• Groveland city leaders received packet of complaints, many involving Police Dept.


    GROVELAND, Fla. - City leaders in Groveland were handed a packet of allegations against the Police Department including racism, harassment and more Monday night.

    Groveland Police Chief M. Smith Tennyson told Channel 9's Renee Stoll that he is very concerned by the accusations.

    The packet of complaints was presented by a parent who said she has her own issues with the Police Explorer program.

    Groveland City Manager Redmond Jones II said he was seeing the complaints for the first time Monday.

    "These packages were handed to me by an anonymous source and they are for each committee member," he said.

    The Groveland City Council members also got their first look at a packet of complaints submitted by citizens and members of the police departments.

    The packet includes concerns about racism in the department, harassment by officers, lawsuits, and policies broken in the promotion procedure.

    "There are pretty serious accusations and some of them involve you. Is there any kind of response to some of the things in that pamphlet?" Stoll asked Tennyson.

    "It will be addressed with the city manager in writing, and all the justifications and answers to all the questions," Tennyson said.

    One officer who spoke out Monday night defended the chief.

    "He's attempting to change the police department for the better. In my opinion, Chief Tennyson is a police chief we needed 15 years ago," Groveland Police Officer Larry Mowrey said.

    Tennyson said that once he answers all of the accusations, he will present them to the new city manager, to the council and then the information will be made public.

    Jones told Stoll that that he has a feeling the issues are deep-rooted problems that could take time to resolve.

    "Let's just get to the bottom and see what the issues are. I couldn't really make a lot out of it from the public comments that were made so that just shows me that it's an in-depth issue with a lot of issues that need to be looked into," said Jones.

    No date has been set for when the written responses will be available for each of the concerns.

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