Friday, October 16, 2009

Ex SF Police Chief Put on Paid Leave at Campus PD Job

Former Santa Fe Police Chief Don Grady has been put on leave from his job as campus police chief at Northern Illinois University.

Grady made national news last year for his handling of a campus shooting. Immediately after getting word of the shooting, Grady and several of his officers rushed into a classroom where a gunman had killed five students and himself. Grady and his men didn't know at the time the shooter was dead. According to an Associated Press report, " survivors praised Grady for displaying bravery when he couldn't have known that, and for quickly administering aid and comforting injured students."

But now, according to the wire service, Grady is being accused by several of being "combative and uncooperative." A recent recipient of Grady's wrath is the editor of the campus newspaper.

Criticism of NIU's 6-foot-5 top cop came to a head recently after an editor of the campus newspaper accused Grady of threatening and shouting at him during an interview that became a three-hour tirade.

Hey kid, I feel your pain. I had several intense interviews and conversations with Grady during his time here in the mid '90s, though I can't honestly say he ever threatened or shouted at me. I could tell he felt like it a couple of time though.

His tenure at the SFPD was rocky to say the least. He accused officers of being corrupt. They accused him of being autocratic, culturally insensitive and, well, combative and uncooperative. Grady and his supporters accused opponents of racism. (Grady is Black, the first and only so far African-American police chief in Santa Fe.)

And I broke that story the AP mentions about Grady banning bolo ties for non-uniformed officers. That goofy little article went national.

After less than two years he resigned, saying he couldn't make the reforms he envisioned because his relationship with officers had deteriorated so badly.

School officials, the AP said, put Grady on a 30-day paid leave while they investigate the editor's allegations.