Guest Post: Politics Trumps Public Safety and Being a Good Neighbor

Is it too high of an expectation these days for the concern for public safety and being a good neighbor to trump politics and personal agendas for just one day out of the 365 that the Good Lord blesses us with this year?

WLOX reported Friday that Bay St. Louis Mayor, Mike Favre, has decided not to assist the City of Pass Christian with 4 off duty Bay Police Officers for crowd control at the St. Paul’s Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade.

Mayor Favre contends he needs all of his force in the Bay to protect their citizens. Mayor Favre may want to consider the fact that a very large number of his citizens will be in Pass Christian tomorrow for the infamous “Pass Parade” which draws the largest crowd of any parade on the Coast, and is historically the most volatile.

Year before last two people were shot and killed at the parade, and this was not the first time violence was an issue for this event.

Former Bay St. Louis Police Chief, Matt Issman, told WLOX that he has access to two text messages from Bay Officers saying Issman’s suit against the Bay and Mayor Favre was the reason given to the officers as to why they are not allowed to assist the Pass, coupled with Issman’s position as a Reserve Officer with the Pass PD.

Issman informed Pass PD Chief Hendricks of his immediate resignation on Thursday as a Reserve Officer to resolve that conflict, and clear the way for Bay PD to assist with crowd control, but apparently the Bay officials were not moved by this and are claiming Issman’s suit has nothing to do with their denial of assistance to Pass Mayor Chipper McDermott and Chief Hendricks.

This denial of assistance to the Pass comes only a week after the Nereids Parade in Bay St. Louis and Waveland where Mayor McDermott and Chief Hendricks lent their officers for crowd control assistance for the Nereids Parade. Slabbed has learned on very reliable source the Pass also lent the Bay over 200 parade barricades.

And that is where “neighborliness” comes in. Of course, we all should band together in the interest of public safety, and it sounds like Mayor McDermott and Chief Hendricks have a good sense of being good neighbors. It also begs the question: why do the good residents of Pass Christian deserve this lack of reciprocity from the Bay. After all, one of them is the Bay’s new Police Chief himself, Gary Ponthieux, who resides in the Pass with his wife and children.

Here at Slabbed we aren’t naïve enough to believe all these guys will hold hands and sing “cumbayah”, but can’t they take just ONE day of the year to let public safety and neighborliness trump personal agendas and politics. Hell, even the North and South Koreans shook hands at the Olympics last night.

We’ll see if the Bay Officials want to put a new meaning on their logo “A Place Apart.” The other cities on the coast are watching!!!!!!!!!!!

21 thoughts on “Guest Post: Politics Trumps Public Safety and Being a Good Neighbor”

  1. Doug, So Issman , a reserve, calls a press conference to discuss city business.
    So the mayor & chief gave a reserve officer approval to speak on behalf of the city.
    I don’t believe so. I call BS.
    Doug, you honestly believe Farve keeps track of this douche bags life and knows or gives a rats ass where he is working or what he is doing.
    Again I call BS.
    A publicity stunt for his lawsuit which is also BS.
    Come on Man.
    Have you talked to the mayor & chief of the pass?
    Look at issmans resume.
    40 yrs experience, 25 jobs, sideways or down, speaks for itself.
    Bad hire, bad promotion, let it die. That dept. has enough crap to clean up and slowly is doing so.
    One by One. Day by Day.
    Oh, did you see any pass officers working the streets of bsl??
    Not that it should matter. I think we should help regardless.
    Maybe next year police dept. will be cleaned & staffed & they will be there.
    Keep cleaning house & bring employees in who want to be here. Not just the police dept. but the entire city.
    As the old saying goes,
    Don’t let the door hit you Where the sun don’t shine on your way out.

    1. Stone,
      Thanks for making the case against politics and personal agendas versus public safety
      and being a good neighbor.
      Do you, Stone, think any of the items you listed make any difference or are even known by the average parade goer today as they hold their child’s hand and join the mantra” throw me something, Mista!”
      The simple answer is “no.”
      Yes, there were Pass officers working crowd control for the Bay and Waveland last week.
      Putting all of this aside for ONE day can’t be that difficult in the interest of public safety.
      I don’t believe Issman spoke to the press until after he submitted his resignation to Hendricks.
      It will all come out in court. But no matter who prevails in court, the safety of the folks should prevail today.

    1. Stone great statements! But reading and watching TV tells me that Issman wasn’t aware of anything till “current officers texted me”! Internal strife still? Keep in mind that Freeman works there too and he hired Issman in Bay….. the ones getting hurt is parade goers, police picking up extra money! To me it shows STILL that this PD is still torn apart with vengeance along with the terrible backstabbing in this Adm.

  2. Happy, Didn’t know freeman was in the pass. Agree with extra money also, no officer makes enough. Especially in today’s world.
    I think we all can agree we wish they would have been sent regardless if they worked in the bay or not. Safety first.
    Lana must have seen them in the bay working working the parade. I did not.

    1. Stone and Happy,
      In the WLOX story on Friday, Mayor Favre verified to WLOX that the Pass PD was at Nereids assisting with crowd control. That statement is from Mayor Favre.
      Doug, would you run the WLOX so everyone can read for themselves the statements given to the press by the public officials entrusted with public safety. All offered statements except the Bay Chief, Ponthieux, interestingly?!

  3. Lana, Just found the article on WLOX,
    States Mayor and Chief are unaware of either issue.
    Still nothing on pass officers in the bay.
    As we have said, that should not matter.

    We are assuming a lot:
    we are assuming he has text,
    If so Confront Farve with the text,
    Bring the officers with you to verify he said this,
    We are assuming Officers were authorized to go by their supervisor,
    We are assuming Council authorized their travel & pay if needed,
    We are assuming responsibility for them and their actions,
    We are now assuming maybe he couldn’t speak,
    We are assuming our leaders did not discuss this situation,
    We are assuming a lot ,

    We are assuming Thomas will not be appointed because she did not support the mayor,
    How come we just can’t assume she may not be appointed because of the direction the schools are heading,
    Because of her voting record ,
    What ever,
    Not that she didn’t vote for him,
    If you think she shouldn’t be appointed explain why you think she should not be appointed , there’s people explaining why she should, not assuming she should.

    Hell their would only be a few employees left in city hall from what I understand if he got rid of everyone who did not vote or support him.

    I’m new to slab & enjoy the articles and responses.
    I believe Doug does a great job with his articles, not assumes he does,
    Lana you also put a lot of information out there.
    Back to work I go

    So with all being said again , we should have helped.

    1. Great Stone questions! 1. Signup sheet for Pass Parade put up in PD. 2. Names submitted by some officers. 3. List removed. 4. Officers question why? 5. Chief states “Mayor wants no participation due to Issman is Reserve there.” 6. Disgruntled officers text Freeman and Issman. 7. Leaked to media…..hmmmm. He NEEDS to empty the halls and walls of sabotagers who wants to doom BSL because Les is gone, Oliver is out and there’s a better day in BSL.

    2. Stone,
      You need to read the WLOX article again.
      It says Mayor Favre verified Pass officers assisted with the parade in the Bay last week. Not an assumption.
      The only thing I assume is you return good deeds and put public safety ahead of personal
      opinions when you are a Public Officials if only for one day.
      You can set your clock and get up early tomorrow and start hating each other again, but for today, return the good deed and put the folks first!!

  4. Lana , Agree with you, just stating I read article & did not see that. As stated before it doesn’t matter if they did or didn’t. I think they should have went.
    Thanks happy

  5. Cops needing extra money should not be in the equation. The only thing that should would be public safety. If the Bay is under staffed then it makes sense to get help from PC. It also makes sense to not leave BSL vulnerable (under staffed) because they have a need in PC. This is just foder without direct knowledge of why the decisions are made.

    Why not focus on the event holder. They should pay for extra security and the clean up. That is how special events are done. Some how mardi gras event holders get a free pass.

      1. Ms Lana?! Why in the heck does Larry Loose Lips continue to think his 4th Ward position runs 2nd Ward. Saw him on TV explaining Coffee Shop…. he stepped on Mr. Gene’s toes with Umbrella Gate, then Tent Tandrum, then with Jumpjump Josh about Reed’s Museum when he wasn’t even present! Bad way to get along with colleagues….. loose cannon amongst us……

        1. Yes, I did see the 6:00 WLOX report on the Drive Thru Coffee Shop with Ward 4 Councilman representing the City.
          Have no idea, really. Maybe tuning up to run city wide as At Large Council or for Mayor next time?! Have no idea.

  6. Larry doesn’t avoid the press. That is transparency on his part. They are not obligated to speak with the press but if you are willing to share your opinion with the public do it. It is unofficial but transparent.

    1. Stupid,
      I hope you aren’t naive enough to confuse speaking to the press with transparency?!
      The former Mayor spoke to the press all the time, but he could never be convicted of being transparent!
      Not saying that’s what Larry did. But he did speak with authority on behalf of the whole city!!

  7. Perception is reality. I see an elected official willing to put his rational thought out there whether I agree or not. Call it what you want. They speak legally thru the minutes of the council meeting. Now we know how he feels thinks etc whether we like it or not.

    1. Rational? Loud Larry actually on Council tape “baited” Mr. Adams with, “didn’t you tell me that you would sue the City if you don’t get this variance”? That’s called “vote baiting” your colleagues with a threat.. his mouth IS his problem and his “wanting this or that” will land him in Ethics Court if Council doesn’t reel that ego in.

  8. So, as a police officer, I just want to weigh in on this crap about the Pass parade. First and foremost, their safety matters. Not so much at the Pass parade, but what about after when all of these drunks come back to our city and they are understaffed and left to deal with it. God forbid one of them get hurt while working for Pass or while cleaning up the mess, and then they go out on workman’s comp and guess what, they have a short shift AND the City of Bay St. Louis pays the bill. Let’s not kid ourselves, we have our fair share of responsibilities in BSL that we ask them to tackle around Mardi Gras time, so why would we be disappointed at a Chief or Mayor or made the right decision to say “I just don’t have the manpower”. As it relates to Issman, that guy is a big loser that needs to go elsewhere and quit worrying about suing folks.

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