The Fraternal Order of Police lodges have voiced their opinions on the upcoming election.
Scioto holds two local FOP lodges within its county lines. Lodge 33 and Lodge 187 have taken different stances on the upcoming primary election for Sheriff.
Lodge 187 have announced they are fully backing John Murphy for the candidacy, while Lodge 33 are respectfully remaining neutral.
The Daily Times spoke with the presidents of both Lodges about their stances on the candidates.
FOP President of Lodge 187, Darren Fike, said, “We had a vote as a lodge, and we feel he [Murphy] is the best qualified candidate for our endorsement.”
Nick Shepherd, President of Lodge 33, stated “All three candidates were invited down and spoke to our lodge, we took a vote and decided not to endorse anyone.”
Fike stated, “We respect Lodge 33’s decision to remain neutral.”
The two lodges in the area see the Portsmouth PD call 33 home. The deputies of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office are members of 187.
Billboards have begun appearing throughout Scioto County, and in particular one from Lodge 187 has come under speculation.
Some members of the community have expressed their opinions, the sign is, “misleading.”
Fike expressed, “We don’t feel our ad is misleading, it does say ‘187’ right on it.”
When questioned, both presidents would state, there is no problem with the signs.
Shepherd and Fike, both told the Times, “The symbols and colors of the FOP are not exclusive.” Fike would continue, “If they made a sign [Lodge 33] they could also use the artwork and colors of the FOP.”
The president of 187 carried on to say, “At no point did we attempt to mislead the public.”
Both presidents warned about false information. They stated, others need to research for themselves and ask questions.
People can misspeak and others may just be wrong or lies, no matter your affiliation its important understand the truth in voting season.
Rumors had been circulating of David Thoroughman’s former membership with Lodge 33. When questioned about the validity of the statements, Shepherd could “neither confirm nor deny” the former membership.
Lodge #33 indicated that neutrality is the path selected until after the primary elections. The Lodge will then revisit endorsements after the result of the primary election.
More was to be said on the position of Police Chief.
A vote was held, one which all members were eligible to cast their vote. The vote was to determine if the vacant position would be filled from within or outside of the precinct.
The position of chief will be chosen from within the Portsmouth Police Department.
According to a release, all current officers eligible would be a good choice for the city. Not only would they be beneficial to the city, but to their fellow officers as well.
Another thought from the Lodge was, an internal promotion, morale will remain high and younger officers will have more opportunities to advance.
Promoting officers who have dedicated their lives and career’s to Portsmouth was the overall thought process.
The Lodge believed that if they were to fill the rank from outside, a negative impact would be felt throughout the P.D. There was no need to bring in someone who doesn’t know what Portsmouth needs to flourish.
In March, the primary election will be held. From that point the FOP will revisit the possibility of endorsement. There have been no more details released as to the whom, number of candidates or when, a new Chief of Police is to be expected.
Reach Bailey Watts (740) 353-3101 Ext 1931
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