“…a bigot cannot effectively lead a diverse police force serving a diverse community.”
Dale Engle
Davie Florida Police Chief Dale Engle

Davie Florida police officer Shannon Bennett was exposed to the coronavirus on the job and died as a result. Last week, Police Chief Dale Engle allegedly remarked that Bennet died from Covid-19 because he was a “homosexual who attended homosexual events.”

Last Saturday, the town’s public information office issued a statement by Town Administrator Richard J. Lemack:

As of April 11, 2020, Police Chief Dale Engle was placed on administrative leave pending further review of allegations brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police. The allegations will be investigated in accordance with the Town’s Equal Employment Opportunity compliance policy by outside counsel. The Town will have no further comment until the investigation is completed to protect the integrity of all involved.

Florida town managers or administrators are unaccountable. They are unelected and, in many ways, have more direct power than the elected mayor.

In this case, Mr. Lemack is wasting time and money and he apparently does not grasp what the real issue is. Engle is getting a paid vacation.

Is Mr. Lemack unable to make a determination of whether or not the allegations are true? Does he agree, perhaps, with Mr. Engle?

Equal Employment Opportunity by the Town of Davie is policy in contrast to law. On March 4, 2015, the town council resolved to effect the policy “in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.”

EEO policy is irrelevant. The real question is Chief Engle’s judgment. Assuming the allegation are true, a bigot cannot effectively lead a diverse police force serving a diverse community.

Broward County prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the gay officer was not discriminated against.

Shannon Bennett apparently openly gay and he was employed by the department. Did he make complaints of discrimination that we are unaware of?

Assigning this matter to outside counsel serves no purpose. The chief of police is a moron. The Town should determine if the allegations are true to a reasonable degree of certainty, If they are then Engle should be terminated for cause.

What kind of imbecile says something like that? Aside from the inherent bigotry it just makes no sense. What is the connection between the officer’s sexual orientation and mortality from Covid-19?

I am quite certain that I will not receive a response to an email to Engle. He will probably claim that such an inquiry constitutes a death threat.

As I type, Engle might be on the telephone with Mad Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel. We will see.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.