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Big Bend PBA Board Retracts President's Call For Probe Of TPD Chief DeLeo


The Big Bend Police Benevolent Association's board of directors is retracting the chapter president's call for an investigation into Tallahassee Police Department Chief Michael DeLeo. The move comes a day after the group requested a probe.

The local PBA says the complaint was initiated by an anonymous letter, signed only as Concerned Employees for A Diverse TPD. The letter raised questions about hiring practices related to race in the department.

County Commissioner Bill Proctor brought the letter to light in a letter of his own, calling for DeLeo’s suspension. In it, Proctor highlights an excerpt from the employee letter,  saying DeLeo’s “personal idiosyncrasies” are at play in the racial makeup of officers.

Big Bend PBA President Steven Slade put out a press release Wednesday calling for a probe by the City Commission, but Thursday saw the group retract Slade’s statement.

However Slade, who is also the state PBA’s vice president of chapters, says he stands by his initial statement. He writes, “The rank and file of law enforcement agencies are investigated daily on allegations from citizens whether anonymous or in person throughout the State of Florida.  Management regardless of rank should be held to the same scrutiny.” 

Slade was not available for comment Thursday.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.