December 23, 2014 2:43 pm ET
County 911 employee posts anti-police rant, raises concerns about conflict of interest
Source: A Cause for Alarm
Folks, I am a proponent of free speech. After all, without that freedom, I wouldn’t be able to post this blog.
However, sometimes the freedom of speech allows a person’s true colors to shine through, and that can cause some serious issues.
Case in point…
A Baltimore County Emergency Communication Technician, Kelli Murray, posted a rant on Facebook that should cause people to look twice at how effective she can be in that position.
In the controversial post, Kelli Murray expressed her outrage regarding the recent grand jury decisions not to prosecute police officers. And while it is acceptable to express one’s personal feelings on a personal social media page, there is truly a cause for concern in this instance.
Why, you may ask? Simply put, Ms. Murray is responsible for relaying information, which could mean the difference between life and death, to police officers—the very people that she was ranting about on her Facebook page.
According to ABC2 News, Cole Weston, president of the Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4, said many officers have expressed outrage over the comments and are concerned about having a person with anti-police sentiments working with them in a potentially life-threatening situation.
Gee, do you think??? I know that, if I were still walking a beat, I would be very skeptical of having Ms. Murray on the other end of my radio.
While the police department has little say over the matter, since Ms. Murray is a county employee, the County has an opportunity to weigh in on the subject. With that said, here are some of the remarks by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz as reported by the Baltimore Sun:
“Individuals are constitutionally protected by the right to free speech, and that protection does not end when someone chooses to become a county employee.”
Cole Weston stated, “The FOP has received several e-mails and phone calls in reference to a Facebook post by a county employee who works in the communications center. While we acknowledge this person’s 1st Amendment rights, we must proclaim that under no circumstances do we, as an organization, think this expression is appropriate for this person’s current job in communications.
“In the law enforcement community, dispatchers serve as a lifeline to get us accurate information and backup when we call for them. We rely on this hoping they act promptly and without prejudices that will put our lives in jeopardy. In Baltimore County, dispatchers do an excellent job of accomplishing this most difficult and crucial task.”
Now, we all know that Mr. Kamenetz’s words ring hollow. I have had police officers tell me to my face that they will be fired if they get caught talking to me. The County has a way of getting back at people for speaking out in public. The Americans with Disabilities Act case was another example of the County’s retaliation. Although in a different format, the results were the same, many police officers and civilians were forced out of their jobs.
Employees were punished for pursuing their rights under the law; myself included. It took the feds to step in and put a stop to the double standard by which the administration rules.
My response to Mr. Kamenetz is, “Don’t throw out the ‘right to free speech’ gig when the county only allows it for a selected few, based on race.”
Those of us who worked in the department are familiar with the rules and regulations that say Conduct Unbecoming. We see the same situation occurring in NY where comrade Bill de Blasio is attacking the police.
Often times, when I wrote a blog on Patch one of the same ilk, Dundalk Donnie (pseudonym) and the Dundalk Reconnaissance Corporation President, Dave Janiszewski, posted on Patch about a legal battle I had with the court years ago. The court case involved my criticizing the department for its handling of an attempt to close a nightclub due to threats made by another competitor. I had no right to free speech because of my role as a police officer and its impact on the departments rules and regulations. That case was appealed to the circuit court where I lost.
I suppose that Mr. Kamenetz may be towing the PC line here, but I want to remind him that the PC days are over. Just ask the losers in the last election who stuck to being PC rather than doing what was best for the citizens.