Citizens of Montgomery, Texas could not believe their eyes when they saw a Facebook post on Tuesday by a local Texas police chief. In the post, Conroe Police Department Chief Philip Dupuis explained how he was going into a doctor’s office for an examination. Unfortunately, he never made it to see the doctor.
As soon as he spoke to the employee at the front desk, she told Dupuis that he would need to put his gun outside in the car. And, although Dupuis had his police badge and ID at the ready, this was not enough to sway the employee.
According to Guns.com:
Conroe Police Department Chief Philip Dupuis shared the story on Facebook, saying he had “never been so embarrassed (pissed) in my 35 years of law enforcement.”
Dupuis relayed a more detailed account to Houston’s Channel 2 News about the incident, which occurred while checking in for a Tuesday appointment at the Texas Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in The Woodlands.
“I walked in, gave them my name and my appointment time. They took my information; my drivers license and insurance card and then the clerk asked me to go put my gun in my car,” Dupuis said. “She said, ‘it’s our policy. No guns allowed.’ I said I’m a police officer and I’m not going to put my gun in my car.”
The chief then left the office with his documents, feeling that the staff member had grossly mishandled the situation, and then took to Facebook to voice his concern. After seeing his Facebook post, a manager with the practice later called Dupuis to apologize and issued the following statement:
“We regret the situation yesterday involving Chief Dupuis and a member of our staff. We have personally apologized to Chief Dupuis for any inconvenience or embarrassment he experienced. Our team is working diligently to insure that a situation like this does not occur again. Our company values law enforcement officers and first responders for their selfless service and will serve them and our communities with the utmost respect.”
While the Texas ENT has informed all supervisors at their various offices about the incident and indicated it was not how the situation should have been handled, Dupuis said he was still not satisfied with an updated Facebook post.
“While the office has made general statements on Facebook that the actions of their employee(s) were out of line and improper, I ask them to affirmatively state that on duty or uniformed police officers that are displaying the proper credentials will not be treated this way in the future,” Dupuis said. “Officers should not be required to disarm or change out of their uniform while seeing their doctors or other professionals.”
Chief Dupuis has also been very grateful when seeing the support he is receiving on Facebook toward his public post. He made a reply to his initial post, saying that he believes the Texas Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists have heard the passionate voices of Montgomery County.
Currently, Texas law states that police officers are able to carry their firearms into a private business. This is the case even if the business has signs outside prohibiting firearms in their establishment.
According to Dupuis, this is the first time this incidence has been an issue in his 35 years of being a police officer.