Is this a case of free speech being denied or is this a case of intimidation? Thursday morning a civil service hearing will hope to ascertain an answer to that question when it convenes in Crowley.

The issue stems from comments made on social media by a Crowley Police officer who was expressing his opinion after the city council disagreed over new leases for more police units.

According to KATC this is what the officer's post said;

Maybe if our City would approve the hiring of more officers, we wouldn’t have to be working with 2-3 officers on a shift at any given time. Does anyone know who approved more Officer slots? I believe it’s the City Council that does those types of approvals. Oh, wait! But then we wouldn’t have enough police units for the new officers to use because those were debunked by the Mickey Mouse City Council that this city has.

Five members of the Crowley City Council have filed grievances about the post with civil service board. Thus the need for the civil service hearing on Thursday.

When asked by KATC about the grievance Crowley's City Attorney, Daniel Landry had this to say:

Just by being law enforcement or fire department they don’t give up their rights to free speech. But because of their positions in our society, they have some restrictions on what they can say or do so as not to impede the efficient operations of their department

The matter does create a very slippery slope. So, it will be interesting to see what the outcome of the civil service hearing will bring.

How do you feel about this? Does being an employee of a government agency preclude your rights to express yourself as an individual? Does a government agency have the right to censor employees and comments that might be deemed detrimental to the functionality of that government agency?

The only outcome I can see from this is that a few attorneys in Crowley are going to making a lot of money regardless of what the civil service board findings happen to be.


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