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Port Arthur officers to consider vote of no confidence against Chief Melvin

Port Arthur officers to consider vote of no confidence against Chief Melvin

Five weeks after Tropical Storm Harvey devastated Southeast Texas another type of storm is brewing.

This one inside the Port Arthur Police Department where several officers are upset with Chief Patrick Melvin and what they point to as the way he handled Tropical Storm Harvey.

KFDM's Angel San Juan reports that the Port Arthur Police Association declined to comment with an official statement, but a spokesman with the association confirmed that in two weeks officers would consider a vote of no confidence against Chief Melvin.

Angel San Juan spoke with residents who also expressed losing faith in the chief.

Henry Davis is resurrecting his lawn business in Port Arthur post Tropical Storm Harvey.

He says he's doing it to pay for damages the storm caused to his home.

But Davis says he and his neighbors have been largely fending for themselves since Harvey hit.

"Well I don't think they did the job. We were calling and calling. We were needing help, water coming in the hours, they were telling them to evacuate, but never did show up," Davis said.

Davis is referring to police Chief Melvin, now facing criticism from some residents and from some of his own officers.

The Port Arthur Police Association is considering a vote of no confidence against Melvin, who has served as chief for only about a year.

Three officers tell us they believe he failed his biggest test with Harvey.

Those officers, who wanted to remain anonymous, told us in their view that Chief Melvin was an ineffective leader and not accessible during the storm.

They claim he did not return phone calls or assist in rescues.

Resident Stephanie Guidry agreed.

"Well, I'll tell you like this here, the police department they did wonders, you know what i'm saying, but where was the chief," said resident Stephanie Guidry. "Everybody want to know where the chief was. Was he locked up in his office or what?"

KFDM/Fox 4 sought a response from Melvin through the city of Port Arthur.

City Manager Brian McDougal disagrees with the criticism of Chief Melvin.

"We are disappointed with the association's approach to take the route of a vote of no confidence rather than work collaboratively with police management to address their concerns," said McDougal. "However, we stand confidently with Chief Melvin and his leadership."

The vote which we're told will happen on Oct. 18 is non-binding, and the city is not required to take any action.

The vote is symbolic; however, some people who we spoke with say it could hinder the chief's ability to lead the department.

KFDM/Fox 4 will continue to update you on this story.

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