Scott Davidson from United States via Wikimedia Commons

The Richmond Coalition of Police gave Police Chief Gerald Smith a vote of no confidence, setting up a potentially explosive confrontation with the mayor’s office.

For some time, but especially since spring 2020, officers nationwide have felt under siege by citizens who share how much they hate them in words and actions.

The situation is at a breaking point for the Richmond Police Department’s hundreds of sworn officers.

Richmond’s 8News reports:

Out of the 328 RCOP members, 261 participated in the survey. According to RCOP, the results indicate that its rank-and-file members have lost confidence in Smith’s ability to effectively lead the department.

Out of the 261 officers surveyed, 96% said they have lost confidence in Smith’s ability to lead Richmond’s Police Department, 99% said they have seen no improvements to morale since Smith took over, 89% said they do not feel valued by Smith and 82% said they have strongly considered leaving the department before their retirement.

Despite the overwhelming results, the police union hasn’t convinced Richmond’s mayor to take action.

Mayor Levar Stoney backed Chief Smith to retain the role when asked by 8News if he agreed with the coalition’s demand.

“I have full confidence in Chief Smith,” Stoney said. “What I am seeing from RCOP is just another cockamamie tactic to try and unionize the Richmond Police Department. We’re going to focus on the matters at hand, that is focusing on police compensation and salary in the coming year, so we can be competitive with the other localities in the region, we are going to enhance our recruitment as well.”