Blythe Chief of Police Announces Early Retirement in Scathing Letter; Condemns Council

By the end of the year, the only department head who might be left to run the city of Blythe is City Manager David Lane. That’s because the following positions will be vacant: Public Works Director, Assistant Public Works Director, Finance Director, Purchasing Agent, and now the Chief of Police.

Chief of Police Steve Smith is the latest to announce his departure and he shared his resignation letter with CityNews, which you can read below. It includes a scathing condemnation of the city council and the Chief says he is following the departures of other department heads for the same reasons.

To: David Lane
      City Manager
      City of Blythe

From: Steve W. Smith
          Chief of Police
          City of Blythe

Date:    October 16, 2012

It is with great disappointment that I find myself writing this notice of early retirement but due to recent events and observations I can no longer be a part of a ship that our City Council is sinking. 

I had a great vision for the Blythe Police Department.  With your help and the help of all my staff, and even with the obstacles of financial instability in our paths that you and I unfairly inherited from our predecessors, we were slowly headed in the right direction for that vision.  What I did not anticipate was a self-serving, oblivious, dysfunctional City Council as an obstacle in the forward movement of this City. 
I will no longer be part of an organization that does not operate as legitimate government and that is not open, transparent, selfless and accountable to the community.   Not all councilmen are to blame, I am sure you know the ones that are most responsible.   I have worked with many city council and county board of supervisors over my 30 year career and this is by far one of the most abnormal I have had to deal with.

I have decided to join in with the other city department heads that are leaving for the same reasons as I.  Effective November 30, 2012 at 1600 hours I will take an early retirement from my position as Chief of Police in the City of Blythe.  It may be too late now but I pray that the Blythe City Council learns from this experience, and in turn legitimizes itself and becomes a truly representative government for the community and not just for their own personal reasons, and if not, then may God have mercy on the City of Blythe.

It has been a pleasure working for you Mr. Lane, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your team and wish you and your colleagues all the very best for the future.  If I can assist with the transition, please do let me know.

Steve W. Smith"

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