ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa police union votes 95% no confidence in Chief Batista

Jun 5, 2019, 11:38 AM | Updated: 8:05 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — The Mesa Police Association announced Wednesday morning that 95% of 564 officers surveyed say they do not have confidence in Chief Ramon Batista.

“He is no longer welcome in the Mesa Police Department. He is no longer welcome in our home and we would like him to leave,” the police union’s president Nate Gafvert said at a press conference.

The association has criticized the way Batista handled controversial use-of-force incidents and said in a February post the incidents were “wildly exaggerated and fueled by Chief Batista’s epic failure of leadership.”

“Chief Batista spared no expense to have these well-respected and decorated officers investigated and even criminally charged, which quickly failed, much to his embarrassment,” Gafvert said.

Gafvert said Batista prematurely convicted officers in the court of public opinion and destroyed morale in the organization, leading the union to hold the no confidence vote among sworn officers and staff last month.

“Unfortunately, Mayor John Giles and the majority of Mesa City Council have chosen to ignore the major issues with Chief Batista and allowed him to continue his reign of terror that has broken one of the best police departments in the country,” Gafvert said.

“We are now forced to publicly discuss all of our negative issues and rely on our great citizens to hold Mesa City Council accountable to remove Chief Batista.”

Batista issued a statement following the release of the results:

“The Mesa Police Department’s mission is and always has been to protect and serve the people of Mesa. We work together with City leaders and the community to prevent and reduce crime and to ensure justice by building trust, showing respect and preserving human rights.

As a command staff, we are committed to leading this department and supporting its officers as they carry out their duties. Together we have experienced tremendous growth and faced challenges that in the end will make us better. We will continue to build stronger relationships within the department and throughout the community.

I am proud to serve the City of Mesa as the Police Chief and to lead the men and women of the Mesa Police Department.”

Wednesday evening, the Mesa City Council issued the following statement:

“Our priority is the safety of our residents. The City of Mesa is committed to improving communications within the Police Department, strengthening relationships and maintaining an open dialogue with employees, associations and their members. The Mayor and City Council look forward to working with all the members of the Mesa Police Department and the community to prevent and reduce crime. We are proud of these men and women and the work they do to be one of the best law enforcement agencies in the country.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Casa Grande Police Department via AP)...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
19 hours ago
Bryan Patrick Miller (Photo provided by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
Associated Press

Bench trial for man accused of killing 2 women in Phoenix to begin Monday

A bench trial is scheduled to begin Monday for a man accused of sexually attacking and fatally stabbing two young women in separate killings.
19 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

2 men dead after shooting breaks out at party in Gila Bend

Two men ages 25 and 26 are dead after a shooting broke out at a party in Gila Bend Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
19 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 77-year-old man last seen in Queen Creek

A Silver Alert was issued Sunday for a 77-year-old man last seen near Queen Creek Road and South Meridian Road.
19 hours ago
(Petrified Forest National Park Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Triassic reptile discovered at Arizona’s Petrified Forest named after former park superintendent

A Triassic reptile species discovered at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona was named after former park Superintendent and wife.
19 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

New trash pickup days start this week for most of Phoenix

New pickup days go into effect Monday for 80% of the Phoenix's trash, garbage and green organic pickup customers.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Mesa police union votes 95% no confidence in Chief Batista