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Unions present no-confidence vote in police chief to Henderson council

Henderson police unions presented their vote of no confidence in Chief Thedrick Andres during a public comment period at the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

Earlier this month the Henderson Police Officers and Henderson Police Supervisors associations announced that more than 95 percent of their members voted no confidence in the chief.

The unions wrote in a statement that Andres cultivated a hostile work environment and discriminated against officers based on gender and sexuality.

The council took no action following the comments. Mayor Debra March adjourned the meeting but first made a statement supporting Andres and touting the improvements that have happened under his leadership.

“Moving forward, we look forward to open dialogue and a spirit of collaboration,” March said. “I want to reiterate my support for Chief Andres as well as the entire department and my hope that the fellow council members will do the same as well.”

No other council member commented. Councilman Dan Shaw was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

More than 20 people commented on the no confidence vote including Andres who was the last speaker during an almost hour-and-a-half public comment period.

“I am willing to sit down with our police union, I want that on record, to work through any issues that they perceive,” Andres said.

The council chamber was close to full with some standing just outside the chamber listening in. Some speakers who voiced support for the vote of no confidence were met with applause from the crowd.

HPOA Trustee Michael Goodwin presented the vote to the council, saying of the union’s 322 members, 307 voted no confidence in the chief.

“We have several concerns ranging from working conditions, lack of inclusion of vital policies and procedures, low staffing and the lowest morale this department has ever seen,” Goodwin said.

The majority of the speakers voiced support for the police unions and criticized the chief’s leadership. Many pointed to the recently approved use of force policy as being part of Andres’ failures.

Jeff Crampton, a civilian board member of the officers association, called on the council to “do your job” while noting the council did not reach out to hear from the police unions after the no confidence vote.

March responded by saying no one from the unions reached out to her.

“This has been a failed experiment with you since you brought in LaTesha Watson,” Crampton said, referring to the previous police chief. “It’s not working. It needs to get fixed.”

March immediately followed up by asking Crampton, “Because she’s Black and because he’s Black? What’s the failed experiment?”

Crampton and many in attendance replied “No!” and left the chamber with Crampton calling the mayor’s question disgusting.

Andres took over from Watson, who was fired from her position as police chief in 2019. Watson filed a lawsuit against the city in September 2020 alleging she faced racial and gender discrimination.

Anders was sworn in as chief in July 2019. At the time of his hiring, the city said Andres would earn just more than $200,000 as police chief.

Those supporting Andres included members of local organizations who said they’d had support from Andres and positive interactions when working with him.

“This man is beloved by this community. He has worked diligently with us. He listens to us,” said Mel Tillar from 100 Black Men of Las Vegas. “What we are hearing is that individuals want him to lose his job because he wants this to be a premier organization.”

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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