...

    ...I AM NOT SURE WHY TEACHERS AND POLICE ARE EXPECTED TO BE PERFECT. THIS IS NOT A BRAME SITUATION, JUST SOMEONE WHO IS STRESSED OUT, AND UNDERSTANDABLY SO...

    ...DRIVING 83, THEN HAVING A TEMPER TANTRUM, IS NOT JUST SOMEONE WITH "STRESS". THIS IS A COP. HE SOUNDS LIKE A HUGE LAWSUIT JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN...

    ...NOT TO FEEL TOO SORRY FOR THE CHIEF. HE'S SUBJECT TO A PENSION BASED ON THE HIGHEST RANK IN WHICH HE SERVED. WHEN HE DOES FILE FOR HIS PENSION, IT WILL MOST LIKELY BE CALCULATED AS AN ASSISTANT CHIEF. ALL CLOUDS HAVE GOLDEN LININGS (OR PARACHUTES) WHEN DEALING WITH POLICE AND FIRE UNIONS...

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  3. MORE COMMENTS FROM: Assistant Tacoma police chief demoted after traffic ticket outburst, anger issues, News Tribune, STACEY MULICK, 11/06/10

    ...WHERE ARE THE CALLS FOR THIS GUY TO BE FIRED BEFORE HE COSTS UP MILLIONS?...

    ...PERSONALLY, I CAN'T THINK OF ANY REASON A STATE TROOPER WOULD PULL SOMEONE OVER AND LIE ABOUT THEIR SPEED OR THEIR BEHAVIOR WHEN THERE ARE PLENTY OF REAL SPEEDERS (AND OTHER CRIMINALS) OUT THERE TO CHOOSE FROM. I CAN, HOWEVER, THINK OF SEVERAL REASONS THAT MEMBERS OF ONE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MIGHT DECLINE TO PURSUE CHARGES AGAINST A MEMBER OF ANOTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY...

    ...OH THAT'S A GOOD PLACE FOR HIM, INTERNAL AFFAIRS. HE ALREADY HAS PROVED HE THINKS THE LAWS DON'T PERTAIN TO HIM SO YOU PUT HIM THERE. WELL I GUESS FROM NOW ON HE'LL GIVE THEM ALL A FREE PASS...

    ...THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!! IT SOUNDS LIKE TO ME THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM. FIVE DISMISSED INCIDENTS OF MISCONDUCT? THE LAST OF WHICH SHOULD HAVE RESULTED IN CONVICTIONS OF RECKLESS DRIVING, IMPEDING A POLICE INVESTIGATION, AND POSSIBLE ASSAULTING AN OFFICER. NOW THIS GUY IS IN CHARGE OF HIRING AND TRAINING NEW OFFICERS? THAT'S COMFORTING, HE AND RAMSDELL SHOULD BE FIRED! THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE FOX IS GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE. PLEASE CALL TPD AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD, NOT THAT THEY CARE OR ANYTHING WILL BE DONE ABOUT IT...

    ...I DOUBT ANYONE SHOWED UP TO TESTIFY FOR THE PROSECUTION...

    ...JIM IS A GREAT PERSON THAT CAN GET ANGRY VERBALLY, BUT HAS THE SENSE NOT TO TURN IT INTO SOMETHING PHYSICAL. I FEEL THIS IS AN OVERREACTION AND IS NOT MERITED...

    ...MARK FULGHUM HAS DISHED OUT A COMPLETE LINE OF CRAP. THIS OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REACHED A POINT IN HIS CAREER WHERE HE IS ABLE TO MAINTAIN COMPLETE SELF CONTROL UNDER THE TOUGHEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES. HE HAS PROVED HE IS NOT ABLE TO LIVE UP TO THAT PROFESSIONAL EXPECTATION. I WOULD QUESTION IF HE HAS THE MENTAL CLARITY TO EVEN CARRY A WEAPON AND ADJUDICATE THE THE LAW IN A BALANCED MANNER. THIS RINGS OF THE DENIAL THAT WAS ALL THROUGH DAVE BRAME'S CAREER UNTIL IT ENDED NOT ONLY HIS LIFE BUT THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN. IS THERE A CULTURE OF FAILURE WITHIN THE TACOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT. PERHAPS WE SHOULD LOOK AT CHANGING OUT ALL THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP AND STARTING OVER. THIS IS ALARMING...

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  4. MORE COMMENTS FROM: Assistant Tacoma police chief demoted after traffic ticket outburst, anger issues, News Tribune, STACEY MULICK, 11/06/10

    ...AFTER READING ABOUT THE TIRADES,DOES THE NAME DAVID BRAME RING A BELL? AS FOR NO ONE FINDING ANY WRONG DOING,THAT SHOWS THE GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB IS ALIVE AND WELL!THE STATE PATROL SHOULD BE INFORMED,DO NOT BOTHER GIVING OUT SPEEDING TICKETS TO CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS AS THESE TICKETS WILL JUST BE DISMISSED...

    ...GOOD FOR CHIEF RAMSDELL FOR RECOGNIZING AND TAKING ACTION. HOWEVER, DID HE REALLY PUT THIS GUY IN CHARGE OF HIRING AND TRAINING? TALK ABOUT ONE STEP FORWARD AND TWO STEPS BACK...

    ...TROOPER KEN WILEY DID EVERYTHING BY THE BOOK, INCLUDING CALLING HIS WSP SUPERVISOR ASAP. HOWATSON HAS TRIED TO CAUSE HIM TROUBLE SINCE...

    ...IT WAS JUST A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO THAT A PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF MUDERED HIS IN-LAWS, IN HIS OWN HOME, WHILE THEY WERE VISITING THEN KILLED HIMSELF BUT SPARED HIS WIFE AND KIDS. WHY OH WHY? HOW DO YOU PICK UP ON SOMEONE WHEN THEY ARE IN LALA LAND? ESPECIALLY POLICE. A FISH GOES ROTTEN FROM THE HEAD DOWN?...

    ...INTERESTING YOU BRING THIS UP, ANOTHER GLARING EXAMPLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FAILING TO PROPERLY INVESTIGATE AND INFORM THE RESIDENTS IT SERVES. AT THE TIME THE INCIDENT OCCURRED I HAD BROUGHT UP THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE OFFICER MAY HAVE BEEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOME NARCOTIC. THIS IS USUALLY THE FIRST QUESTION LAW ENFORCEMENT ASKS WHEN INVESTIGATING A MURDER/SUICIDE. THERE WAS NO MENTION OF THE SUBJECT AND I SUSPECT THERE WAS NO INVESTIGATION INTO IT. SOMEHOW, DESPITE THE GROWING NUMBER OF SHOOTINGS BY POLICE, POLICE UNIONS CONTINUE TO RESIST ANY AND ALL REQUESTS BY THE PUBLIC FOR MANDATORY RANDOM DRUG TESTING. I CAN FIND NO REASONABLE EXCUSE TO ALLOW OFFICERS TO PATROL THE STREETS IN COMBAT GEAR WITH AN ARSENAL IN THEIR TRUNKS AND A LICENSE TO KILL WITHOUT ENSURING THE PUBLIC THAT THEY ARE AT LEAST SOBER AND HAVE NO HISTORY OF VIOLENCE OR SIGNIFICANT MENTAL ILLNESS...

    ...I WORKED FOR THIS GUY. I ENDURED MANY SCREAMING SESSIONS WITH HIS HAND ON HIS GUN. IN THE END, I QUIT TO GET AWAY FROM HIM AND RAMSDULL. I KNOW OF 3 SEPERATE HOSTILE WORKPLACE, WITH A FEAR OF VIOLENCE, COMPLAINTS THAT WERE FILED AGAINST THIS AS* THAT WERE NEVER INVESTIGATED BY ANYONE. JUST COVERED UP BY RAMSDULL. HE WASNT PRESENT DURING THE BRAME THING, BUT IT WAS HIS SIGNATURE ON THE LOCAL 26 LETTER PRAISING BRAME AND RECOMENDING HIM TO BE CHIEF. THERE WILL BE NO LOSS AS HE DID NO WORK. HE JUST SHOWED UP A FEW HOURS TO VISIT HIS MANY SUBORDINANT GIRL FRIENDS...

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  5. EXCERPTS FROM THE COMMENTS FOLLOWING THE ARTICLE

    [COP 1] ...The behavior in the allegation is certainly atypical of Howatson's past demeanor...

    [COP 2]...It is reprehensible that this letter was made public before any due process could be taken... They will now be "forced" by the public to make moves they may not have made otherwise. Who hasn't gotten upset at getting a speeding ticket?... I am apalled by the Tribune and KIRO for posting this letter so hastily...

    [COP 3]...I have had numerous interactions with Howatson over the years, both professional, and personal. If the allegations are true, it’s very out of character for Howatson...

    [COP 4]...i too find it strange that this letter hit the news media so quickly...

    [COP 5]...Shame on the individuals in the Tacoma Police department who betrayed their fellow officers by shedding a fabricated story to the media...

    [COP 6]...I concur with other statements here which vouch for A/C Howatson's character...

    [COP 7]...I have no idea who Mr. Howatson is , however it seems ridiculously unfair for this this story to be out before his superiors have even the chance to take a look at both sides...

    [COP 8]...Who in this world has not sparked at certain times in their life.?...

    [COP 9]...I have dealt with Mr Howatson and he has always been a professional and friendly individual...

    [CLOUD]
    Kudos to those who did something instead of nothing. If this Asst Chief imploded the first question would be why didn't anyone say anything and the newspaper would be accused of hiding something too... I WISH the public had the chance to reach out to support Crystal and her husband Tacoma Police Chief David Brame. Officers made their concerns known BEFORE Brame committed murder-suicide, but it WASN'T made public and the concerns were IGNORED. THESE concerns won't be ignored because they were in the PAPER. We don't get do-overs but we can learn from the past. It's the wall of silence that kills. Cops with short memories accusing fellow officers of betrayal is just double-coating that wall a very ugly thick-skulled shade of killer-blue.

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