Local News

Durham Police Department Audit Less Critical of...

Posted February 10, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— After months of research, the long-awaited report on the Durham Police Department is finally in. The independent management audit comes three days after Police Chief Jackie McNeil announced he will take early retirement on June 30, 1997. The city manager says the timing is a coincidence.

The report is 121 pages long and is far less critical of the department than many thought it would be. In fact, the study points out much about the more positive aspects of the department.

Paul Miller, chairman of the Police Study Committee, says there some areas, however, that warrant attention.

The report offers about 100 recommendations for making improvements to the department, beginning with the issue of morale. Interim City Manager Cecil Brown says the report shows 72 percent of uniform patrol officers are dissatisfied with leadership.

On the issue of public image, the report states that 69 percent of officers are dissatisfied. A surprise to some is that the embattled chief, Jackie McNeil, is only specifically mentioned on a few pages.

One section states,"the current chief has made a number of tough decisions, many of which are supported by the study team. The team does, however, recommend modifications in his management style and decision-making process."

Council members say the study does not single out McNeil.

There was no official comment from McNeil Monday, but Brown says McNeil will be an influential part of implementing the recommendations in the report before he retires.

Most of the recommendations in the report point to a need for training at all levels. The consultants who conducted the study will present the full report to the Police Study Committee Thursday.