The screen shot below was captured on 3/27/2013 at 8:20PM on the personal Facebook page of Dale Roberts, Executive Director of the Columbia Police Officers Association F.O.P. Lodge #26, A private organization that is not part of the Columbia Police Department. Although the CPOA is a lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, the organization claims not to be a labor union. The overwhelming majority of C.P.D. officers are members — I’ve heard 98%, but can’t back that up.
In his post, Roberts refers to the sexual assault of two women at the hands of Texas state troopers on the side of the road as “Customer Service.”
Before going any further, it is important to note that CPOA Executive Director Roberts is not a cop. According to KOMU, along with his position at the helm of the CPOA, Roberts is “currently the vice president of the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Citizen Alliance Alumni Association. In the past, Roberts served as the Assistant Chief of Investigations for the Missouri Department of Insurance, the director of a state-wide law enforcement agency and the Chief Judge of a 9-judge panel. He is also a former member of the Missouri Police Chief’s Association. Roberts has been an adjunct assistant professor with the University of Missouri for more than 20 years, teaching law courses.”
The screen shot above comes on the heels of some rather unbecoming comments made on the official CPOA Facebook page, comments that were called satire by some, including Roberts, and racist by others, including Mayor Bob McDavid after the post made national news.
Here is what McDavid had to say…
Roberts did issue a formal apology saying, “Although intended to be satirical in nature, the post was taken out of context and perceived to be quite different than intended.”
After the armored personnel carrier comment made national news, the CPOA Facebook page was overrun with comments from outraged folks around the country. Those comments were promptly (and wisely) purged along with other mildly offensive posts.
Interestingly, as of tonight, 3/27/2013, posts like this one were still active.
So much for community policing, eh?