WINSLOW, Ariz. - No answers from leadership within the Winslow Police Department regarding a 2013 internal memo suggesting the department not hire Officer Austin Shipley due to several concerns.
Both Chief Stephen Garnett and Lieutenant Ken Arend declined to speak with 12 News about the memo that they both received three years ago from Officer Ron Chisholm.
"... At this time I do not believe that [Shipley] should be retained by the Winslow Police Department," wrote Officer Chisholm.
A list of nine items ranging from integrity issues, failing to control suspects when making an arrest and falsifying reports were listed in the memo that was sent after Shipley completed the last phase of his field officer training with the department.
An officer-involved shooting on Easter Sunday involving Shipley is under investigation after 27-year-old Loreal Tsingine was shot five times during an attempt to arrest her in connection with a shoplifting incident. Tsingine was armed with scissors.
For the second time since the deadly shooting, the City of Winslow held a city council meeting and the shooting was not on the agenda.
The City Manager, Steve Pauken, declined our requests to go on camera to answer questions regarding the hiring practices of the police department, but did provide this statement:
"As you know, there is an ongoing DPS investigation. The City of Winslow has been transparent and cooperative in providing all the information to the news media that has been requested, and still more that we will be supplying soon. Beyond that, the City is not commenting on any of the information supplied because this situation is a very long way from being resolved, and in order to assure due process to all involved, we do not wish to make any comments that could jeopardize this or future investigations.
At the conclusion of the DPS investigation, their report will be turned over to the Navajo County Attorney for review. After that, there will be an internal affairs investigation. We also anticipate some review by the U.S. Department of Justice. Since there is also potential for litigation, the aftermath of this tragedy could go on for a very long time."
The city council stated they're unable to answer any of 12 News' questions regarding the memo during the public comment section of the meeting, but two other citizens expressed concern over the shooting. One stating a citizen oversight committee needs to be formed for the police department and another official with the Hopi tribe expressed safety concerns for those community members in Winslow.
"I feel like our town is safe and we’re an inclusive city," said Robin Boyd, Mayor of Winslow. "Nothing has changed."