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Crowley officer possibly facing disciplinary action for social media post

Posted at 11:12 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 00:12:59-04

A Crowley police officer could be facing disciplinary action by the civil service board, for comments he made on social media.

It all started when the council disagreed over leases for new police units.

Last week, one officer commented on a post on Facebook, expressing frustration with the council.

“Maybe if our City would approve the hiring of more officers, we wouldn’t have to be working with 2-3 officers on a shift at any given time. Does anyone know who approved more Officer slots? I believe it’s the City Council that does those types of approvals. Oh wait! But then we wouldn’t have enough police units for the new officers to use because those were debunked by the Mickey Mouse City Council that this city has.”

Five council members saw that post and have since filed grievances with the civil service board. Alderman Brad Core, who is also the chairman of the Public Safety Committee, called the officer’s comments an intimidation tactic.

To read the grievances filed, continue scrolling below.

“He was reading a thread and I guess the best word was vented about situations that were going on and the frustration of not only himself but some of the officers probably as well,” said Police Chief Jimmy Broussard, defending his officer. “I’ve always told my officers, if you’re wrong I’m going to correct you. If you’re right, then I will defend you to the hills, even if it means I’m blackballed by the council, I will still defend my officers when they are right.”

Chief Broussard said he formally asked the mayor to remove Alderman Core from the Public Safety Committee because he believes it’s a conflict of interest. Mayor Tim Monceaux declined comment for this story.

“I don’t see how you can be chairperson of a committee that oversees a particular department that you filed a grievance against one of its employees,” said Chief Broussard.

Chief Broussard says he already “appropriately” disciplined the officer over some of the comments, but ultimately supports the officer in question.

“This particular officer is a 4 year member of the United States Marine Corps. And as a marine, this officer fought for the freedom to have a freedom of speech and now he is being attacked for the same freedom that he as a service man fought for. I have an issue with that,” said the chief.

Civil service attorney Daniel Landry said this will be a ‘close call’ and that the board will likely investigate if the post was political activity or unbecoming conduct.

“Just by being law enforcement or fire department they don’t give up their rights to free speech. But because of their positions in our society they have some restrictions on what they can say or do so as not to impede the efficient operations of their department,” said Landry.

The civil service board will hold a public hearing Thursday at 8 am to discuss the complaints.