IPOA Wants Accountability for Chief Mike Washburn!
Indio Police Officer's Association (IPOA) has taken a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Chief Mike Washburn and Assistant Chief Christopher Shaefer. After achieving one hundred percent participation, the results stated that 88% of the membership declared having NO CONFIDENCE in Chief Washburn, and 82% have NO CONFIDENCE in Assistant Chief Shaefer.
No remedy short of their removal is acceptable.
Our vote comes after the culmination of years of ineffective leadership, poor management decisions, repeated staffing issues, and low morale due to the hostile work environment created under Chief Washburn and his direct subordinates. Furthermore, Chief Washburn's dereliction of duty has led to the poor retention of current staff and a lack of recruiting qualified personnel.
The decision to move forward with a vote was accelerated after the testimony provided by Chief Washburn and Assistant Chief Shaefer at a disciplinary hearing during the early part of the year and again as recently as June 28, 2021. During the hearing, these two top-ranking officials lied under oath and attempted to withhold material facts. Regrettably, Chief Washburn and Assistant Chief Shaefer's behavior has exposed the city to severe financial liability and tarnished the reputation built long before their arrival.
Never has the management, lieutenants, and sergeants, of the Indio Police Department stood by with the rank-and-file police officers, echoing the same sentiment.
The IPOA as a membership understands that if our collective dismay falls upon deaf ears, we will have to continue working under Chief Washburn. If so, we suspect there will likely be retaliation against the board and our members, whether subtly or overtly, by Chief Washburn. Neither option is beneficial for the city, its citizens, or your employees.