Alton Mayor Brant Walker has reappointed all of his department heads, but the reappointment of the police chief was not without opposition. While receiving an overwhelming amount of support from those who work with him, including a number of officers who attended in person and spoke, there was also a faction that opposed his reappointment. That made for some tense moments in the City Council chambers Wednesday night.
Several police officers spoke on Simmons’ ability to improve morale in the department, including Pete Vambaketes, who says high morale has not always been evident in the department in the past:
Click here for Vambaketes' comments
Alderman Gary Fleming asked to vote on Chief Jason Simmons’ reappointment separately from the others.
Click here for Fleming's comments
Fleming is also concerned a qualified sergeant will be passed over for a promotion to Lieutenant because of a desire to bring the position of Major back to the force. Mayor Brant Walker says under Simmons’ leadership arrests are up 6%, crime is down 3%, and costs are down.