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      Councilmen raises questions over alleged hostile work conditions inside Toledo Police Department

      A ccording to the Toledo Police Department, since 2006, 21 positions with the department's call center haven't been filled. The police department says a poor economy is the reason why spots weren't filled sooner.

      Toledo C ity Councilman D. Michael Collins said he's not buying that answer,"something doesn't strike me as being right."

      T hat's because Collins says he has received four phone calls and a letter that point towards a hostile work environment inside the departments call center, "employees that are being suppressed in terms of expressing their opinions on things, employees that are being talking down to in condescending manners, employees who are treated as if they're less than human beings and deserve we respect," explains Collins.

      T oledo Free Press reporter Brigitta Burks has been covering this story which will be featured in Friday's paper. In her research and interviews, she was able to get her hands on a letter a disgruntled ex- employee wrote, "we were able to get a resignation letter from an employee saying they did feel there was some harassment and retaliation as reasons why they left the call center," explains Burks.

      Department s pokesperson Sergeant J oe Heffernan said the department is not aware of any allegations of a hostile work environment. Heffernan adds the reason for the vacancies which started in 2006 were because of a poor economy, "I don't buy that whole thing. By saying we don't fill positions because of an economic circumstance, however we pay time in a half and double time in response to it makes absolutely no business sense to me," says Collins.

      D espite the letter and phone calls Collins received about harassment, there's no proof of a hostile work environment. TPD spokesperson Joe Heffernan said it's not clear if an internal investigation will be launched to look into the allegations. He also said the vacancies will be filled. 13 positions will be in the communications department which handles 911 calls. 7 jobs will be in the departments records division.