I’ve had a long series of posts on developments in the whistleblower lawsuit pending against the Collin County Community College District. Apart from the court procedings, earlier this month, two of the plaintiffs (one of them, my brother) reached out to the district administration about solving the problems in which the district is enmeshed. Here is the text of their email:
From: Craig Bennight <CBennight@collin.edu>
Date: Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 12:42 PM
Subject: Police Problems Continue
To: Neil Matkin <NMatkin@collin.edu>
Cc: “JonJMark@hotmail.com” <JonJMark@hotmail.com>
The purpose of this memorandum is to express our concerns about a continued lack of leadership within the CC PD. Recent resignations notwithstanding, retaliation continues unabated. Officers that opposed the public corruption offenses and 4th amendment violations occurring at the College have already been, or are slated for termination. “Slated” is inferred when supervisors and their sycophants parrot “You two have to go!”, and “You should’ve been fired before Henderson!” Nothing substantive has changed. Indeed, these violations continue unchecked. Rather than an attempt to rectify matters, we hear “I’m acting in good faith!”
If the organizational goal is accreditation, not only must the retaliation cease, but departmental policies and procedures must conform to accepted standards. For example, Sgt. Reighley (who was directed to do so by Ed Leathers) just ordered officers at CPC to make their rounds on a fixed schedule. This is contrary to accepted police “best practices”. The predictability of a fixed schedule makes it unsafe for the officer, and makes patrol a less effective deterrent to crime.
Also, an order issued by Mr. Leather’s to Police personnel appears to be in conflict with your directive that he be removed from the chain of command. Nevertheless, it was Mr. Leather’s that summoned police Sgt.’s to his office last Friday, handed an Intelli-key to Sgt. Reighley, and directed him to change patrol procedures. Specifically, every 90 minutes, the CPC officer working nights must insert the Intelli-key into the door, unlock it, and then relock the door. Mr. Leathers emphasized that officers were not to enter the interior of the building. Is Ed Leathers acting as interim Police Chief?
What organizational purpose is served by establishing a strict timetable to unlock, and then relock a door that provides access only to other doors already secured with construction locks (a care, custody & control issue)? This new policy targets Officer Mark. For example, prior to this policy, parking lot lights at CPC were left on at night. After the policy’s effective date, parking lot lights are being turned off. Earlier in the dispute with the Command Staff, Officer Mark had a death threat left on the back door of his residence.
It should be noted that it was Officer Mark that caught the burglars at CPC last month. If change was needed, it should have been to emulate Officer Mark’s methods. Instead, Ed Leathers is micromanaging Officer Mark’s actions in a manner that not only places him at personal risk, but would likely prevent him from catching burglars in the future. The underlying rationale for this is explored in the next paragraph.
Ed Leather’s order runs afoul of state licensing regulations, i.e., that of a Texas Peace Officer versus a Security Officer. The assignment of on-duty police officers to protect the property of a private sector third party (Pogue) is inappropriate. Police officers often work construction sites as an extra-duty job, but they would receive 1099 income from Pogue. Who holds the security contract for construction at CPC?
Since submitting our respective applications for the position of Chief of Police, we were told that each of the seven (7) already interviewed applicants withdrew because the Board would allow them neither the resources nor the latitude needed for this agency to meet professional standards. If substantive change is to occur, truly qualified leadership is needed. However, no one truly qualified will accept the position of Chief without being given the resources and freedom from interference needed to solve problems.
Officers Jon Mark & Craig Bennight
If you live in or around Collin County or have students attending the Community College, bookmark this post so you can find it in coming months if news of criminal investigations at the college appears. You’ll be able to compare Kim Davison’s assertions in this memo to such facts as may arise.