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  • Speech at headgates stuns fellow officers

    http://www.mywebpal.com/mywebpal_cfm...ryID=2196&on=0

    Officer faces review


    H&N Staff Writer
    07/26/01
    By KEHN GIBSON
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    Jack Redfield, a Klamath Falls Police officer, delivers a statement to protesters at the headgates of the A Canal Wednesday.
    Speech at headgates stuns fellow officers

    A speech by a Klamath Falls City Police officer at the A Canal headgates Tuesday afternoon has drawn criticism from fellow officers and a repudiation from the city manager.

    Lt. Jack Redfield, a 39-year veteran of the city’s police department, warned protesters at the A Canal that “an extremely violent response” was likely if environmentalists continue their efforts to reserve water for endangered species.

    Klamath Falls City Manager Jeff Ball today issued a statement condemning Redfield’s speech.

    “The statement read contained a number of extreme and potentially inflammatory passages,” Ball said. “The city of Klamath Falls does not endorse those views.

    “Mr. Redfield was acting in his private capacity when delivering the statement, and was outside the scope of his official duties with the city. He should not have been in uniform, and it was inappropriate to have other uniformed city officers on the podium with him.”

    Ball said the city is considering whether any further internal response is required.

    Redfield’s statement shocked both local and federal officers who were at the headgates. One consequence, a federal officer said, would be to delay the withdrawal of the U.S. Park Police who have been at the headgates.

    Before reading from a two-page letter he had written, Redfield said he was speaking as a rancher and not as a police supervisor. He was in his police uniform, and a police squad car with its lights flashing was parked nearby.

    “As the extremists and out-of-control federal agents continue to push and as the agricultural people see their fields turn brown and their entire lives destroyed, their frustrations will undoubtedly escalate to the point of boiling over,” Redfield said.

    “It won’t take much from Andy Kerr or Wendell Wood or their like to spark an extremely violent response. I am talking about rioting, homicides, and destruction of property like dams that hold the precious water from the agricultural community.”

    Redfield removed his uniform camp and donned a white straw cowboy hat, but otherwise delivered his warning in full police uniform.

    More than a dozen Klamath Falls officers were present, having arrived in four city police cars in addition to personal vehicles.

    Klamath Falls City Manager Jeff Ball confirmed he held a brief meeting with Redfield and Police Chief Dan Tofell Wednesday afternoon, but would not say what was discussed.

    “The incident is under review at this time,” said Ball. “As it may well become a personnel matter, I cannot comment further.”

    Klamath County District Attorney Ed Caleb said it would be premature to discuss any prosecution. “It is my understanding an administrative action is under consideration by the city, and it would be inappropriate for this office to comment,” he said.

    Local and federal law enforcement officers present for the speech were surprised, and some said the city should repudiate Redfield.

    The letter, which decried a “liberal federal government” and “out-of-control federal agents,” has derailed plans to remove the federal law enforcement presence at the A Canal, federal officials said.

    Lt. Jeff Wasserman, commander of the U.S. Park Police’s 15-man detail stationed at the A Canal, said the statements made by Redfield and supported by “the color of authority” raised concerns over the safety of his officers.

    Just four hours earlier, when the headgates of the A Canal were opened while a throng of national media looked on, Wasserman said on the record it was “likely” his detachment would reduce by at least two officers Saturday.

    By Wednesday evening, the federal posture had changed.

    “We are concerned the citizens of Klamath County have taken the lieutenant’s statements as permission-giving,” Wasserman said. “I have notified the Oregon State Police and requested of my superiors the FBI conduct an investigation into the matter.”

    In addition, Wasserman said he requested the city police department make a public statement disavowing Redfield’s comments.

    On condition that they not be named, several Klamath Falls officers said they were unaware Redfield planned to read the letter. They said they were there to represent the department as Redfield donated a steer from his ranch to the protest effort. All the officers were on duty and in full uniform, and several stood with Redfield as he began to read.

    “It made me very uncomfortable,” said one. “I had no knowledge the letter was going to be read.”

    “We were ordered by Lt. Redfield to be present for what we thought was going to be a public relations event,” said another. “I felt the integrity of my department and my uniform was compromised by being attached to a political statement.”

    “My job is to protect the people and property of Klamath Falls in a neutral manner, and enforce the laws of this city and state,” said another patrolman. “We were told we would be delivering beef, and it had been approved at a higher level than our lieutenants.”

    All of the officers willing to speak made it clear that any political action taken while in uniform was, in the word of one patrolman, “unacceptable.”

    Wood and Kerr, the environmentalists named in Redfield’s letter, are both with the Oregon Natural Resources Council and have led the fight to keep water out of irrigation canals.

    Reached in Washington, D.C., where he is lobbying Congress in support of federal funding to purchase farms and ranches in the Klamath Basin, Kerr said the comments made by Redfield caused his organization some concern.

    “It is troubling that somebody in a peace officer’s uniform would make such a statement,” he said. “We are concerned about everyone in the community, and we are seeking fair and just solutions.”

    “I know of nothing we have ever done that has provoked an extremely violent response,” said Wendell Wood, field representative of the ONRC in southern Oregon. “In that context, the lieutenant’s remarks were completely unfounded.”

    Officer Faces Review
    I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

  • #2
    Sounds to me like the officer hit the nail right on the head.

    Thats the problem with speaking the truth these days ...it tends to **** people off.

    Why is it that anyone in uniform cant have a personal opinion without getting a bunch of flack over it ?

    As far as the other officers being "ordered" to be there at a political event, that is also a bunch of malarky.
    I have no problem with an officer going and supporting a program of his own free will , but being order to attend something that you may not belive in or agree with is a violation of free speech.

    Sound like some double standards goin on here too me. Check this out...

    "Reached in Washington, D.C., where he is lobbying Congress in support of federal funding to purchase farms and ranches in the Klamath Basin, Kerr said the comments made by Redfield caused his organization some concern."

    “It is troubling that somebody in a peace officer’s uniform would make such a statement,” he said. “We are concerned about everyone in the community, and we are seeking fair and just solutions.”

    What a bunch of crock!
    If they were seeking fair and just solutions they wouldnt have shut the water off. Now
    they want to purchase the land and farms in and around Klamath Falls ?
    Does anyone here other than me wonder about this ? Looks like more government deception at its finest.

    "Spin Doctoring" at its best.
    "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

    Norman Thomas

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think he should have done it in uniform. He wasn't representing the dept.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Nite. When you wear the uniform, you represent the department. If you want to give a speech while you are off-duty, then you have that right. but it is improper to give the impression that you represent the agency.

        Even though he stated he was speaking as a rancher, and "put on his rancher hat". He remained to be in uniform.

        I find his actions to be extremely objectionable. These environmental extremeists are not above targeting ANY uniformed officer in retaliation for this one officers words.

        Now, if the group of ranchers that this officer is affiliated with decides to use any sort of violence, the backlash is much more likely to include actions against any local law enforcement official simply because he wore his uniform while expressing a public opinion.

        I would be highly PO'd were I one of his fellow officers who may now be at increased risk because of it.

        Officers are allowed to have all the opinions they want, and they can express them all they want, only not as a representative of the department. This is no different than any other gov't agency or private employer.

        And yes, as an officer, you can be ordered to a rally or demonstration to keep the peace and protect property even if you do not believe with all of the views expressed there.
        -Sparky

        Comment


        • #5
          Seeing how everyone local knows this guy, I wonder really how much differece it would have made if he had not been in uniform?

          Comment


          • #6
            This story has been on all our local news channels, I am not sure how I feel about what the officer did, I do know that this is devestating the local farmers and they are losing their homes, so I give this guy some points for standing up for his people and protecting the intrests of the people he serves and protects!
            Shannon

            Comment


            • #7
              Doesn't matter if everyone knows him or not. Everyone in Newark, NJ doesn't know him and what they will see in the media is a cop.

              Comment


              • #8
                My thoughts:

                1. I agree with Nite and Sparky. While this police lieutenant has every right to voice his views on the matter, he does not have the right to represent his department while doing so, which he did when he wore the uniform. If he wanted to speak his mind, he should have shown up dressed like his fellow ranchers.

                2. You CAN be ordered to attend a political event on-duty. It could be for crowd control reasons, it could be for dignitary/celebrity protection reasons, or as the officers in this town were misled to believe, it was for "public relations" reasons.

                3. The US Park Police lieutenant has every right to be concerned. If push came to shove, will it be a showdown between federal police officers and the local cops?

                4. Prosecution is out of the question. While he embarrassed his department by his actions, what he did is not against the law.

                5. While I don't agree with the environmentalists most of the time (IMHO we'd be living in caves again if we let them run things), I think the lieutenant should be reprimanded for what he did.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Everything that happens, or is written about, is based upon opinions, however, as Niteshift states, and most officers know, when acting as a representative of a department, whether it be state, local, federal, we are not supposed to speak our minds, or our opinions, in a public forum / event. Had the Lt. shown up on his own time, and made the same presentation without other officers standing on the stage with him, the media, and everyone else who is NOT from the immediate area, would have no idea he was other than a simple farmer. We can have opinions about events, however, there are PIOs who speak on the behalf of departments. While wearing a uniform, whether the officer believes in the protests or not, opinions are not supposed to be expressed openly. To do so would undermine the integrity of the "peace keepers" an could go as far as to get the officers arguing amongst themselves. The protesters would like nothing more than to see officers arguing amongst their own ranks, because that would breakdown the "well oiled machine" we are supposed to be.

                  Everyone is going to have their own opinion of what is happening there in Oregon, just as during the WTO/IMF rallies that tore through Seattle, and now overseas. There evidently is a protest of the same sort scheduled for Washington DC in september, and if all of the officers there presented their own opinions, rather than being the representative and "peacekeepers" they are paid to be, what do you think would happen?

                  I am glad the farmers and the people of the Klamath Basin have received SOME water, although not anywhere near what they wanted, and that the officers who were assigned to work the event, as well as the farmers, managed to keep it a peaceful, relatively non-eventful ordeal. Everyone remained safe throughout the event. There are a lot of opinions floating around up there I'm sure, and in state where CCW permits are plentiful, how much convincing do you think it waould take, to get all of those local farmers who are friends of the local LE to follow that highly upset Lieutenant in a violent confrontation?

                  Anyway, let's hope the protest continues to proceed in a peaceful manner, and that no one in the community decides to initiate any violent mannerisms ....
                  I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I give a big thumbs up to Lt. Redfield.
                    I am not sure if he did the wrong thing
                    by being in his uniform when he stated
                    this.

                    Sure, all the locals know Lt. Redfield,
                    but there are no doubt, many other city
                    police, Sheriff's and State Police who
                    share his views. So, to those fellow
                    LE Officers in different areas, they
                    can see they are not necessarily alone
                    in how they think.

                    This also shows to farmers, that there
                    are cops that are on their side, too.
                    They are frustrated with a lot of this
                    garbage going on like they are.

                    I can see how some of you in here don't
                    think it is right he spoke out while in
                    uniform. However, I respect him for
                    doing this, because Lt. Redfield represents
                    what a true PATRIOTIC AMERICAN is, someone
                    who puts their country above all else.
                    Lt. Redfield probably knew it could result
                    in reprimands and investigations, but
                    he put his country and fellow Americans
                    before his job.

                    Maybe if more people were willing to speak
                    out like him, this country could put an
                    end to the liberal crap, liberal courts
                    and return this country to a respectable
                    one again.

                    Lt. Redfield may be forced to retire, but
                    his words got out there, and he might
                    have given others the courage to speak out.

                    This is how the libs took this country,
                    and that is just how we can take it back.

                    Thank you Lt. Redfield.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "I am not sure if he did the wrong thing
                      by being in his uniform when he stated
                      this."


                      That's the difference. I am sure he did the wrong thing.

                      "but there are no doubt, many other city
                      police, Sheriff's and State Police who
                      share his views. So, to those fellow
                      LE Officers in different areas, they
                      can see they are not necessarily alone
                      in how they think."


                      Totally irrelevant. The majority of cops do not support gun control, but if the Chief does and the city does, they will (and should) have my *** if I go make a speech in uniform about how I will violently resist attempt to take my guns.

                      If he had gone in civilian clothes, and identified himself no further than being "a deputy", I wouldn't necessarily agree with what he said, but I would have no problem with the ethics of it. However, he didn't do that. He was identified with a department by the uniform he was wearing.

                      "This also shows to farmers, that there
                      are cops that are on their side, too.
                      They are frustrated with a lot of this
                      garbage going on like they are."


                      Again, irrelevant. If this guy is so well known in the community, they would have known that he was a cop and on their side if he'd delivered his diatribe wearing a clown nose and boxers.

                      "I can see how some of you in here don't
                      think it is right he spoke out while in
                      uniform."


                      Because that uniform represents the agency, not you. You represent the agency. It all goes back to the agency.

                      " However, I respect him for
                      doing this, because Lt. Redfield represents
                      what a true PATRIOTIC AMERICAN is, someone
                      who puts their country above all else."


                      Your implication is that those who don't see it your way are less than patriotic.

                      "Lt. Redfield probably knew it could result
                      in reprimands and investigations, but
                      he put his country and fellow Americans
                      before his job."


                      So then you're saying he knew what he was doing was not permitted. That's what we've been saying.

                      How many times have you heard a cop say "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" or something similar? He did something he knew he shouldn't and now has to accept the consequences. Same as someone who speeds (but I'm a good driver) or smokes pot (but it should be legal) or hits his wife (but she was asking for it).

                      "Maybe if more people were willing to speak
                      out like him, this country could put an
                      end to the liberal crap, liberal courts
                      and return this country to a respectable
                      one again."


                      I have no problem with him speaking out, just him doing it in uniform.

                      "Lt. Redfield may be forced to retire, but
                      his words got out there"


                      Would he have been denied the opportunity to speak the same words if he showed up in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I beleive that the ONLY reason that we have even heard about this is the fact that it DID NOT agree with what his "superiors" lime of resoning.

                        He simply had a difference of opinion.

                        If he had said something of his own free will that agreed with their stances ,this would have NEVER been reported.

                        “We are concerned the citizens of Klamath County have taken the lieutenant’s statements as permission-giving,” Wasserman said. “I have notified the Oregon State Police and requested of my superiors the FBI conduct an investigation into the matter"

                        What a bunch of crock. He had an opinion (and we've all got one) that did not match the educated idiots' official line of BS so the FBI has been has been requested? Give me a break.

                        Nobody in their right mind thought that the LT was giving "permission" for anything exept the idiots that want to crucify him.

                        GOD forbid that anyone might actually speak their mind while in uniform. Escpecially if its the truth.
                        "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                        Norman Thomas

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Niteshift,

                          I agree with most everything you post
                          up, but, we will just have to agree to
                          disagree on this one. I think you have
                          some valid points, I just don't agree
                          with them, I feel I have some valid ones,
                          too. I also agree with Watchman on this
                          one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sure Niteshift is right, it wasn't smart to wear his uniform. I do admire the courage he has of his convictions and choosing sucker fish over people is typical of the aethiest leftist.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              39 Year Veteran. Don't you think that is too long? I think guys should retire eventually.
                              *********.com

                              Comment

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