Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tampa Police Department Needs To Retire Gene Strickland

At what point is Chief Stephen Hogue going to say enough and force Sgt. Gene Strickland to retire. An internal investigation proved that Strickland took part in sexually harrassing officer Martha Gearity. Another internal investigation proved he rigged traffic lights and illegally searched automobiles. If Hogue doesn't force Strickland out, then he is telling citizens, the Tampa Police Department condons this behavior.

Fire Stickland. Now.


At July 21, 2006 1:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Mike, your post has been around for 4 months now and you have received no responses. I don't know how many people come to your site or how much exposure you get, but allow me to set the record straight before some lost sole stumbles upon your site and leaves with the wrong impression of SGT. Gene Strickland.

First off, your information is BAD. The Internal Affairs investigation did not prove that Strickland took part in sexually harassing Off. Martha Gearity. He wasn't even accused of that by IA, but of Supervisory Responsibility. In fact, he was CLEARED by his Complaint Review Board by a 3-2 vote. I should know, I was on it along with Cap. Paul Driscoll, Cap. Tom Wolfe, Sgt. David Puig and Det. Rick Cochran. It was determined (by a majority) that Strickland had no way of reasonably knowing the conduct that was going on by other officers on his squad because they were intentionally hiding it from him. Even Martha Gearity, when questioned by her supervisors, routinely denied being offended by the conduct of the other officers on the squad (except for once which resulted in "the guys" being written up). Martha even said she would let her supervisors know if and when she was ever offended by anything, but she never approached them. All of this does not even take into consideration that Strickland was not even at work for a month or so during this time frame because he was healing at home after being shot by a suspect.

Rigged traffic lights and illegally searching automobiles? Where on earth are you getting your information? Gene Strickland is one of the finest police officers to walk the planet. Don't believe me? Stop any officer at TPD and ask them, even Martha Gearity. Gene is one of those rare individuals who never slowed down after having over 20 years on the job. He is a Sergeant who leads by example, not asking his troops to do anything that he doesn't do himself. He was the department's point man when they needed something done because he could be counted on. He was creative enough and motivated enough to fit the role they so eagerly put him in.

Please get your information and facts straight. I read the entire IA package on the related complaint and your information is wrong. I can't help but feel that your post has libeled Sgt. Gene Strickland with false and misleading accusations. You even carried it a step further by insisting that Chief Hogue force Strickland to retire and summarized what you incorrectly thought it meant if Chief Hogue didn't.

After reading your article, I thank God for two things; that Sgt. Gene Strickland was NOT forced to retire and that you DON'T carry a gun & badge.

You should retract your post.

Chip DeBlock


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