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FOP still pushing for removal of Chief Burton

KBIA file photo

Columbia Police policies have changed but a police union is still calling for bolder action.

Members of the Columbia Fraternal Order called upon Columbia city manager Mike Matthes to remove the Columbia police chief last month. The union alleged that police chief Ken Burton was not implementing proper procedures or training, improperly reprimanding officers, and providing the public with false information. In the past week police received a booklet of new policies. Columbia F-O-P Executive Director Ashley Cuttle says these alterations are not enough for the union to stop advocating the removal of Burton.

”What we are dedicated to doing is keeping the public informed and showing no these problems aren’t fixed,” Cuttle said.

City Manager Mike Matthes says he hasn’t had enough time to read all the information the FOP has provided yet, but has gotten started.

“At this point I have no intention of removing the chief. Now that said, I’m open to any information people want to share with me. I will tell you that, you know, at this point, 100% of the contact that I’ve received is 100% supportive of the chief,” Matthes said.

Today the F-O-P released to the media the entire report it gave to Matthes last month. Matthes says that technique will likely result in the opposite effect the F-O-P is hoping for. He says, if anything, it’s solidifying the community’s support behind Chief Burton.