A late July Facebook post from the Pensacola Police Department had some people laughing, but also generated its share of criticism. Pensacola City Council President Charles Bare was not among those laughing.
“I’m not pleased when you’re making fun of citizens, the way they’re dressed,” Bare told Police Chief David Alexander during the council’s agenda review session Monday. “I’m not satisfied with the post, I thought I’d let you know that.”
The July 28 Facebook post featured an image of a man exiting Target, with accompanying comments making the department’s main point — that the man was wanted in connection to a shoplifting incident — but not before a collection of disparaging remarks about the individual’s appearance.
The man in the image, who was referred to as “Shaggy,” from the cartoon “Scooby-Doo,” was derided for “stripes and plaids” and “trying to dress as a Magic Eye picture.”
The post was in the context of a looser approach the police department is taking on Facebook.
City Councilman Andy Terhaar countered Bare’s comments, telling Chief Alexander he personally thought the post was amusing and liked the new approach.
“I actually find it kind of refreshing when someone can actually poke fun of themselves and keep it light hearted,” Terhaar said, adding that he hoped the department would not abandon the new approach. “I’ve had a lot of people comment to me about it, how they’ve enjoyed it.”
Here is the July 28 post text in its entirety:
“We are not the Fashion Police. A quick glance around the station will confirm that. So, we’re not going to roast this fellow for the obvious faux pas. Stripes and plaids? Really? Maybe he is trying to dress as a Magic Eye picture. I hear the 90’s are coming back. We’re also not going to point out that he bears a passing resemblance to a certain slacker-ish cartoon detective who pals around with a large brown dog while busting crabby caretakers in abandoned amusement parks. Maybe that’s the look he was going for. If so, well played, sir.
The bigger issue here is that Shaggy stole things from Target. We are against people stealing things. Makes the town look bad. So, if you know him, ask him to give Detective Loftin a call at 435-1973. Or perhaps you could call the Detective and leave his name on her voicemail. Be a meddling kid. Solve a caper.”