Punta Gorda police chief report card
Fox 4's John Rupolo investigates Video by fox4now.comvideo
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The evaluation shows Punta Gorda Police chief Butch Arenal exceeded expectations over the last year. This, according to City Manager Howard Kunick who gave the chief high marks in his annual review. Kunick writes, "directives are followed accurately" and "planning efforts are thorough. One Punta Gorda resident agrees.
"I think he's been doing the best he possibly can with what he's had to work with," said one resident.
But the department has had internal issues over the past year. First, the department's former PIO Christy Arnold filed a complaint with the EEOC after she says the Chief made several inappropriate sexual comments to her last spring. This struck a cord with one Punta Gorda business owner.
"I think he has an obligation to step aside and let things be investigated and the facts come out," said one Pun ta Gerda business owner.
The harassment complaint didn't go unnoticed in Arenal's review. Under "judgment ability" which was the only "needs improvement" Arenal received the City Manager writes,
"This category would have been evaluated much more of a positive manner had it not been for the Arnold complaint," wrote Kunick.
But that complaint wasn't the only controversy inside the department this year. A patrolman's survey released last December indicated more than sixty percent of the officers were not satisfied with current top administration at the Punta Gorda PD. Arenal's annual review makes no mention of this other than to say Arenal's decision to conduct the survey was, "risk taking".
But after the survey the Chief implemented more open communication with his officers and told me back in June he now meets with them on a regular basis.
"Nobody else but me and them and we talk about anything they want to talk about," said Arenal.
I tried to set up an interview with Kuncik and elected officials but they all declined.
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