The Alexandria Police Association has voted three times to turn down motions of no confidence in Alexandria Public Safety Director Charles T. Strobel.
In a closed meeting Tuesday night, the 60 members present voted against the no-confidence motions by a 3-to-1 margin, said association President Barry Schiftic.
The votes by the association, which represents about 200 of the police force's 225 members, appear to show that Strobel has the support of at least a significant group within the department, despite the controversies that have recently surrounded him.
Schiftic declined to comment on the significance of the vote. "If you want to know how many people are dissatisfied, you would have to poll the whole department," he said.
A U.S. District Court jury in Alexandria recently ruled that Strobel had violated the constitutional rights of two police officers by punitively transferring them from investigative to patrol duties in 1983. The jury awarded them a total of $15,000.
Previously, a special grand jury found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Strobel when he called off a city drug investigation, and praised his administration of the police department.
The first two motions on Tuesday called for votes of no confidence in Strobel and the department. The association then voted against a motion calling for a letter to the City Council supporting a search for a new public safety director.
The three motions were introduced by Joseph Morrash, one of the officers who successfully sued Strobel, according to one source. Schiftic refused to confirm or deny this, adding that association members had generally agreed not to talk of the vote outside the meeting.
Strobel said he heard about the votes Wednesday. "I'm truly elated with the vote and support," he said.