Former Stockton Police Chief Blair Ulring is a finalist for Chief of Police of Omaha. And the Stockton Police Officer’s Association, the city’s hardest-line union, is dogging him.
Just at it did when Ulring applied to be top cop of Flagstaff, Az. In that case, the SPOA peppered Fagstaff offcials with letters attacking Ulring’s character as dictatorial and vindictive. In Omaha, the SPOA has given the police union similar warnings.
It’s fair play for a union to warn its brothers about a bad Chief applicant. But Ulring wasn’t bad. Not for the city. Oh, he may have been the wrong guy to cross. One source told me if you crossed him he’s bite your ear and ride you to the ground. But then a Chief is an alpha male among a department full of alpha males. And females. And the then-head of the SPOA, Steve Leonesio, was simply insubordinate when Ulring ordered him to stop selling beer.
I suspect the real gripe about Ulring is that he was charged with doing whatever he and City Hall thought necessary to keep the department functining despite drastic cuts. And change the culture of political invincibility and self-enrichment that took hold in the department. To remind all police employees that the required sacrifices extended to the bargaining table. Some police hate that, and hate people with the gumption to acknowledge it and act accordingly. That just shows why Ulring was necessary.