"There's a large sense of being disregarded in some areas from city hall. And why that is, we have no idea," said Sweetwater Police Det. Lance Richburg.
Members of Sweetwater PD gathered with representatives from the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas for a public meeting Friday morning. The organization is the largest law enforcement officers' union in the state.
"They asked the city manager straight up, man to man, eye to eye, can we be involved? And he came halfway across his desk and said, 'no,'" said Charlie Wilkinson, a representative from the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas.
However, City Manager Edward Brown is standing firm, saying he won't take any input from members of the department.
"The city of Sweetwater is a civil service city. Civil service law states that the city manager hires the police chief and the city commission ratifies the police chief. And that's our position," Brown said Friday.
Now Sweetwater PD is calling on the citizens for support to help the department better protect and serve the city.
"We want what's best for the citizens of Sweetwater. We know this department needs to improve in areas, it needs to grow in areas and evolve. And that alone, we feel, is a reason for us to be involved in this process," Richburg said.
Members of the police department as well as the city manager acknowledged the fact that there has been a lot of tension between the police department and city administration over the years. Even after Friday's meeting, Brown said he would not make changes to the selection process.