Todays news (CNN) reports the apparent resignation by the Sanford Florida Police Chief. Later today the city council failed to approve his separation agreement, as they could not come to consensus.

The media circus that followed this case was inevitable given the high profile nature of the tragedy, but without a doubt it was exasperated by early statements from the Police Chief, displaying his lack of understanding of investigative case management. The Municipality did nothing to calm the concerns of the community. Some semblance of control appeared on the scene only after the Chief took a sabbatical, and the State (i.e. the Governors office) stepped in.

Today some of the mystery as to why this modern community seems to have fallen on its own sword was revealed, as the Mayor of Sanford Jeff Triplett showed what kind of leader he truly is, by waffling on whether or not to accept the resignation of the Chief. The Mayor was quoted in the CNN article as saying ” I’m not ready to have him come back and run the Police Department, but I’m not ready for this either” the Mayor then voted and effectively blocked the resignation.

The public and the Community of Sanford now may have a better understanding of where the
problems began for this Police Department – right in the Mayors Office.

Leadership failures in public service can occur at any level of Government, regardless of the education of those involved, they usually appear at times of great stress and challenge. This tragedy has spotlighted two failed opportunities to lead in Sanford, First in the Police Department, then in city hall.

Community crisis whether man made or natural also tends to spotlight the true leaders – many times just below the surface. In this case it appears to be the City Manager Nathan Bonaparte who is said to have have negotiated and agreed to the Chiefs departure, only to be blocked by the Mayor. Police Chief Lee appears to have been doing the honorable thing, in tendering his resignation, but again, weak leadership in Sanford City Hall reared its ugly head. Mayor Triplett should now submit his own resignation, for letting down the community during a time of crisis.

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