Anonymous letter blasting Camden’s Police Chief came before his retirement

Camden city officials received an anonymous letter heavily criticizing Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd and department leadership
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 4:06 PM EST
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CAMDEN, S.C. (WIS) - Camden city officials received an anonymous letter heavily criticizing Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd and department leadership before Floyd submitted his retirement paperwork.

Camden City Manager Jonathan Rorie and Floyd both told WIS the letter played no role in Floyd’s retirement.

However, Rorie confirmed the city received the letter before Floyd’s retirement documents. Rorie said the submission of Floyd’s retirement happened in the last “week or two” while the letter was received in recent months. The exact timing is unclear.

Additionally, he confirmed to WIS his administration conducted an interview with “every member of the police department” after receiving the letter.

“I believe that there is merit in some of the issues especially when it comes to equipment and training, but I also think that a lot of the stuff is unsubstantiated and has no evidence, and therefore there will be no further action taken,” he said.

WIS has obtained a copy of the multi-page letter, written by an individual with knowledge of the Camden Police Department.

WIS has made the editorial decision to not publish the letter, as it cannot verify all the allegations made within.

The author takes aim at Floyd, criticizing the culture he’s fostered at the department, work ethic, and the actions of several named subordinates.

A WIS investigation found former Camden Police Captain (and now Kershaw County Sheriff) Lee Boan created a “greatest hits” video of a Camden Police Department Officer who was later charged with assault. Boan served under Floyd.

Neither Boan nor the video is named in the letter.

RELATED STORY: Kershaw Co. Sheriff created “greatest hits” video of officer who would go on to be charged for assault

The author raises concerns about Floyd’s alleged inaction on officer equipment, alleging it’s “outdated and obsolete.”

Additionally, the letter alleges “officers have to spend their own money to buy adequate equipment to do their jobs safely.”

Floyd confirmed his retirement (effective Feb. 1) to WIS on Thursday. He said after 50 years of service, he’d met personal goals.

“I’ve been in the process and was looking at the possibility of doing this five years ago until I had a situation that my captain at that time decided he was going to run for sheriff, so I felt like I needed to begin the process to stay a little bit longer and prepare somebody else to be ready to take the reins, or at least be competitive to take the reins when I did leave,” he said.

RELATED STORYCamden Police Chief retiring on Feb. 1

Floyd denied the letter played any role in his decision.

“Communications about the letter, I think you need to address that with the city manager. But from a standpoint of did it influence me in terms of my decision? This decision was made before that letter ever arrived.”

He declined to comment further on the letter.

Rorie echoed the chief’s comments on the role the letter played in his retirement.

“Absolutely not. I’ve been here for eight months. Chief Floyd has been talking about retiring for eight years,” he said.

He said there have been discussions over the last two months with human resources about Floyd’s retirement.

Rorie said the letter did not bring about any changes in personnel. He said he is promoting Capt. Tom Borowski to the interim chief before a “national” search gets underway.

WIS asked Rorie about his view of the Camden Police Department’s culture in light of the letter.

“I think that there’s probably built-in frustration that folks have not been heard throughout the years,” he said.

He said the city will look to purchase new patrol vehicles and develop career development training as part of its response.

The allegations outlined in the letter include incidents involving officers interacting with citizens and other officers.

Rorie said he has not looked at body camera footage “or anything related to things in this letter.”

“The complaints were investigated internally with the police department as a personnel action. No, I’m not going to get involved with going over and looking at body cameras and that kind of stuff,” he said.

He said the department has an internal affairs unit and policies to address complaints about officers.

“We do not, nor will I, share, opinions in regards to personnel actions in internal reviews with the police department when it comes to the personnel actions of their department,” he said.

It’s unclear if there is an ongoing investigation into the allegations made in the letter.

Rorie praised Floyd’s service and is looking for potential award applications for Floyd’s service.

“I think after 50 years he is deserving of retirement, he has served this community well.”

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