Thursday, July 15, 2010

Badge of Entitlement, uh . . . Nope!

Great story of an Daytona Beach  police lieutenant, doing what we all suspect they do, act like their badge grants them the keys to the kingdom, in this case Disney.  Refreshingly, though, not this time.  This is Lyda Longa's story for the Daytona Beach News Journal:

"Lt. Major Garvin was in a rush the day he parked his city vehicle in a handicapped space at a Disney facility where he was supposed to referee a basketball game on his day off, he told his supervisors at the Police Department.  Now Garvin will get some time off -- without pay -- to think about it.  The seasoned cop will be suspended from his desk job at the Police Department for two weeks for the parking faux pas at Disney's Wide World of Sports on May 2.

This is the latest flap for Garvin, 51, who was rehired earlier this year after being fired from the force in 2008 for his escapades at a local Starbucks while on duty.   This time, Garvin parked in a handicapped space in a city car on his day off. In addition, the lieutenant also placed his picture identification and badge on the dashboard of the unmarked car so people would know he is a law enforcement officer, police said. When the episode occurred, Police Chief Mike Chitwood said Garvin used his badge as a 'shield of entitlement.'

The lieutenant, when reached by phone Tuesday, said he was told Monday he would be suspended. He is paid $63,396 annually.  A police union representative who is familiar with Garvin said the lieutenant's behavior borders on insubordination because it's not the first time he's been in trouble for using his city vehicle improperly. He was suspended for vehicle misuse in 2002, according to an internal affairs report.

'At what point do you fire him?' asked Jeff Candage, a representative with the Teamsters union. 'He has willfully disobeyed a direct order.'  Chitwood, in May, said the violation was not a firing offense.

At Disney, a man named John Andrea who went to the Wide World of Sports complex that Sunday afternoon spotted Garvin's blue unmarked police car in a handicapped parking space.  Andrea knew the car belonged to Garvin because of the photo and badge left on the dashboard. He took pictures of the violation and sent them to Chitwood on May 3. The photographs were accompanied by a short complaint.

But Garvin, who's served more than 15 years with the department, had an explanation. The lieutenant told the chief he was late for a basketball tournament he was refereeing at the facility. He said a security officer at the complex told him he could park in the handicapped space.  The completed internal affairs investigation -- which started on May 3, was finished on June 15 and released this week -- shows Garvin violated a handful of Police Department policies, including parking in a handicapped space without a permit and using his city car on his day off and not for police business.

Garvin was fired in July 2008 after two Starbucks employees filed a complaint saying he demanded free specialty coffee and threatened a slower police response time to the Ocean Walk Shoppes store if employees didn't supply him with the pricey brew.

The workers also complained Garvin parked his police bicycle inside the business and became angry after one of the workers told him to take it outside.  The lieutenant, however, insisted on taking a polygraph test at the Police Department. But he failed it, Chitwood said, because he lied on two of the questions. At the time, both Chitwood and Deputy Chief Ben Walton said the lying was the most egregious factor in the case. Garvin was brought back after an arbitrator ordered he be rehired and be given $87,000 in back pay. He received the money in April, city officials said Tuesday."
Most of the police and law enforcement that I know are excellent public servants, in the same way that most lawyers are not Bad Lawyers--but, the petty and obnoxious thoughtlessness of cops like Lt. Garvin really breed cynicism and disrespect.  I can see why his department wants him gone. 

The police at the local Starbucks in OurTown are never charged for their brews. As you might imagine they are avid customers.


  1. Gawd, you're a big crybaby BadLawboy

  2. I hate cops like this. Egomaniacs who throw their weight around like the world owes them their donut.