(picture credit AP)
The Daily News reports on an incident that cost one deputy his job and three others a suspension.
An embarrassed Sheriff Gary Painter fired one Midland County deputy and suspended three others without pay after a scantily dressed waitress holding a rifle posed for photographs on the hood of a patrol vehicle.
Round Rock officers were dispatched to the restaurant after someone reported the waitress with the weapon, which had been given to her by one of the deputies who had been attending a training session near Austin.
The incident occurred last week in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant, which promotes its "fun, friendly and sometimes flirty atmosphere!"
The deputies told Painter that they had about three to five beers each.
A fifth deputy who remained inside the eatery got a letter of reprimand.
Now, I'm the last one to want to give the cops a break. I believe they should be held to a higher standard. But losing your job over a stupid stunt like this, to me seems ridiculous. What is wrong with these people? Every day in the news there are reports of cops abusing their power, even shooting people in the back, and for the most part they get away with it. But in this case one guy is fired and three suspended without pay. Does anyone else think something's wrong with that?
They admitted drinking "about three to five beers." That means they probably drank more than that, who tells the truth to that question in that situation? Then they started playing around with the gun and the waitress. Very stupid, very irresponsible, but is it criminal enough to get fired over?
On the other hand, maybe this is exactly the way we can weed out the least qualified cops. If a guy demonstrates such poor judgment as this in a fairly innocuous situation, perhaps he's a risk when things get dangerous. What's your opinion?