The purpose of this site is to share the various letters, documents, court filings, and press that preceded the resignation of:
Ed Roessler, Jr., FORMER Fairfax County "Chief" of Police.
"A federal lawsuit filed by a prominent civil rights attorney alleges that police officers in Fairfax County protected a sex trafficking ring in northern Virginia in exchange for free sex from the trafficked women.
The lawsuit also names the former Fairfax County Police chief, Ed Roessler, as a defendant, alleging that he helped cover up for the officers when another detective's work threatened to expose their wrongdoing.
12/10/2020 Board Of Supervisors meeting Public Comments from 12/1/2020
McClean Connection Article Highlights: [full article here]
[the announcement] came after police officers say their morale is the lowest it has ever been, and after calls for his resignation from some officers
A recent meeting of the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee mentioned low morale in the police force.
“I’ve met with hundreds of Fairfax County police officers in recent months, in group settings and individually,” said Public Safety Chairman Rodney Lusk (Lee) at a committee meeting before Roessler’s announced retirement, “and to a person they have told me morale within the police department is the lowest that it has ever been.”
The Fraternal Order of Police called for Roessler to resign after he condemned the actions of an officer who was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and battery after tasing a man in the Mount Vernon District.
“Bolster The Blue,” a self-described conservative grassroots organization, held a press conference with Fairfax County GOP to say that their efforts helped lead to Roessler’s retirement.
Inside Nova Article Highlights: [full article here]
The decision drew somewhat pro-forma statements of thanks for his service from elected officials, and veritable cheers from the leader of a police organization, who called for an outsider to be brought in to lead the department.
Police groups pressed for Roessler’s resignation in June this year after he sided with the county Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano on charging Officer Taylor Timberlake after he tasered a man in Mount Vernon following a possible case of mistaken identity.
About 300 officers participated in an Oct. 15 “listening session” held by the Fairfax County Police Association and the Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Supervisor Patrick Herrity (R-Springfield) said the issues raised had percolated for years and did not just reflect U.S. controversies over policing.
“Our police department is in crisis – a word I do not use lightly,” Herrity wrote in a newsletter to constituents. “Our officers are operating in a culture of fear and retaliation, afraid to do their jobs with conflicting guidance and a lack of support from leadership.”
FOP president Brad Carruthers said the group’s members were “ecstatic” about Roessler’s retirement decision, adding the department’s morale was “pretty much destroyed” after Timberlake’s arrest.
“Officers in Fairfax County are doing a great job and when they’re called into question, the unfortunate part is, they’re not having the [chief’s] backing,” he said.
Support over 1,735 other citizens and Bolster The Blue's efforts to make the community & BOS aware of "Chief" Roessler's mismanagement of the FCPD.
"We're afraid to be the next head on the platter." - An FCPD Officer
"This County has changed... This will be D.C.. This will be P.G. because we're not policing."-An FCPD Officer
Anonymous letter dated week of 6/14, shared on Facebook by multiple sources
Anonymous letter - shared week of 6/14 - initially shared on Facebook by multiple sources
Source: Anonymous letter - shared week of 6/14 - initially shared on Facebook by multiple sources
FAIRFAX FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE • LODGE #77
Chief Roessler;On behalf of my membership I would like to convey just how disappointed and disheartened we are with your recent statements and actions. It has become abundantly clear that your political agenda trumps your obligationto being a fair and impartial leader. When you publicly excoriate an officer under your command, characterizing their actions as “disgusting” without even a nascent investigation, you have crossed the line from Chief of Policeto that of politician playing dress up. In a past news conference from October, 2019, prior to the completion of an administrative investigation you made a comment to the media that “the officer is being punished”. In that case the officer had not even been interviewed as part of the internal investigation. You are to be the last step in a discipline related matter and are to be fair and impartial but your comments show that you already have a predetermined outcome before ever knowing the facts of the case.
In the case of Officer Timberlake, your egregious actions and slanderous statements, have effectively ended the career and impugned the reputation of a Fairfax County Police Officer. Seeing this, officers on the street havebeen limiting their interaction with the public and have been hesitating to use force even when appropriate, which is a safety issue for all parties concerned, including the offender and the public. I was appalled to hear you say at the press conference “my disgust with my officer’s “unacceptable criminal actions” and “the horrible use of force” before the completion of either a criminal or administrative investigation. Your comment that, “You thank God that the subject was still alive” when his life was never in danger because of your officer’s actions. Your inflammatory statements have undue alarm in the communities that your officers serve and caused irreparable damage to community trust. You further failed to follow well established investigative protocols and policies by making the following comments “I will assure that the police department will serve justice in the best way we can for that accountability”, “we will hold everyone accountable in the horrible event” and “behavior like this shall not be tolerated”. Again as the last step in a discipline related matter your comment “I will move swiftly with the administrative investigation to make the legal determination as to Officer Timberlake’s employment” shows that you already have a predetermined outcome to this case and cannot be fair and impartial.
In this country, citizens, including police officers, have the right to due process. This is one of the precepts that is granted by the U.S. Constitution and protected by police officers every day. As the Chief of police, you have aduty to protect the due process rights of all, including the officers of your own agency. In this circumstance, you had an opportunity to respect the rights of Officer Timberlake, but you chose to rush to judgement, and demonize him in a public forum, thereby jeopardizing his right to a fair trial. Officer Timberlake deserves better.
In the wake of Officer Timberlake’s case, The FOP Lodge 77, created a climate survey titled The Governance and Leadership Survey – June 2020. The survey was opened upon verification, to members of the Fairfax County Police Department, sworn, non-sworn and even retired employees. Retirees you ask? It’s a sad day when you have to take a phone call from a mentor who is ashamed to say they are retired from the Fairfax County Police Department because of its leader. In that survey, there were some two questions, one in particular asked if you participated in the 2018 Center forEvidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP) sworn FCPD climate survey administered by George Mason University. There was an open-ended question about low morale and a general disconnect between officers and command staff. The findings were as follows:
“Generally, sworn personnel tended to disagree with statements about a positive work environment. They do not agree that command staff is open to their ideas or that there are good reasons behind new changes implemented by command staff. Respondents tended to perceive that FCPD cares more about its civilian employees than its sworn officers”. On follow up, the FOP simply asked if you participated in the CEBCP survey and if conditions have improvedsince 2018. 75.13% of respondents strongly disagreed and 11.50% disagreed that conditions have improved. Another question asked, “Thinking back to Chief Roessler’s public statements and actions regarding the ICE administrative warrant incident from October, 2019 and the June 5, 2020 incident involving PFC Timberlake, do you believe Chief Roessler’s actions violated the Fairfax County Code of Ethics?” The Fairfax County Codeof Ethics was then listed verbatim under that question for reference. It should be noted that it is also incorporated in the FCPD general order G.O. 001. 85.26% of respondents stated “Yes” while 14.44% stated “No”.Another question asked, “How has Chief Roessler’s recent actions and public statements affected overall morale?” 99.2% of respondents stated that morale is worse and 0.8% stated it was about the same.Another question asked, “In today’s current political climate, if involved in a use of force incident resulting in serious injury or death, Chief Roessler will conduct himself fairly and impartially, and will “have my back”.How strongly do you agree or disagree with that statement.” 92.59% of respondents strongly disagreed, 6.08% disagreed, and 1.06% neither agreed nor disagreed. The last question in the survey asked, “Would you support a formal request for Chief Roessler to resign from his position”? 98.42% of respondents answered “Yes” and 1.58% answered “No”.
As the President of the Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 77 myself, my membership and officers of your department no longer have confidence in your ability to be the Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department and ask you respectively to resign your position immediately.Brad CarruthersPresident, Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 77
Source: Multiple sources shared on Facebook
Source: Anonymous letter - Copied from multiple sources & initially shared on Facebook
Source: Anonymous letter - Copied from multiple sources & initially shared on Facebook
Thank you to the brave men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department for your leadership, courage, and commitment to public safety!
Letter to Mr. Roessler & Rohrer, Per Association President, Jeremy Hoffman, via FOIA, and shared on Facebook by multiple sources.