Sheffield Police Chief Terminated, Mayor Releases Complaints

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) - The Sheffield Police Chief received word Friday morning that he will no longer lead the department.

Chief Greg Ray served as chief for the past five years and Ray has been a member of the department since 1992.

Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford says management issues are at the root of the decision.

According to Sanford, complaints surfaced about Ray's performance over the past year.  The mayor says he sat down with Ray to discuss the issues, but change didn't happen quickly enough.

“We feel as we've been pretty patient and tried to give him time to correct some of these things, and don't feel they've been corrected to our satisfaction,” said Sanford.

Chief Ray had the opportunity to resign, but he refused.  Mayor Sanford says he made the sole decision to put the chief on administrative leave with pay until the civil service board makes a final decision.

“I think we need a little better leadership, management skills, maybe some new ideas, and we want what is best for the citizens of Sheffield,” said Sanford.

The mayor says it was a difficult decision, but one that needed to be made for the benefit of the community.

Mayor Sanford filed a complaint with the Sheffield Civil Service Board.  Chief Ray plans to file an appeal.

Sheffield Fire Chief Dewey King will serve as interim police chief.

According to paperwork from mayor's office, eight issues outline the basis of the complaint, including:

-“The Chief has failed to properly respond to complaints about erratic driving by some members of the Sheffield Police Department.”

-“Requested incident reports are not being provided to the Mayor and Council.”

-“Inadequate response to citizen’s complaints about flagrant illegal drug activities especially in District 4.”

See all complaints here.

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