Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Kathy Jessup
The Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Sgt. Stacey Randolph was fired in 1995 for defying orders and lying in court about her romantic relationship with a high-level drug dealer.
On Monday, she will become the department's first black female lieutenant, after this week's announcement of her promotion by new Chief Jeffrey Hadley.
The 17-year department veteran, who won reinstatement in 1996 through union arbitration, said she has worked for more than a decade to prove that "people make mistakes, go through the fire and can get on the right path."
"I just ask that people don't judge me by one moment in history but rather by what I have tried to make of my destiny," said Randolph, the mother of two sons and the wife of Public Safety Executive Lt. Victor Ledbetter. "I love this community, and I try to show that in what I do and by encouraging others to be the best they can be.
"Understandably this was a hurdle, but I have done nothing but strive to be better."
Randolph is the second internal promotion Hadley has made in his first month on the job. Lt. Tom Hemingway was recently promoted to executive lieutenant of operations.
Hemingway filled the position that was vacated when Pat Wright retired in May. Hadley has since tapped Wright as interim assistant chief.
Hadley said he was aware of Randolph's past record, but he said she was the best candidate for the job, regardless of race or gender.
"She was simply the best person qualified right now for where we want to take this organization," Hadley said. "To be perfectly honest, I was aware of the past. But since that time, she's spent 15 years in this department and done nothing but commit herself to it. She was promoted to sergeant by another chief and she completed her master's degree.
"We want to take this department in the direction of collaboration, problem-solving and partnerships and she stood out in that arena as someone who could help everyone under her command."
The department fired Randolph in May 1995 for lying in court about her relationship with Robert Darryl Reeves and defying orders to end the affair.
An arbitrator in April 1996 ordered the department to rehire Randolph. While the arbitrator found that Randolph violated at least three department rules, including disobeying orders by continuing to associate with Reeves, he said the department failed to investigate and present its case in a prompt manner.
Reeves was convicted in federal court in 1997 of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Randolph has provided few public details about her relationship with Reeves. She previously characterized it as an "abusive" relationship, "the depth of which most people aren't even aware."
Today, Randolph suggests what she learned from the experience makes her a better public safety officer.
"We deal with so many types of people who make mistakes and it's important for officers to have a sense of compassion sometimes," she explained. "I screwed up and I know what people can be going through. All the tangents in my life have tempered me not to be a softy or stringent, but to have some balance and understanding."
As the department's first black, female lieutenant, Randolph said she is indebted to female, minority officers who have preceded her, and she has a responsibility to those who will follow her.
"To anyone who has given me an opportunity, I say thank you," Randolph said. "Now I owe it to everyone coming after me to lay a foundation."
A native of Detroit, Randolph came to Kalamazoo to study criminal justice at Western Michigan University and went on to obtain a master's in public administration. She was promoted to sergeant in 2003.

Wire Service
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.