Fenwick Island Police Chief Situation

Sussex County Online User Forums: Sussex County Delaware Discussion Forum: Fenwick Island Police Chief Situation
By Eric Magill on Saturday, August 31, 2002 - 12:51 pm:

What do you think of the current situation involving the Fenwick Island chief and town council? Voice your opinions here.

By Chris Clark on Sunday, September 01, 2002 - 02:48 pm:

According to a recent article in The Economist, pertaining to civil liberties in America,

"Democracies die behind closed doors."

By Mr Jody Hudson on Monday, September 02, 2002 - 10:35 am:


I wish I could figure out "the rest of the story". From the WGMD news and on-air discussions there; it sounds like there were BIG egos in conflict... The fishiest part of the report was the council members taking possession of all evidence etc. and then next morning -- putting it all back in the possession of the Chief.

What new has been reported since then?

By bill weistling jr. on Monday, September 02, 2002 - 01:55 pm:

Some comments on the F.I. issues:
All meetings of any council should be posted in accordance with FOIA and posted so that the public does not have to search for the posting. The police issue has been ongoing for 9 mos. now, why the recent rush for these latest executive sessions?
Mrs. Carmean: read the memos from all parties, and interview the Chief. Get all the info on these issues. As a council person, you're entitled to know. Don't recuse yourself.

By Eric Magill on Monday, September 02, 2002 - 07:08 pm:

We know that the chief is not in the office and that Sgt. Bruette is Officer in Charge. Council has refused to explain exactly what the chief's status is, though.

Vicki will not be at the executive session Tuesday due to a death in the family. She emailed me that she has sent a proxy statement to the other council members stating her opposition to the closed meeting.

Also, I ran into Tempe Steen on the boardwalk this evening after the Bethany Jazz Funeral and her only comment to Kerin and I was, "There go the tabloid writers".

By M.Opaliski on Tuesday, September 03, 2002 - 05:53 pm:

First off, the comment by Steen was in very bad taste. SC Online is anything but a tabloid, unless of course its your dirt which is being aired as is evidenced by the resulting comment.

The entire situation is becomming humorous, but at the same time very serious for the town, and rightfully so because the chief has now retained legal service, good service too. I have dealt personally with Mr. Ligouri and he is quite effective.

With the past FOIA violations this year you have to wonder why the town would do so again, regardless of how pressing the issue is. There is still a law, and it is entended that it be followed. The blatent, and repeated disregard for state statute should by now warrant some repercussions, if not by law, by the voters, both of the town and the 5th councilmanic district.

By TJ Right on Tuesday, September 03, 2002 - 11:44 pm:

What is really going on? Is the Town Council
trying to hide something? Why don't they admit
they made a mistake and move on. Get the Chief back where he belongs and let him run the department as it should be. We are tired of this
mess. Not to mention it is really making FI
look bad.

By bill weistling jr. on Wednesday, September 04, 2002 - 11:48 am:

One of the reasons given for holding yesterday's executive session with less than the 7 days required notice was to "obtain a quorum". 4 of 7 council persons were present. A meeting of that importance should have been postponed until all 7 council people could attend.
"All police services continue to be provided as normal.":
The police chief, with 9 yrs. experience,is apparently on paid suspension;the 2nd in command, Maj. Manning, with 16 yrs. experience, is bypassed in favor of the 3rd in command, Sgt. Bruette; the Town has hired a consultant at $25.hr who together with the Chief are now accounting for approx. $50 an hr; according to today's WAVE "citizens wishing to file a police report about a crime committed are being turned away because no one is available to help them"; I doubt that 24hr-7day coverage is occurring; and Council recently agreed that the starting pay for police officers be $12.25 an hr., among the lowest of adjacent jurisdictions.
Perhaps there's a typo in the Town's statement. Instead of 'as normal', maybe it should read 'abnormal'.

By Jim Simpson on Wednesday, September 04, 2002 - 12:11 pm:

The Council has been derelict in its duties since January 2002 when the police situation reached the deplorable point in which it still finds itself. The actions of the Council and the self proclaimed "mayor" lead me to believe that there is a serious problem that is not being dealt with in a manner that is in the best interest of the townspeople. What is the Council hiding? That is the only logical conclusion at which one can arrive. Instead of stonewalling, the Council and self proclaimed "mayor" need to come clean. After passing a budget without allowing public participation that included a property tax increase, to hire a consultant is laughable if it weren't so pathetic. The voters in Sussex County can do the residents of Fenwick a big favor. Elect the self proclaimed "mayor" to the County Council and take her off our hands.

By Hammer on Thursday, September 05, 2002 - 07:42 am:

Come on people, wake up. The town of fenwick Island needs to get rid of the chief and second in command. That has always been and always will be the reason for the large turn over in police officers in that department.

By M Gontarek on Thursday, September 05, 2002 - 05:58 pm:

I think Hammer needs to wake up. The town of Fenwick needs to get rid of the council. And we all know who should be the first to go.

By Miss Woernier on Thursday, September 05, 2002 - 11:00 pm:

I think Gontarek needs to know the real reasons why Fenwick Island police department has always had a largeturn over in man power. Council should contact all the past officers and see if they have anything good to say about the working conditions at the police department and the careers the have ruined.

By M.Opaliski on Friday, September 06, 2002 - 03:43 am:

First, Council should try following state law as it pertains to the FOIA outlined in Title 29, Chapter 100 of Delaware Code. They have willfully violated the FOIA at least 3 times in the past 8 months as per opinions of the AG's office. And, I'm sure that with this latest series of events the AG's office will opine once again, not favorably for the town.

There may very well be problems with the inner workings of the FI Police Department, I have no knowledge of that and therefore cannot speak to it. However, whether there is or not, there is a process that Council can utilize to remedy the situtaion, without violating state law.

By Mr. T. on Friday, September 06, 2002 - 03:50 am:

I hope the chief of Fenwick does get his hearing with the town officals of Fenwick Island. Because I will be the person who who tell the town officals what really went on in the police department. Being forced to write speeding tickets for a monthly quota or be fired and black balled for the rest of there life. There will be a long line of past officers who would love to tell their story. It's been long over due in the house cleaning of the police department. The town officals are finally starting to do the right thing. It's time to throw out the trash in the department and Dickerson and Manning are the trash. Isn't strange that all the police officers all from other states. It's because everyone in Delaware knows not to get a job in Fenwick because of the two guys that run the police department. Thats why they hire police officers from other states. Because they dont know anything about what realy goes on in the police department. I think the town officals should have taken care of this problem years ago, but at least now they realize what the real problem is and are taking the steps to fix the problem. I can only hope that they call me in one day to tell the (TRUTH) of all the things that took place.

By USMC on Monday, September 09, 2002 - 09:34 pm:

F Y I . . .if anyone wants to meet Mayor Peg Baunchalk she will be at the Cottage Cafe on Thursday Sept 12 8am - 9:30am

By Past Employee on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 01:18 pm:

It's good to hear that the Fenwick Island Town Council will be having a audit done on the police department. They should start with all past grants and see if the chief really purchased items that the police department actually recieved money for.

What about the so called "Major" of the police department. The town needs to get rid of him also.

I came across some town council minutes and the so called or want a be "Major" believes that he does not intimidate other officers. The so called Major would intimidate any officer of the police department that would voice a concern that was differnt from the Major. These two guys thought they could walk on water forever. I'm glad to see that they are finally sinking in the water.

By former officer on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 11:26 pm:

Well its about time,somebody noticed there was something wrong in Fenwick Police department.Lets start with chief Dickerson and second in command Manning.I hope they feel good now being on the outside looking in.They have made several loyal unsuspecting officers feel the same way over the years just because you had a disagreement with them or didn't see things thier way.They have had a practice of hiring from out of state and then when the officer no longer meets thier personal needs.They fire the officer and set out to destroy thier lives and careers.I wish people would have listened to the steady stream of officers before that told what was going on in The Fenwick Island Police department.The cause has always been Manning and Dickerson. They are criminals hiding behind badges and I hope this all comes out.I'll be glad to tell the people what has been going on.I will when the time comes.

By The Darkness Cometh on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 04:07 pm:

Why haven't all the former officers filed a class action suit against Dickerson, Manning and the Town of Fenwick Island? I know there is hard evidence for a case foundation.

I understand that Dickerson had a criminal investigtion against him and Dickerson quashed at one time. There was only a blurb in the media when it started. Dickerson is (was) close friends with Attorney General Jane Brady at the time of the offense. Dickerson allowed a DUI arrest to "disappear" by having offical state reports and a traffic summons destroyed. Right after the arrest was made, Manning became "the enforcer". Memos were written, reports were filed and copies were made before files were destroyed. I guess they don't know that copies of that arrest still exist. The officer involved went to the AG's office an they began in investigation until Jane Brady ran interference. Talk about official misconduct, tampering with records and other related criminal offenses!

Come on, guys! Former officers of Fenwick Island ... make it count! Why let two small, weak-minded, corrupt cops haunt your lives and try to ruin your careers?

One or two voices can be drowned out, but the whole crowd can't be ignored!

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