The Port Arthur Police Association conducted a vote of
its membership regarding the leadership of the Port Arthur Police Department.
The vote started at 8:00 am October 27, 2017. Voting by the membership ended at
8:00 am November 6, 2017. The membership was asked to respond to the following
As a Port Arthur Police Officer, do you have confidence
in the Police Chief, and the administration he has put in place, to effectively
and efficiently manage the Department in a manner that promotes a good working
environment among Officers, provides leadership to Officer's, and provides the
citizens of Port Arthur the services and protection they deserve?
Members of the Association were asked to answer
"yes" or "no" to the above question. The vote was anonymous
and conducted on line via a secure web site. Based on the vote of the
Association's membership, 85% of the voting membership responded "NO",
indicating the overwhelming majority of the voting membership lack confidence
in Police Chief Patrick Melvin and the administration he has put in place.
The association agrees that changes within the department
were necessary and recognizes that a new chief will make personnel and policy
decisions based on their management style and philosophy. Patrick Melvin was
hired as Police Chief for Port Arthur on or about September 29, 2016. Chief
Melvin's leadership and management style has resulted in approximately 25
members of the department leaving since he was hired. Many of the Officers that
elected not to stay under Chief Melvin's leadership were long time Officer's
and Supervisors at the department that had countless years of experience to
offer to the department and the City.
A significant void in leadership occurred as a direct
result of Chief Melvin's leadership style and philosophy. That void in
management was filled with persons that lacked leadership experience. The
result has been a further decline in the number of Officers and deterioration
of morale among the Officers that remain. The lack of experience and leadership
within the department was obvious during the tragic event of Hurricane Harvey
making landfall in Southeast Texas. In addition, under Chief Melvin's leadership,
the City has experienced more litigation against the City by Officers than at
any other time in the history of the department, resulting in hundreds of
thousands of dollars in legal fees being incurred by the City.
The Executive Board of the Association welcomes the
opportunity to discuss the direction of the department and these serious issues
in detail with City Council and/or City Management to create a positive working
environment that will benefit the City and the Citizens of Port Arthur.