WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Wilmington’s top cop is on thin ice. City Council says it has no confidence in Police Chief Robert Tracy. The rare rebuke came during a public safety committee meeting in Wilmington.
Last year, Wilmington marked a record number of homicides. But one city leader says the violence has nothing to do with the vote.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Severe Storm, Flooding Threat Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend
“I think it’s toothless in the sense that it really doesn’t mean anything,” Wilmington City Councilmember James Spadola said.
Discord in Wilmington after City Council members passed a no-confidence vote against the city’s top cop.
“It’s just an opinion of some council people asking the chief to stand up. He gets paid $160,000 and he can’t just do a press conference?” Wilmington City Councilmember Zanthia Oliver said.
The resolution, which has no immediate tangible outcome, was sponsored by Council President Trippi Congo.
Their biggest complaint is a lack of transparency and diversity.
“Put them on notice that we’re really ready to have a serious conversation about the inner workings of our police department,” Congo said.READ MORE: South Jersey Elementary School Provides Walkthrough Of Security Measures In Wake Of Texas School Shooting
In the council meeting Thursday evening, things became intense as the group discussed whether Tracy was adequately serving not only the community but fellow officers following claims of racial bias within the department.
“There’s no Black leadership in there at all — no Black lieutenants, no Black sergeants, no Black captains,” Congo said.
“Every police department lacks diversity, yes. To pin that all on the chief though is irresponsible,” Spadola said.
Spadola joins Mayor Mike Purzycki in expressing support for the chief. He says to the people in Wilmington this vote isn’t helpful.
“It could shake your confidence in the police department. It could hurt a lot of things in Wilmington for sure,” Spadola said.
Meanwhile, the Wilmington Police Department tells Eyewitness News that there is diversity in its ranks. The department provided a list of demographics, which include a recently promoted Black inspector, captains and master sergeants. The department says there are Black female members in leadership roles, as well.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki says he supports Chief Tracy.MORE NEWS: Robert Atkins Charged In 1991 Cold Case Murder Of Joy Hibbs In Bucks County
Only the mayor has the ability to fire a police chief.