Resignation before dishonor 

For those of you who have viewed his Crimestoppers videos but haven’t seen the news, St. Landry Parish (LA) Sheriff’s Department Captain Clay Higgins, aka “Cajun John Wayne” resigned his position today due to irreconcilable differences with his Sheriff.  If you aren’t familiar, check out these videos before you read any further:

This man was the face of his agency and pulled no punches. He stood in front of the camera and spoke out against criminals. He didn’t coddle anyone or make excuses for their behavior.

In a sense, he did what most of us would love to have an opportunity to do; to challenge those who commit crimes to step up and be brought to justice in a public and non-politically correct way.  In most videos, he offered redemption to the offenders. He refused to appear afraid and made sure everyone knew his department was ready for a fight if someone chose to bring one.

Granted, I have never met this man. He may be egotistical and self-serving for all I know.  My gut tells me that this is a guy that isn’t afraid to take a stand in a very public way for his community. He seems to be a clear cut example of what we need in this society.

The Sheriff released the following statement:  Sheriff Guidroz said, “My orders to Higgins were to ‘Tone down his unprofessional comments on our weekly Crime Stoppers messages,’ and had nothing to do with the Gremlins video or with ‘Bowing down to political correctness.’ I happen to agree with the overall message of the Gremlins video.  

Secondly, I repeatedly told him to stop saying divisive, disrespectful, or demeaning things like, ‘You have no brain cells,’ ‘Knuckleheads’, or ‘Liars.’

Thirdly, Clay Higgins appeared on the cover of a local magazine in full dress uniform, a direct violation of department policy, without my approval or authorization.

Furthermore, Higgins formed a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to raise money by selling mugs, t-shirts and other trinkets using the department badge and uniform. Additionally, Higgins utilized the department’s physical address in registering his LLC with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office. All of which are against department policy.”

Captain Higgins stood his ground and didn’t bow down to his boss after folks complained that he called violent gang members “animals” in a video. The nefarious “LLC” in question  was raising money to fund a homeless shelter in the area and was not for personal gain.

The good Captain refused to compromise his values and beliefs in order to stay in the good graces of the command staff.  Sure, he violated a bullshit policy about appearing in uniform, but his agency surely benefited as a result.

Sheriff Guidroz, in an apparent effort to remain in his position after the next election cycle said he approved of the overall message of Captain Higgins, but he wouldn’t stand for the insults delivered in the videos. Election by “hug a thug” politics.

Although I am by no means a registered voter in Louisiana, I’ll fully support a “Higgins for Sheriff” campaign. Hell, I’ll head down there and help him pack for a move to the Donut.

I don’t know the man, but I respect him. Not only for those videos, but for taking a stand for what is right. I’d for damn sure love the opportunity to buy him a few rounds just to hear him speak his mind.

I’ll miss his videos online and even though he’ll remain with his agency as a Constable, I hope that he finds gainful employment somewhere else soon. We need him around, if for no other reason than to stand as an example to be followed by the “star and oak leaf cluster club”.

Time to go patrol the Donut…

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About donutcountycop

I am a husband, father, and coach who began a career in law enforcement at a very small agency in 2003. After a deployment to Iraq with the USMC reserve in 2004, I changed agencies and moved to a “donut county” that borders a major US city in 2006. My current agency is composed of about 50 sworn officers, and is the busiest agency in our part of the donut. I am currently a mid-level supervisor who is in charge of a night shift, and serve the department in many other areas that include SWAT, FTO, and primary instruction. I’ve been around long enough to lose the illusion that I have every answer to every problem and now fully understand that my experiences have prepared me for little else than a life of wearing a badge and pistol.
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