Weatherford says one of his officers was subjected to offensive language by employees there. The chief says he’s confident the company is addressing the incident as a personnel matter. He notes the incident has been the subject of a lot of postings on social media.
Here is the letter from the Police Chief:
“Last Thursday, an unfortunate incident took place at the Taco Bell restaurant in Pineville. While in line waiting to place an order, a Pineville Police Officer, in uniform, witnessed several employees engaged in some anti-police behavior using a prop and even vocalizing crude comments. The Officer was visibly offended by the situation and politely left the establishment. However, another patron witnessed this behavior and after questioning the manager, wrote about the event on a social media site.
When this was brought to my attention, it was very unsettling – and seemed out of the norm for our local restaurant. I phoned the store and spoke with the manager on duty. She was nice and even connected me with the District Manager. The same incident had already been reported to him and was being investigated by him. I was told the incident was recorded and was consistent with the description of events written about on social media. The manager was apologetic and assured me he would take necessary personnel actions. We both agreed that Taco Bell and the Pineville Police Department have always enjoyed a good working relationship and would both work toward maintaining or restoring that partnership.
I also spoke with Officer G. Credeur, the Officer that had been in the restaurant that night. Although he was offended, he said he did not want to pursue any further involvement. Following this, I sent an email to every Police Officer in the Pineville Police Department explaining what steps had been taken in regard to this matter. Officer Credeur is an outstanding young Police Officer and military veteran. He has spent most of his adult life in service to our community and nation.
However, since Friday, this story has grown. The Department and our Officers have received overwhelming support. Taco Bell meanwhile, has been inundated with calls for firings and boycotts.
As the Chief of the Pineville Police Department, I was appalled and saddened by the lack of respect one my Officers was exposed to…but after our conversation, I was satisfied that the Taco Bell management would make the appropriate personnel decisions with their employees.
Taco Bell in Pineville has always been a valued business in our local area, and the Taco Bell Corporation is recognized worldwide for their generosity and philanthropic giving, especially to our youth.
As an employer, I truly don’t believe the horrible actions of a few adolescent employees should tarnish the entire corporation as long as those issues are addressed locally and swiftly. I also recognize the constant exposure our youth are exposed to from celebrities, pro-athletes and the like, that promote anti-police behavior. This sentiment is overwhelming and very concerning to anyone in the Law Enforcement profession.
I pray that these young employees can learn from this terrible incident. I hope these young folks can learn from this and gain an understanding of the reason for the scrutiny and public outcry.
Lastly, I am thankful for all of the support we have received from the Pineville Community. The men and women of the Pineville Police Department will continue to provide the best police service available; even to those that don’t share in that support.”
Chief Donald Weatherford
Pineville Police Department
KLAX ABC 31 News 10/3/16