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0&&parent.frames.length) { d=parent.frames[n.substring(p+1)].document; n=n.substring(0,p);} if(!(x=d[n])&&d.all) x=d.all[n]; for (i=0;!x&&i April 4, 2006 Police Chief Mike Bianca hangs up the phone after

Ashland Police Chief Mike Bianca said he is in the process of negotiating his early retirement from the Ashland Police Department. His last day as chief would be June 30, according to the tentative agreement.

&

I had committed contractually to work a little longer,&

he said. &

I had hoped to fulfill my commitment, but it is not to be. We&

re wrapping up the details of my retirement from law enforcement.&

Though the City of Ashland announced on its Web site that Mayor John Morrison has accepted Bianca&

s resignation, Bianca said this morning that it is &

not official yet.&

City Administrator Gino Grimaldi said the city has received from Bianca &

a verbal agreement that we have to follow up with a written agreement.&

When asked if he thought Bianca would change his mind he said, &

I don&

t anticipate that.&

When Bianca was asked the same question he paused then said, &

This seems to be the right path to take.&

He said he had not seriously considered resigning until his Monday meeting with Morrison.

Ashland has been publicly &

and privately &

debating Bianca&

s performance as its police chief since July. Morrison said the crux of the debate involves community policing standards and Bianca&

s leadership skills, which, he said, the community has been at &

loggerheads&

about.

Bianca is widely regarded as a champion of community policing principles, while others &

most notably, a contingent of APD officers &

have questioned his management capabilities.

— — Chief Bianca's — Long Year

— —

Dec. 12, 2003

— April 22, 2005 — Standoff with Dirk Binder ends without violence

— June 10 — Bianca starts leave of absence

— June 30 — City says APD acted appropriately in standoff

— July 10 — Ashland Police Association issues vote of no confidence in Bianca

— July 11 — Bianca returns to light duty

— July 13 — 100 people turn out for downtown rally in support of Bianca

— July 29 — 50 people march from Lithia Park to Garfield Park to support the chief

— October — Police Executive Research Forum hired by city to review department in — response to APA vote of no confidence

— November — PERF visits Ashland to collect documents and interview people at APD

— Nov. 23 — Rick Spence fired from APD after investigations into the conduct of six — officers

— Jan. 11, 2006 — PERF holds meeting to determine residents&

desires for the future — of policing in

— March 10 — Bianca celebrates 20 years with APD

— April — — PERF report released to city officials; Bianca resigns

In July, a group of officers who call themselves the Ashland Police Association issued a six-page letter calling for Bianca&

s resignation. Their concerns included handling of critical incidents, leadership, communication and equitable treatment of officers.

In response to the letter, members of the community organized several rallies to support Bianca that drew more than 100 people.

&

Call it a battle or a disagreement, whatever you want,&

Morrison said. &

It&

s an unresolved political decision. Mike has become the center of that controversy. My job is to move us forward. Mike&

s decision was allowing us to move ahead.&

Bianca said a stipulation of his tentative agreement with the city is that he cannot discuss the terms of his release or what Morrison expressed about his performance. &

The terms of my separation are not final,&

he said. &

And part of the deal is that I don&

t comment on them.&

He said, upon reflecting on his 20-year career with APD, the last two as its chief, he felt &

a lot of satisfaction for a long career that was sprinkled with excitement and good fortune.&

Supporters of community policing principles have organized a rally, to be held tonight at 6:15 in front of the council chambers on East Main Street. The rally is to coincide with a city council meeting scheduled to be held at the same location at 7 p.m.

&

Mike has become an icon for community policing,&

said John Fisher-Smith, one of the event&

s organizers. &

Many people in Ashland want to show their support for him.&

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