The following is a post to the Port of Seattle Police Department page by Chief Rod Covey, Port of Seattle Police Department. This is in response to the public outcry pertaining to putting Officer Greg Anderson on administrative leave, pending possible termination, for expressing concern to his fellow officers about following unconstitutional and illegal orders.
“Thank you for looking at our Facebook page. Chances are that right now you are looking to post something in regard to how the Port of Seattle Police Department is handling allegations against Officer Greg Anderson. I understand the frustration and anger that many people are feeling at this time in our country’s history because of how our world is being turned upside down in so many significant ways. And there is not much that any of us can do except be patient while we work as a country to get this virus under control.
To the reason for your visit to our site, Officer Greg Anderson is on paid administrative leave while we look into allegations that he violated our policy on the use of social media. I hired Greg, and he and I have always had a mutually respectful relationship. That respect continues to this day. He is clearly a good police officer and an exceptional American. That said, as a police officer wearing one of our uniforms, his right to speech has limitations on which he has been well-trained and that he has understood since joining the policing profession. Greg has always had the ability to express his opinions on what is going on in the country like all other Americans. However, he is not allowed to do so while on duty, wearing our uniform, wearing our badge and while driving our patrol car. Every police officer in the country understands that. I personally told this to Greg and told him that I would support his right to talk about these issues as long as he did so while not claiming any affiliation to our police department. Greg has chosen this course of action even after he and I spoke and while also knowing that his actions were outside of well-established policy.
For 43 years I have served in the law enforcement profession and plan to do so for a couple of more years. I have been proud to serve alongside heroes throughout my career. I work with over 120 of them right now at the Port of Seattle Police Department. But another 20 of my heroes have their names on the walls of the Peace Officer Memorials in Washington, DC and in Phoenix, AZ where I served 32 years with the Arizona State Patrol. These men were my colleagues….they were my friends. This week is National Police Week and Friday, May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. While you stand up for Greg this week, please take time to also remember all of the heroes that have given their lives while serving and protecting others.
It is sad that we have become such a divided country because if you got to know me and the men and women working in our police department, you would find that in many ways we are probably not that different. In my case, the one main way that we are different is that I have the responsibility to make sure that all of my officers do what we all signed up to do which is to protect and serve all Americans. And to do it while adhering to our training and our policies – all of them.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our Facebook page and I hope this information provides some additional perspective.
Chief Rod Covey
Port of Seattle Police Department“