Casualty of politics
Casualty of politics
Written by Mark Nichols
One of the things people outside law enforcement don't quite understand is the width of the tightrope officers have to walk when dealing public officials. For instance, let's say you're talking to some guys in a fire station and a state representative's wife comes in and starts making a scene, throwing around wild accusations and pointing fingers. In short, a public disturbance. Should you turn on the dash-cam so there's an impartial record of what went down? Seems like a reasonable thing for a cop in that situation to do right? Well it cost a former North Myrtle Beach public safety officer his job.
Jeff Senter is now fighting to get it back. Senter is seeking a public grievance hearing from his former employer after he was terminated from his job for reasons that boggle the mind. Jeff Senter, a 16-year veteran of law enforcement, claims he was fired after an incident involving him and the wife of State Representative Tracy Edge.
An attorney for Senter said Edge's wife showed up at a Cherry Grove fire station and began to cause a scene. At some point during an argument, Senter began recording the incident on a dash cam videotape. "She was making accusations and acting inappropriately," Greg McCollum, an attorney representing the former police officer told reporters with WMBF News.
Mrs. Edge admits she had acted inappropriately and released a statement to that effect. "I am truly sorry and regret my actions in the incident that occurred several weeks ago. I take full responsibility for what happened and apologize for the trouble this has caused," stated Melissa Edge, in a statement to WMBF News.
Senter's attorney said his client had followed the proper procedure and had followed the orders of his supervisors by not filing an incident report or making any arrests.
But several news outlets have requested the dash cam video from the City of North Myrtle Beach. There's nothing like a politician's wife creaming at public servants in a fire station as far as ratings go. But the city so far has denied those media requests.
The city says it's worried about Mrs. Edge's privacy, not the fact that 16-year police veteran got sold out to keep a politician's wife from potential embarrassment. The city will not comment on personnel matters and have yet to set a date for a public grievance hearing.
"Essentially the reason he was fired is because the news media asked for the tape," McCollum told reporters flatly. State Representative Tracy Edge also released a statement claiming he's been "keeping out of the city's decisions." "Melissa and I are working through this and seek to strengthen our marriage and family. We ask for understanding and prayers from our friends and everyone in the community.
"We will continue to work for the betterment of our community and humbly ask for your support, thoughts and prayers as we move forward. We never asked for any special treatment and have had no role or involvement in any actions or decisions made by the city," read Edge's statement.
That's the thing about "special treatment."
The people that get don't even have to ask.
Now this is something that may not scare but certainly concerns numerous officers in my area. What say you?
This is something that I'm really scared about, because just like this officer, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
If he didn't have a video and audio recording Im sure the story would have been different and he would have been terminated under different accusations. Because he does have a recording he is terminated for separate reasons. I hope he sues and gets him job back and I think they should release the video to the media, she caused the problems let the world see how she is.
It's an all too common occurence. Unfortunately society has raised a generation of people that feel they are entitled to special treatment; if you're a politician or family member of a politician, then you expect and even demand preferential treatment.
Her actions speak volumes of how she really feels...
State Representative Tracy Edge also released a statement claiming he's been "keeping out of the city's decisions."
We all know what this means...
I say release the tape and let the public see if she is truly the Asshat that she sounds like. Then, I would hope the officer goes after her for a civil settlement, after he gets his job back and after the Chief grows a set and stands up for their officers.
That would be tough to do, here.
We have civil service protection and there is no way I can see being fired for doing whatever you would do for any other contact.
At my former department, which was civil service, I had a very short conversation with my chief. His words were f*** civil service. If I want you gone, trust me, you'll be gone. Such is the depth of politics here.
That's probably tougher to do with a guild and a lawyer than he thinks.
Originally Posted by lewisipso
Maybe not down there, dunno.
Make sure you have your own copies.
That's why you carry and use a pocket recorder. I've had officers ask why do you use a pocket recorder when you have the car video?...
Originally Posted by Xiphos
Here, it's all public record...from our phone calls and emails to dash cams and the like. The city wouldn't be able to refuse, especially since there was no ongoing investigation for anything.
The officer should never have been fired, and being that he has, I hope that someone there can make sure he gets his retirement paid for now.