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No Decision Has Been Made On Police Chief

La Harpe City Council Accepts Deputy Tim Gladu's Resignation

By Dessa Rodeffer–Quill Publisher and Michael Rodeffer–Quill Reporter

Again, no officer has been appointed as La Harpe's Chief of Police since the position was made vacant by Officer Larry Finch who retired as La Harpe Chief of Police as of January 1st. Finch, who said he would remain as a part time officer was approved as part time deputy at the January 9th meeting, however, who will be the next Chief is uncertain.

At a special meeting last Wednesday, January 18th, called by La Harpe Mayor Kat Hasten-Reed, council members were all present with the exception of Alderman Jim Lennix.

Executive session was called for employment issues and it was expected that a police chief would be named since the Mayor had previously announced that officers Scott Rosson and Lynn Hoyt had been talked to and were being considered for La Harpe Police Chief and for Assistant Police Chief.

This would have left Tim Gladu and Larry Finch as part time.

At Wednesday's special meeting at City Hall on January 18, 2023, at 6:00 pm. the council immediately went into Executive (closed) session. When the council adjourned back to the Special meeting, Alderman David Clover left, saying he wasn't going to be a part of this, and with Jim Lennix absent, four Alderman remained to take action: Greg Wisslead, Deanna Stambaugh, Kelly Harkey, and Randy Shumaker. There was a motion made, seconded, and passed 4-0 to accept Tim Gladu's resignation as a part time Police Officer with the City of La Harpe. Then, with no other action, the Special council meeting was adjourned at 6:49 p.m.

The Letter of Resignation that Deputy Tim Gladu turned in is included below: (Gladu remains as the Police Chief for Village of Lomax)

Letter Of Resignation:

January 18, 2023

Mayor Katherine Hasten-Reed & La Harpe City Council Members
207 East Main Street
La Harpe, Illinois 61450

Dear Mayor Hasten-Reed & La Harpe City Council Members,

On Monday, January 9, 2023, I was told that all the council hears is how good of a job I’m doing as a La Harpe Police Officer and how much my family and I brought to La Harpe. I was told that my salary increase to $18 per hour would be an agenda item at the next regular board meeting and that I would be priority for part-time shifts and most likely moved to be a full-time police officer with the next budget enactment in March 2023. The council did not share any items with me that made me think I was going to have my position terminated within the next week.

On Monday, January 16, 2023, Mayor Hasten-Reed texted me to meet with her at 4 pm at City Hall. I met with the mayor and another city council member. I was told that there was a special board meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, to discuss my continued employment as a La Harpe Police Officer. She said that since I am on probation, the city can elect to end my employment at any time, until 25 January 2023, the end of my 6-month probationary period. Mayor Hasten-Reed asked me to attend the meeting on January 18, 2023.

I asked what I had done. Mayor Hasten-Reed stated that I was unable to get along with other employees. I asked why I had not been talked to, reprimanded, given guidance or anything from anyone employed by the City of La Harpe.

As a law enforcement officer, there are times, when my life literally may depend on my fellow officers. Currently, I have no faith that the current leadership of the La Harpe Police Department would be able to provide that needed support; which could literally cost me my life. I was hired, given a badge and a schedule. I was never given any direction, guidance, training, or communication. I rode with another officer for less than one shift - total. Even as an experienced officer, I was given no training, written or verbal, on local procedures. I have never been told I was doing anything wrong. Thus, the utter shock when the mayor told me that I could not get along with others.

Due to lack of leadership, guidance, training, support, and lack of accountability at the La Harpe Police Department, I am tendering my resignation effective immediately. It is heart-breaking that I am leaving a department in a town I call home. I was trying to serve my community to the best of my ability, and for a reason unbeknown to me, I am being persecuted, I feel I am being harassed due to someone else’s unsubstantiated fear that I want the job they want, which I do not, but no one asked me.

Since mid-December 2022, Asst. Chief Scott Rosson has called/texted me once - about the schedule. Prior to mid-December, he called/texted me on a regular basis to give me updates about the department and the town. I can present phone logs if requested.

Again, this is not what I want to do. I love La Harpe. I love serving my community. But, I cannot serve in a department that is not-supportive, when you have a job that requires the use of a bullet proof vest and each time you leave your home, may be your last. Thank you.

Tim A. Gladu