John K. Bennett, a former Detroit Police officer who retired nearly two years ago, pops off colorfully on social media about pet peeves.
The west-sider's latest venting on Facebook draws notice beyond his personal network because of its subject matter. "What happened to the Detroit Police Department," Bennett asks in all caps above a 200-word post.
He's irritated by online images of female officers "letting it all hang out," says the veteran who served from 1996-2016.
Bennett runs a three-years-old "protective services" business from his home in the Burton-McFarland neighborhood. He earns more than 40 comments -- all supportive except a few -- for these observations Friday (punctuation and paragraph breaks added):
Say what you, will but in my years with DPD I never disrespected the uniform. As many did who came before me and after me, we held the uniform and the job in high regard. Well, times have certainly changed.
The present generation of new officers, female officers, have been letting it all hang out on social media. I mean literally nothing is left to the imagination. They're acting like and dressing like hoes. And mixed in with these hoe-like pictures are pictures of them in their DPD uniforms, so there is no doubt where they work.
Before I left DPD recruiting, we always stressed to new officers coming into to purge their Instagram and other social media. Somewhere along the way, the standards have been lowered and it's anything goes.
I happen to see a picture recently of a female officer in uniform posing for a selfie with hair down on her shoulders. It's always been a standard rule that ladies' hair must be off their collar in uniform. In this era of extreme social media activity, maybe DPD needs to reiterate to its rank and file that purging their social media and representing the uniform appropriately is paramount.
In one response to a friend, he adds: "I admit I'm [an] old guy and this is a new generation. However, some of the stuff that's done on Instagram, especially for those who are police officers, is just over the top."
Herman Curry, who was on the city's force from 1974-2002, comments to Bennett: "It's all about leadership, training and srtting the example."
One dissent at his page comes from Mia Nikolich, a fellow west-sider, who says in two comments:
"Newer officers in general need to clean up their social media, but calling women hoes is too far John. . . . The language was harsh, especially talking about my sisters in blue."
Cecelia Carter, a DPD retiree, senses possible gender bias: "Wow, you're not going to mention how the male officers are acting on their pages, though. Don't be a biased poster. "
Pushback also comes from Michigan Chronicle writer Branden Hunter, the first to report Friday afternoon on Bennett's outspokenness. "It is one thing to want your peers to respect your profession," he writes, "but to degrade women by calling them out is not protecting and serving in a way you would think a man of the badge should."
Hunter quotes a critical statement from Rev. Horace L. Sheffield III, who says Bennett "vulgarly mischaracterized" some female officers. He adds, in part:
"All conscionable citizens should be appalled by such labels and references being used to make Detroit Finest appear to be among Detroit’s worst. In my humble estimation, John Bennett should be more concerned about what comes out of his mouth, than how some female DPD officer decides to dress when they are off duty."
Sheffield urges "the repudiation of John Bennett’s comments by the chief and the officers of the Detroit Police Department."
Seven hours after posting his views Friday morning, Bennett changed "hookers" to "hoes" in the sixth sentence, Facebook's editing history shows.