A Florida police officer has resigned after posting a veiled threat that he would commit a mass shooting unless he got the new position he wanted in his department.
The officer inappropriately joked that there would be an “active shooter situation” unless he got the new job he wanted in the Tarpon Springs Police Department, Fox News reported.
Officer Steve Bergren submitted his resignation on Monday after his online joke caused coworkers to fear for their safety.
The resigned officer reportedly told the police department’s chief that he was joking and that he “failed to appreciate how recent tragic events could lead to a statement referencing an active shooter being misperceived.”
But the explanation was not enough to save the job he has held since joining the force in 2008.
ICYMI: A police spokesman said law enforcement cannot ask the public to watch out for “red flags” ― signs of potentially dangerous behavior ― and ignore such a sign under its own roof.https://t.co/LUs778XURt
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) September 22, 2019
“In his letter, he says it was in jest, but in hindsight it was ill-advised,” Police Maj. Jeffrey Young told the Tampa Bay Times. “In today’s society, you just can’t say something like that and not be held accountable for it.”
Maj. Young added that it is not right to push “red flag” rules on the public while ignoring comments like that made by officer Bergren.
Bergren has fully apologized for the alarming joke.
“I never imagined when the statement was made that it would be perceived … as a potential threat to our shared workplace,” he wrote to the police chief.
Still, the detective who reported the comment said that “Bergren made this statement in a stoic manner and not giving any indication that this was a joke.”
Some of his co-workers, though, did take it as a joke because they understood Bergren’s “dry humor.”
Regardless, after an internal investigation, the officer has resigned.
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