Sunday, Bubba the Love Sponge and his foundation hosted their injured or killed in the line of duty. The event started and ended at Jim's Harley-Davidson in St. Petersburg.
More than 600 hundred riders showed up. The Pinellas County Sheriff showed up. A couple of the surrounding county sheriffs had staff reps there. The Lakeland Police Chief was there; even Mayor Bill Foster showed up.
Who did not show up? Not a single command staff representative of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Not Chief Chuck Harmon.
Not an Assistant Chief, nor a Major.
The motorcycle unit was there, along with several others to lead the ride. Patrol helped with traffic. A couple of officers who regularly ride in these events were there, as was one guy from the PD building maintenance department.
I don't know about everyone else, but as someone who just retired from the PD, and was there when we lost three officers, I thought it was a bit of a snub, and downright embarrassing.
The boys on the third floor at the PD didn't have any trouble snuggling up to Bubba a couple of years ago when they had a need, but now not so much. Let's hope they don't need Bubba's help anytime soon, but then I think Bubba's heart is a lot bigger than his memory is long.
This is typical of the Harmon, Williams, Gordon, DeKay mentality; it's all about me and the moment. Nice day for golf, church, hanging with some friends. Who would want to hang around with a bunch of bikers when you don't need them?
Alone on the stage, Foster made some very appropriate comments, but did not once mention the St. Petersburg Police Department by name. If it bothered him it did not show, but he has been covering for the poor leadership at the PD for a while now. It has to be wearing thin.
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