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Chief Questions Integrity of Search

Todd Vande Zande, the interim chief of the Canton Police Department, overheard a Friday meeting between City Manager Scott Wood and Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison about the candidates for police chief. Garrison said the meeting wasn't unusual.

The city still reeling from the , the interim police chief said this week that he questions the integrity of the search for a permanent replacement.

It started Friday, when Todd Vande Zande called the city manager's phone. Wood answered, but said nothing.

Three times, Vande Zande said, "Hello."

He waited. And waited. And then Vande Zande heard a conversation between the city manager, Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison and a third unidentified person.

They were talking about him.

"I'm thinking, "Well, maybe he's finishing up a conversation because he can see who calls when they call,' " Vande Zande said. "So I sat there for a few minutes. It was my assumption that he wanted me to hear the conversation. And unfortunately, I heard the conversation and I wasn't pleased with it."

Vande Zande said he didn't want to specify what was said in the 20-minute conversation. And Wood has not returned messages left for him since Friday.

"The context of the meeting really was in regards to my professional qualifications," Vande Zande said. "It would be fair to Mr. Wood to have the opportunity to explain himself before any comments were made regarding what was said specifically."

Garrison said there was nothing unusual about the meeting. City managers come to him all the time when they whittle down the list of police chief candidates. Before Woodstock selected as its police chief in February, City Manager Jeff Moon went to Garrison.

"It's very important that the sheriff and the city (police chief) have a good relationship," Garrison said this afternoon. "I found nothing out of the ordinary about the meeting. The strengths and weaknesses (of Vande Zande) were discussed."

He said he doesn't know what part of the meeting Vande Zande heard.

"I don't know if he only heard the bad parts," he said. "I gave positive feedback as well. He has positives and negatives and I have positives and negatives. We all do. It's just part of the process, the vetting process and that's the way I viewed that."

Still, Vande Zande took his grievances to Mayor Gene Hobgood and several city council members. He said Garrison is not part of the selection committee, which the sheriff acknowledged today.

"I had questions about the integrity of the process once I heard the conversation," Vande Zande said. "And I think that it's best that (the council) investigate it."

At 4 p.m. today, .

And "it may be other matters involving the police department as well," he told Canton-Sixes Patch on Wednesday.

Stay tuned to Canton-Sixes Patch for updates on this breaking news story.

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Mary April 12, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Has someone questioned the interim chief on his motives to make our city look bad? Maybe he is worried he isn't the most qualified candidate to be Chief of Police and is trying to take down what is standing in his way? Is the city manager not allowed to talk to people that know and work with the interim chief to try and make the right decision for who will lead our wonderful police department?
Mitch April 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I know VZ: acting chief vavdezande is well known in the law enforcement world as someone who will do anything to get what he wants. VZ has no loyalty to anyone and should resign immediately. Who do you think leaked the video of the traffic stop of Scott wood to the media? The fine me and women who work for Canton PD deserve better than someone like Todd Vandezande.
Aurora S Thomas April 13, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I would like to know why Sheriff Garrison is meeting behind closed doors about an agency that is not his agency? I think he needs to fix what is wrong in his agency first! VandeZande is a great officer & has done a good job so far as Chief, so why not allow him to do the job? Give him a year to prove himself if you want to keep meeting behind closed doors with the sheriff. Remember is was the sheriff dept. that the news media was first focused on, so what better way to get the focus off your agency but to "throw" the old chief under the bus using the media to shift the focus to another department which is exactly what the sheriff did with Chief Lance. Garrison I think you worry more about all the skeletons you have in your closet instead! City Council are you so afraid of Garrison that your unwilling to give VandeZande the chance he deserves?
Aurora S Thomas April 13, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Mitch you say you "know" vandezande has done this & that, where is your proof? Provide us with proof
don juan April 13, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Lets see who gets thrown under the bus next. Since the sitting sheriff threw former Chief Lance under it and it appears either interim Chief VZ or probationary City Mgr. Wood threw a good officer under it, we can all wonder who's next. If it is all due to a urinating contest between ACTING Chief and the City Mgr. Then the mayor and council should step up and end it by terminating them both before more harm is done to what was once a fine department. Things like this didn't happen when Billy Cantrell was chief. Oh for a return to the good old days!
Canton Truth April 13, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Well let’s face the fact, Vande Zande is how he spells his name and VZ is what those who have worked with and know him, call him. So Mitch may know him, and may have the proof of witnessing the same thing in another location. Its hard to produce what you have seen or heard, but you Aurora must be a friend or relative because you and if this is the fact, you will be bias. Now the City needs a fresh start, get rid of Vande Zande and Wood. Then start to work on fixing the City Council as the Power struggle going on is very apparent. The Mayor does not like the fact he has no power, he wants the same power as the City Manager. Vande Zande wants to be Chief, even after he was just as much at fault during the Rivera Case. Vande Zande made his move and went around the City Manager to make his play for the job, knowing the Mayor is not a fan of City Manager. The City Police Officers if interviewed and no one would know, I believe would say get rid of Vande Zande. Now he may be great to you Aurora, but that does not mean he is best for the Department or the people. OPINION: RID OF BOTH OF THEM, THEN START WITH THE ONES IN POLITICS WHO HAVE ALLOWED THIS TO GO ON AS LONG AS IT HAS.
Man in the know April 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Tell you what Aurora..the city of Marietta charges .25 cents per page to make copies of departmental documents. So, stop by the ATM on the way to the police department and and withdraw about $300 and then take your money to Marietta PD ask for copies of VZ's personnel file. The 300 might cover all the paperwork you will get outlining the crap he pulled on his way out the door of MPD. you will find your proof in the files. VZ has no business in law enforcement!!
Aurora S Thomas April 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM
i just love how people won't even use their name! you want to comment but are too ashamed to use your name. instead "man in the know" or "canton truth" is used. just saying.... a pet peeve of mine, i figure if you have something to say & want to put it in public forum you shouldn't hide. again,, just saying....
don juan April 14, 2012 at 05:25 PM
What's your problem with people using a pseudonym on the web partner. Did you ever stop to think that some of the people commenting may have something to lose like their job maybe. Gimme a break!
hope April 15, 2012 at 01:07 AM
i'm with don on this juan.
melissa Adams May 04, 2012 at 06:05 AM
I think VZ and Waters should team up together somewhere way away from here w/their mayberry antics and leave the real policing to agency officials trying to keep up with the times
melissa Adams May 04, 2012 at 06:11 AM
wish there was a like button

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