Henderson police chief responds to unions’ vote of ‘no confidence’

Published: Nov. 5, 2022 at 7:35 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Henderson Police Chief Thedrick Andres believes there is an ulterior motive behind the vote of no confidence by the Henderson police unions.

Earlier this week, the Henderson Police Officers Association and Henderson Police Supervisors Association overwhelmingly voted “no confidence” in their police chief. More than 95% of members that cast a vote said they had “no confidence” in the top cop.

Andres told FOX5 Friday he’s disappointed with the vote and refuted claims that he hasn’t been willing to work with the unions.

“Disappointed would be the word for me, because I think we’ve done so much with our labor unions to continue to benefit their members,” Andres said.

Andres said regaining the trust of those officers and supervisors starts with sitting down and talking to each other.

“We start Monday morning. I will be the first to say let’s sit down and talk about real issues at the table,” Andres said.

The unions told FOX5 the main reasons for the vote were the chief’s lack of collaboration with the union and allege an unwillingness to follow the collective bargaining agreement and department policies.

“We have not violated our collective bargaining agreement,” Andres said. “Where the disagreements come is with the fact that discipline and accountability has taken place.”

Andres believes the real reason for the vote of no confidence is directly related to department investigations of police misconduct of officers in the union.

“The things they are bringing up are personal investigations involving members of their union leadership that I have a responsibility to investigate thoroughly,” the chief said. “The community expects me to do that.”

FOX5 learned one of those examples is related to the president of the HPOA. Gary Hargis is on administrative leave by the department pending the outcome of an investigation into his involvement in a hit and run last month.

A police report said he failed to stop at the scene of a crash he was involved in. The union president has not been arrested or cited. He still holds his position as HPOA president.

The union calls Andres an outsider because of the changes they said he’s attempted to make at an already successful department.

Andres has been the top cop in Henderson since 2019, and with the department for five of his more than 25 year career in law enforcement.

“When you look behind the lens about their complaints, ask about their complaints based on my performance as the police chief,” Andres said. “We’ve been one of America’s safest cities since I’ve been chief. In fact we’ve become even safer.”

The city said it has confidence in and supports the chief. Ultimately the city manager decides who sits atop the police department.

“I’m the first chief to write a crime reduction act for the city, and I’m the first chief to sit down with the department and do a true strategic plan so that employees had a voice in the direction where we’re going,” Andres said.

The unions said they’ll present their results to the city council at its next meeting on November 15.