A group of Bellevue citizens are speaking up against their city's Chief of Police, Mark Elbert, who has been back on the job for less than a week.
The group, called Bellevue Deserves Better, says Elbert shouldn't be back on the job and were vocal about their stance at Monday night's city council meeting. Most of the group members are family members of current Bellevue police officers and have a strong message.
Member Lauren Ward, along with others from Bellevue Deserves Better, says they want to see changes in the police force, and the city council. "We want to try and affect change, because the folks who have the power to do so aren't doing it."
Elbert was asked to sit out on paid administrative leave eleven months ago, after being accused of acting deceptively. "These are personal matters, sensitive issues. It's unfortunate it had to be done in this venue. It's kind of inappropriate, but I'm going to march forward and hold my head high, and we are gonna weather the storm," Elbert said.
The group believes low morale is spreading in the department. With an upcoming Omaha Police Department lateral transfer, Ward said she believes some may leave. "To think about going to another department where these things don't exist and these problems aren't things they have to deal with day in and day out on top of one of the hardest jobs in the entire world."
Despite backlash, Elbert said he stands by the fact he acted responsibly and appropriately. "Let the process run it's course and we will see how it runs out. Super unfortunate. It didn't have to be this way."