Thursday, August 3, 2017

Burlington County police chief placed on paid administrative leave after FOP Lodge issues "no confidence" vote.

The chief of police in a Burlington County township has been placed on paid administrative leave on July 31, 2017--the same day that the township's mayor and council received a four-page letter from the police union that announced "a unanimous vote on no confidence" in the chief.

According to an August 3, 2017 letter from Florence Township Administrator Richard A. Brook, Chief John Bunce, whose 2017 salary is $130,691, "is currently employed by Florence Township; however, he is on paid administrative leave effective July 31, 2017."

Following Brook's letter at the link above is a four-page, July 31, 2017 letter from Chris Powell, President of the Florence Township Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 210, stating that the Lodge unanimously voted that it had "no confidence in Police Chief John Bunce" and that Bunce has "brought embarrassment to the Township."

The letter, which alleges that Bunce operates under a "do as I say, not as I do" policy, accuses Bunce of violating rules regarding proper access and use of criminal justice system databases.  The FOP letter also accuses Bunce of "taking extended leaves during his shift," announcing that he is attending meetings when he is actually going home.

Powell also alleged that Bunce took surveillance cameras that were donated to the department by a local business to his own home "and utilized them for his personal benefit."  Bunce also stands accused of "accepting donations from Amazon and then using those donations as gifts for family and friends" and misusing the department's Internal Affair process to target and retaliate against particular officers.