Virginia Police Chief Moves Forward Despite High Tensions

By KBJR News 1

January 3, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)--Four months after being re-instated as police chief following a civil service trial regarding his conduct in office, Dana Waldron says the going is tough.

Waldron says it's hard to move forward with high tension in the workplace.

"I made an effort and I tried," Waldron said. "I guess I've come to the conclusion that it's difficult to do that if people are trying to get rid of you anyways."

Several grievances of insubordination, bullying and misconduct in the workplace were filed against Waldron. He was placed on administrative leave until an investigation and trial were complete.

The Chief was found guilty on four of 16 charges during a civil service commission trial over the summer.

In a written statement, the Virginia Police Union LELS 195 said they are unable to given an interview in "ongoing fear of retaliation and harassment."

The union representative says the police department stands by its vote of no confidence taken last January.

Meanwhile the city administration has taken away some of the duties Chief Waldron previously performed and has denied some of his financial requests.

"We have really curtailed travel for the Chief and for all departments," Mayor Peterson said. "We've really looked at that, travel is very expensive."

Mayor Peterson believes it is still in the best interest of the city that Chief Waldron retire and move on.

"In no way, myself or the council, is going to force him to do that," Mayor Peterson said. "I think if he really is concerned and cares about the future of the city, he would seriously take a look at that option."

Waldron, in contrast, says he continues to receive overwhelming support from the community.

"I got Christmas cards from people I barely knew that say, 'congratulations, I'm glad to see you're back in the job,'" Waldron said. "And people have come up to me and said, 'people have to realize there can only be one chief' and things like that."

Chief Waldron says he has no plans to retire.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch