Sheriff's Office gives bad message
At the recent Christmas parade in New Port Richey, the Pasco Sheriff's Office was represented with many of its officers on horseback or marching — an opportunity for the public to honor our officers, and for the department to gain some positive publicity — especially when among its ranks was one person of color: an African-American. He was in the black and white stripes of an inmate, walking behind the horse-mounted deputies and placing horse droppings in the departments's wheelbarrow.
So here's the message received by a number of parade observers, including African-Americans:
If you're a person of color you cannot be in the Pasco Sheriff's Office; people of color make up the majority, if not the entirety of the thousand or so inmates in the Land O' Lakes jail; and if you're a young person of color judging the Sheriff's Office by this parade, you see yourself imagined not as a law enforcement officer but as a poop-scooping jailbird.
So, Sheriff Chris Nocco, message received. No people of color need apply to join your ranks. But your jail doors are always open to inmates of color. How could such a media-savvy law enforcement agency be so insensitive?
Daniel Callaghan, New Port Richey