We continue the reporting on a topic KDWA news brought you first on August 17th, relating to questions being asked of the Prescott Police Commission as well as the governing body of the City after information that Interim Police Chief Robert Funk relayed malfeasance reports to the five member volunteer Police Commision who then used the information in those reports to give him hiring and firing control. According to a quote attained by KSTP, a Minnesota Television Station, the President of that commission, William Pryor, relayed statements made by Funk, who indicated there had been what was stated to be a significant violation of the two officer’s conduct. Pryor stated that the violation was significant only because of what could have happened. In records posted on the city’s website, it states that the Prescott Police Commission met 11 times in 2015, 7 times during 2016 and just once this year. When contacted, administration assistant for the police department, Erin Most, an employee for several years, was quoted by the same source as not receiving a reason for her termination. Her position was listed under city staff, not police department staff and came under the control of the city’s personnel committee. The two officers in question, named in an email on Sunday by City Administrator Jayne Brand were, Ryan Most and Bryan Massman, officers who had been recommended to be hired by former chief Gary Krutke. Krutke passed away on August 5th. At a city council meeting in May of 2016, the late chief came to the Prescott Council ,with a plea for approval of immediate hiring of more full time police officers due to an extensive amount of time needed to process the murder investigation of the Douglas Bailey case as well as a major case involving drugs and an auto parts theft ring as well as an expected increase in Spring and Summer traffic incidents. Following that council meeting, officers were hired after successfully passing the selection process among a pool containing 22 candidates. An 18 month probationary period is then typical for any new police hires according to personnel procedure. According to the commission statement, there was no specific reason given to the public prior to the August 8th dismissal of Most and Massman. The commission, however, is not required to be consulted as officers in the probationary period are not part of the police union and can be dismissed at any time.
Interim Chief Funk a 14 year officer for the city, with a total of 25 years in Pierce County, the Private sector and Prescott City law enforcement traveled over the weekend to Jacksonville, Florida, accompanied by 2 other officers of the Prescott Police department to serve as pallbearers at the August 21st family service and interment of former Chief Krutke. Communication with the city last week notes their absence until August 25th. Statements made by Mayor Hovel and City Administrator Brand last week also noted that this transition period will require time and patience, including waiting for the production of a weekly police activity log that had been submitted weekly to the city as well as to print and broadcast media outlets prior to July 31st. KDWA has requested comments reguarding commission decisions with phone calls placed to each council member and Police commission members. Those calls have not been returned. We have also made a request for additional public documents determining the official date Interim Chief Funk was named Officer In Charge during the final months of former Chief Krutke’s administration as well as whether the officers are attending the Florida service in an official capacity for the city or are using personel vacation time or sick leave to make the trip. We will continue our report when we receive those documents.