Dumb and Dumber

Jul 9, 2008 by

Which is which? You decide.

Did you ever think you could be suspended – well, okay, be placed “under investigation” – on your last day of work, within minutes of your retirement? Think again.

With minutes left in the last shift of his 35-year New Orleans police career, Sgt. Bobby Guidry received a call from a supervisor telling him he had been suspended for wearing the wrong uniform shirt, the veteran officer said. …

Instead of the standard-issue all-black uniform, Guidry, a veteran officer in the city’s Uptown 2nd District, chose the powder-blue uniform shirt that he wore to work for more than three decades.

He viewed it as a simple statement, not an affront to rules or department leadership.

“Eighteen people died in the line of duty in that powder-blue shirt while I was with the department,” Guidry said. “I went to each of those funerals. I wore that shirt on a Saturday, on my last day, out of respect for them.” …

The punishment will not affect Guidry’s pension or benefits, but, as it stands now, he will not receive his retired police commission and will not be accepted into the NOPD’s reserve unit, for which he had applied …

… Superintendent Warren Riley, who could not be reached for comment, was apprised of the investigation …

Riley stressed that “an officer has to maintain professionalism at all times, whether it is his first or last day.” …

The powder-blue uniform shirt had been worn by officers since the Police Department’s inception. Riley changed the uniform after Hurricane Katrina to all-black uniforms.

“A lot of uniforms were displaced after the storm, and they wanted to eliminate the possibility of uniforms getting into the hands of criminals,” Young said of the change.

Some officers protested the change. Many complained that the all-black uniform was too hot and that it bucked tradition.

Riley, in what some in the Police Department call a move to boost morale, recently announced that the department would revert to powder-blue shirts, probably by the first of the year.

Personally, I never cared for the powder-blue version. Too milquetoasty, too dough-boyish. I much prefer the new post-K, post-apocalyptic, salaciously fascistic all-black outfits. Makes me want to run and hide every time I see one cruising by. I imagine fierce hounds on my tail and coarse voices shouting, “Halt! Ve will shoot – or do even vorse tings to your person!” Makes my knees get gooey.


PM Update:

The big man is okay with one:

New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said that a 35-year police veteran who was reprimanded for wearing the wrong uniform shirt just 15 minutes before he was set to retire was appropriately punished.

“He suffered the consequences of his actions,” Riley said. …

The NOPD says he was reprimanded, not suspended, and that an internal investigation was opened into the matter. Guidry is considered to be “retired under investigation” which affects his police commission and denies him the chance of working as a reserve officer.

And “dismayed” by the other:

Speaking Wednesday morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a New Orleans Police division headquarters, Riley also said he was dismayed about the action of Officer Donyell Sanchell, who last weekend led Crescent City Connection police on a high-speed pursuit, then allegedly grazed a bridge officer with his vehicle and slapped him. He was cited with a municipal summons for battery and issued traffic citations.

“Was I disappointed? Absolutely,” Riley said. “It’s embarrassing for the New Orleans Police Department.”

You know what’s embarrassing, Chief? Do you?

Thursday Update:

We’ve gone international! Makes you proud to be a Yat. Thanks, Chief. Sure beats fighting crime.

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