Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The police go to Hooters for the famous chicken wings

Nearby town was without police protection the other night.

There were supposed to be two officers on duty, but one of the cops scheduled for the night was on suspension and the other refused to work the shift alone. Didn't feel comfortable about it, according to the town supervisor. What could the chief do? He'd already given all his other officers the night off and they had plans. The chief had plans too.

They were all going out to dinner together.

At a Hooters in New Jersey.

Three carloads of off-duty Deerpark police officers, outside law enforcement officials and residents headed to Hooters restaurant in Franklin, N.J., Thursday night.

While the officers were out on the town, there were no town cops on duty back in Deerpark — 35 minutes away.

The story in the Times Herald-Record describes Hooters as "a sports bar, widely recognized for its scantily clad waitresses and popular wings."

I'm sure the cops all went for the popular wings.

The point of the outing, the chief said, was to "build camaraderie." The department has eighteen officers. Three of them are women. The camaraderie-building trip to Hooters was announced around the station by a flier that none of the female officers received. Maybe their brother officers invited them along anyway. The chief wouldn't say if any of the female officers ate chicken wings that night. He said "it's not relevent" whether or not they were there building some camaraderie too.

Women back in town must feel comforted, knowing their police force was doing all this male bonding over chicken wings.

The supervisor wishes they had picked another restaurant to bond over wings at, but his main concern is that the town was left unprotected except for a state trooper whose patrol takes him through there a few times a night.

The chief is sure the town was perfectly safe. He's sure because nothing bad happened. The fact that nothing bad did happen is proof that nothing bad could have happened.

As for the choice in restaurants? The chief thinks that's no big deal, maybe not as irrelevent as his female officers' inclusion in or exclusion from the camaraderie-building, but not anything to criticize.

"No one was on official duty and no police cars were taken," the chief says. "It was a group of adults being adults."

Hooters is also widely recognized for the very grown-up behavior of its clientele.

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