City Councilman Victor Hernandez called for an outside agency to review the department's protocols and past actions, according to a statement.
Hernandez said he is not in favor of confirming Jerry Brewer as interim police chief. He said it would be better to bring in someone outside of the current command and control staff. The city manager demoted former police chief Roger Ellis to captain in June. So far there has been no official explanation for that action. Ellis has since retired from the force. The city manager appointed Brewer as acting chief and council will vote on confirming that appointment on July 23.
In his statement, Hernandez writes, "The citizens of Lubbock deserve a police department that is free of suspicion in the way it handles criminal investigations and its' personnel decisions. The men and women of the Lubbock Police Department deserve to be part of an organization that the public deems credible and reliable," according to Councilman Hernandez.
Councilman Hernandez continued, "The criminal investigations involving Mark Anthony Ysasaga, Zoe Campos, Glen Robertson and others; as well as the "demotion" of Police Chief Roger Ellis, the reassignment of Assistant Chief James Shavers from investigations to patrol, and the current investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (which accuses the City of Lubbock of discriminatory hiring practices) are but a few of the issues which have surfaced recently. In addition, complaints filed with the police department's internal affairs department as well as the City of Lubbock's human resources department are bringing into question whether or not the Lubbock Police Department can investigate itself."
"As such, I think it prudent to hire as Interim Police Chief, a person that is currently outside of the current command and control staff. It is for these reasons that I cannot support the City Manager's choice," stated Hernandez.
Councilman Hernandez continued, "In addition, I believe the Lubbock Police Department's protocols and past actions, need to be reviewed by an outside agency in order to ferret out all issues, singular or systemic, which have led us to this point."
"Of paramount importance to me, is that the citizens of Lubbock regain the confidence in their police department. In order to achieve this goal, the City of Lubbock must be transparent. Equally important, the City of Lubbock needs to promptly identify all problem areas, find solutions that can be implemented quickly and hopefully, start the process of rebuilding the public's trust," stated Hernandez.