Five Austin, TX, police officers have been disciplined for going fishing instead of guarding a nuclear power plant against possible terrorist attack. A lieutenant and a sergeant, plus three others were suspended from 1 to 30 days. An additional sergeant was not suspended for failing to report the others, as he’s appealing his punishment. (This Yahoo! News story says it is the lieutenant who’s appealing his suspension.)
Most of the officers were part of the department’s Homeland Defense Unit. And this wasn’t a one-day excursion to take advantage of some particularly good weather. The fishing had been going on regularly for up to a year.
Police cited a number of department violations, including continuing to fish after being ordered to stop and instructing plant security guards to allow fellow officers onto the facility to fish.
[Assistant Police Chief Rick] Coy said homeland security assignments will now be rotated to prevent similar incidents.
Doing it in the first place is bad enough. Continuing to do it is worse. To persist even after discovered and ordered to stop is unbelievable. And for all that, they get suspensions of up to 30 days.
The lesson here is: while defending America’s homeland, only commit dereliction of duty until caught and ordered to stop; if you continue to do so you will be suspended for several weeks, mister.
How do you like them apples?
And I’m sure that the rest of the department is glad to see that homeland security assignments are going to be rotated. I’d be interested to see if there’s been a run on fishing rods around Austin lately.