Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Officer Told to Remove Campaign Sign from Patrol Car

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Officer Told to Remove Campaign Sign from Patrol Car

Article excerpt

Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER

JACKSONVILLE BEACH - A Jacksonville Beach police officer was recently reprimanded after he displayed a City Council candidate's campaign poster in the window of his patrol car.

City Councilman Tom Taylor reported the activity July 25 to a police supervisor after he saw the patrol car with a red and white "Vote for David Smith" sign propped up in the rear window. Smith is Taylor's political opponent.

Officer Ron Edu was informed that it's inappropriate to get involved with political campaigning while on duty and told he could be disciplined if he does it again, said Jacksonville Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt. Thom Bingham.

"He was personally counseled by the chief," Bingham said. "You can't engage in political activity while in your normal working capacity with the city."

The sign was removed immediately after the call and no other officers were involved, Bingham said.

Regardless of whose sign it was, Taylor said he made the call because city employees shouldn't use work time or city resources to stump for political candidates. …

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