Wilkes-Barre Police Union Asks City Council To Investigate Its Own Police Chief
WILKES-BARRE — The Wilkes-Barre police department’s union wants the city to investigate its own police chief.
The union made the request after bringing city council a survey at its meeting Thursday night, saying morale within the department is at an all-time low.
The union represents nearly the entire city’s police department.
“This wasn’t just an individual or small group of officers that were having issues, but basically it’s the entire workforce of the police department that has concerns,” said Phil Myers, the president of the Wilkes-Barre Police Benevolent Association, adding that Chief Marcella Lendacky has allowed most officers’ CPR certification to expire. The union calls that a public safety risk.
The union also said Chief Lendacky makes an officer in a police car follow the city’s street sweeper with the siren on so people move their cars — when officers should instead be out fighting crime.
“We want officers that are committed, OK, not compliant, and right now there’s a large majority of officers who are compliant and not committed,” Myers said.
Frustrated union leaders recently made a survey. Almost all of the union’s members responded to it. The survey was then sent to the chief and the mayor last month. But the union says they never heard back, so the union presented the survey to city council.
Part of the findings include:
- 72 percent have no confidence in Chief Lendacky’s ability to lead.
- 81 percent are unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with current working conditions.
- 12 percent would definitely stay at WBPD if offered a job with similar pay and benefits.
“It goes a long way to have good morale in the department,” Myers said.
“If it’s something that warrants an investigation, then council should definitely appoint someone to have an investigation,” said Councilwoman Beth Gilbert.
Newswatch 16 wanted to talk to Chief Lendacky following the meeting for comment, but she could not be found afterward. The mayor does not attend city council meetings, and the city administrator said the administration does not respond to surveys.