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Durham Police Department Audit Less Critical of...

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The report
DURHAM — After months of research, thelong-awaited report on theDurham Police Department is finally in. The independent management auditcomes three days after Police Chief Jackie McNeil announced he will takeearly retirement on June 30, 1997. The city manager says the timing is acoincidence.

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

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

The report offers about 100 recommendations for making improvements to the department, beginning with the issue of morale. Interim City ManagerCecil Brownsays the report shows 72 percent of uniform patrol officers aredissatisfied with leadership.

On the issue of public image, the report states that 69 percent ofofficers 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 toughdecisions, many of which are supported by the study team. The team does,however, recommend modifications in his management style anddecision-making process."

Council members say the study does not single out McNeil.

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

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

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