Pete Tomitsch, president of the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association, says he and the CSPPA are "shocked and saddened" at the news Monday that Police Chief Richard Myers will be leaving his position. Tomitsch also called for a "national search" to find Myers' replacement.
At a hastily called news conference at the PPA's downtown office, Tomitsch began by reading a statement:
"On behalf of all of the nearly 900 members of our association, I want to saw how shocked and saddened we are at the sudden announcement that our Chief Richard Myers is leaving. Of course, we have had differences of opinion with Chief Myers. But we have always worked together, sometimes not agreeing, but we always enjoyed mutual respect — ultimately reaching decisions in the best interest of the people of Colorado Springs.
"We hope and believe that Mayor Bach will call for a nationwide search for the best candidate, whose choice will be based on qualification but most of all merit.
"It is our heartfelt wish that our former chief, Richard Myers, will continue to enjoy success as the professional police executive that he is."
Asked about several City Councilors' apparent frustration with Mayor Steve Bach over not being informed about the developments, Tomitsch said, "We'll have to let the Council and the mayor's office deal with their communications issues."
Tomitsch added that "we have to give Mayor Bach a chance to go in the direction he wants to go in," while also saying that the police department had been "incredibly successful" during Chief Myers' tenure since January 2007, "nationally recognized and honored."
As for what he would want in the next chief, Tomitsch said, "I hope we have someone with a lot of the same qualities as Chief Myers — fair, objective and ethical, with the best interests of Colorado Springs at heart."