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Portsmouth police chief hit with no-confidence vote
By JEN MCCAFFERY, The Virginian-Pilot
November 9, 2007
Last updated: 11:51 PM

PORTSMOUTH

A prominent city law enforcement group overwhelmingly voted Thursday night that they lack faith in the police chief.

After several hours of discussion, members of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Portsmouth endorsed the no-confidence vote in Police Chief Edward Long, said D.K. Butler, president of the lodge. Their concerns include recent decisions Long has made on promotions, transfers and day-to-day operations.

It is the first time that the lodge has taken such a vote in at least 15 years, Butler said. He said all ranks, ranging from assistant chief to uniformed patrol officers, attended Thursday's meeting. H e would not say how many people voted or give a breakdown of the numbers.

Long has served as police chief since September 2006.

"It was the opinion of the FOP and me personally that he's a wonderful person whose performance has been lacking," said Butler, who is also a lieutenant in the department.

Long said in a phone interview Thursday that he would listen to the order 's concerns.

"I'll talk with them, and we can address some of the concerns," Long said.

He declined to further comment.

The group also wants the chief to support officers on improved pay and health benefits, Butler said. Long also needs to be more attentive to the opinions of upper management and his subordinates, he said.

Butler said it is up to City Manager Kenneth Chandler to determine how he'll handle the Fraternal Order of Police vote.

The group's goal is to get Long "to improve his performance," Butler said. "That's the outcome we're hoping for. And we look forward to working with him to do just that."

Long joined the department in 1999 as an assistant chief and was named interim chief after Frank Kitzerow left the department in 2005.

The department has about 250 sworn officers and a budget of roughly $25 million.

Jen McCaffery, (757) 446-2627, jen.mccaffery@pilotonline.com