Police officers have been making news quite frequently lately, and very little of that news has been good, or flattering at all to the police. So when one cop in Cleveland lends a helping hand to a member of the public, you might think he’d been given a pat on the back, not a slap on the wrist.
In the case of Officer Carl Dooley, however, you’d be wrong. But wait. There is actually a reason why the form of assistance Dooley offered to one citizen met with departmental disapproval, after a photo of the incident ended up on the internet.
In fact, a spokesperson for the Cleveland Police Department said that he was “a bit shocked” to see the photo of Dooley.” Why? What could have been so terrible?
Here’s the whole photo:
That’s Dooley apparently helping an unidentified young man take a hit from a beer bong, which, in case you don’t know, is a device for pouring beer down a long tube straight down your throat. It’s a way to drink a whole lot of beer, really fast — presumably getting totally hammered in a hurry.
Is this what the police mean when they talk about community outreach?
“Sometimes, officers try to fit into their work environment, meaning no harm or diminishing the esteem of the police department,” said Jeff Folmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association.
The Cleveland police are now investigating what was really going on in the photo, which they believe was taken in the parking lot before a recent Cleveland Browns pre-season NFL football game.
If that’s the case, it makes the photo even more problematic for Dooley, who may be looking at charges of conduct unbecoming a police officer, because the Cleveland police have said that they will be enforcing laws regarding public alcohol consumption more strictly at Browns games this year.
Dooley is a field training officer, meaning that his chief responsibility is to train new officers in proper policing procedures.
What do you think? Was this Cleveland cop acting in an appropriate way, simply trying to establish a rapport with the community? Or did his conduct bring disrepute to the blue uniform?