Hung Out to Dry - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/6/03

Hung Out to Dry

"I was intending to retire at Texas Tech," said Bryan Roberts. As a police officer, being a first responder came second nature to Roberts, but being the first to quit the Texas Tech Police Department since the release of a survey harshly criticizing working conditions under Chief Jay Parchman, did not come easy. "It was a hard decision to leave. Not for the job, but for the people I worked with," he said.

A staff dominated by a disrespectful chief, according to the survey. "Parchman's use of manipulation, deception, arrogance, and political power leave him free to divide and conquer by using harsh disciplinary procedures, verbal threats and retaliation against those who oppose him," read the report. "That's pretty much a dead-on comment," confirmed Roberts.

A station where employees are berated to the point of tears. "I've seen women cry, I've seen men belittled to the point where they can't perform their duties," he said. And trouble not just in the office, but out in the field, with officers reportedly reprimanded after patrolling dorms for drugs and alcohol. "Why would Chief Parchman not want you to arrest people who are consuming alcohol under-age?," a reporter asked. "I don't know, we don't know the answer to that question," replied Roberts.

Of 61 current and former employees who took the survey, 91% said Parchman was not a good manager. "He is the chief of police," said Jim Brunjes. Despite the survey, last week Texas Tech Senior Vice Chancellor Jim Brunjes supported Parchman as chief. "I value Chief Parchman," said Brunjes.

"I gave everything that I ever had that I witnessed to Mr. Brunjes. I laid everything on the line, and his action at the last meeting was more of a slap in my face than I have ever had," said Roberts.

Feeling as though he'd been hung out to dry, Robert's resigned. His family is moving to Austin to start over. "I just feel sorry for the guys still there," he lamented.

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