Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenneth City police chief wants more time to fix department's problems

KENNETH CITY — Police Chief Doug Pasley says his department has problems and he wants another year to fix them.

Pasley, who has been Kenneth City's police chief since December 2007, came under fire this year when an investigation by the Pinellas County Sheriff raised allegations of sloppy practices and poor management. The sheriff is now conducting a more in-depth review of the department, its standard operating procedures, morale, equipment and training.

The review is being conducted quickly because the Town Council must notify Pasley by early July whether it intends to keep him. If the council fails to do so, Pasley's contract will automatically renew for three years.

But at a council workshop last week, Pasley offered a compromise. The chief said he would forgo the automatic three-year renewal for a one-year term. At the end of that time, the council would review his performance. His proposal came after he conceded that the department's standard operating procedures "are being updated, not as quickly as I'd like." Likewise, Pasley said, the emergency management manual is "not where I want it."

That could all change within the next year, he said.

"Give me that much time to make a difference," Pasley said at the workshop.

Pasley never explained why he had not brought the manuals more up to date in the three-plus years he has been chief although he hinted that his officers are reluctant to do his bidding. When he became chief, Pasley said, he met with his supervisors to tell them he wanted to update the department's operating procedures, inventory and emergency manual.

"Oh, it was like calling their mother something," Pasley said.

The council refused to hear his suggestion about his contract, saying that it was not time to talk about his future with Kenneth City.

For the majority of his time as Kenneth City's police chief, Pasley, 68, has cultivated a folksy persona that has made him popular with some members of the council and town residents. But Mayor Teresa Zemaitis long complained about Pasley's liking for taking his command staff to Bob Evans for frequent long breakfasts as well as other issues. She asked last summer that the council fire him.

The council refused to do so and refused to listen to evidence of residents' complaints about Pasley that Zemaitis had compiled. After receiving continued complaints, Zemaitis called in the Pinellas County sheriff late last year to check what was going on in the department.

The sheriff found, among other things, that Kenneth City police officers frequently venture out of Kenneth City on duty. They also pulled computer records on one Kenneth City officer who "spent long periods of time stationary in one location." They found he used the department computer to log onto dating sites, Craigslist, and nutrition and bodybuilding sites, among others.

The findings prompted council member Troy Campbell, who oversees the Police Department, to call in the sheriff for a full audit. That should be completed this month or early next month, Campbell said.

"At the end of the day, we want an honest assessment of the police force and the equipment," Campbell said.

And while Campbell agreed that, "ultimately, the chief will be held accountable," he said he believes the real culprit might be money.

"It is clear to me even as a new councilman is (that) the second report may prove the department is underfunded," Campbell said. "I have a real concern that it may be underfunded."

The department has 12 officers plus the chief. The budget is about $1.2 million, which is about 55 percent of Kenneth City's overall $2.2 million operating budget.

Pasley agreed that there are budget woes, including his salary.

"I'm the lowest paid chief in Pinellas County," Pasley said.

Three of his officers, he said, make more than he does and two make as much.

"You're not going to get a new chief for $60,000," Pasley said.

Reach Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Kenneth City police chief wants more time to fix department's problems 05/31/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 3:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers


    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem


    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  4. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.
  5. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921