REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) — The Reynoldsburg Chief of Police is responding to allegations of a toxic work environment and low morale at the department.
NBC4 Investigates first reported on some of those allegations in November after the city paid a third-party firm to audit the Reynoldsburg Division of Police. The audit conducted by PRADCO uncovered concerns about favoritism and retaliation in the workplace and mentioned that officers claimed they were told to leave the department if they disliked it.
Speaking with NBC4 Monday before the Reynoldsburg City Council meeting, Reynoldsburg Chief of Police Curtis Baker called the claims in the PRADCO report “general.”
“Whatever workplace you have, you’re going to have unhappy people,” Baker said. “Law enforcement is a very hard job. It’s never been tougher. There are some people that are not going to be able to do the job anymore, and that’s OK.”
NBC4 obtained a copy of the Orders of the Day, a department-wide memo Baker sends to the department most days, for Oct. 6, 2021. One of the orders included an explanation that officers are not entitled to paid lunch breaks because they are required to be dispatched in the event of an emergency.
“Sometimes this requires sworn personnel to leave lunch early, or skip lunch period entirely,” the memo said. “That is what we signed up for. If that is not for you, the water department has a couple vacancies.”
Asked about the wording in the memo, Baker said it was sarcasm.
“I would never expect an officer to leave a job to join the water department. My attempt at humor was to get across the point that we should be thankful that we have benefits others do not. One of those benefits is getting paid for lunch each day while no other city employees do,” Baker explained in an email to NBC4.