ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There’s a bit of a fire storm brewing between the St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson and St. Louis Police Officer’s Association Business Manager Jeff Roorda.
In an article in the Police Gendarme, Roorda highlighted what he calls the bad wrap police receive and mentioned the fire department. KMOX asked Roorda to explain his intention, when he wrote in the article “How many times have you or one of the cops you work with charged into a burning building because even the fire department is slower to answer the call in the ghetto than the cops who are right there in the trenches hearing the shrill cry for help.”
Roorda was asked if the comment was meant to suggest that the St. Louis Fire Department is dragging their feet responding in challenged neighborhoods.
“No, I understand that some people read it that way, but I don’t think if you read the whole article and take it that way, but I’ve explained to the fire union, my counterpart in the fire union, and that it wasn’t meant that way and that I clarified in on Facebook and in our next paper and he seemed perfectly happy with that explanation,” Roorda said.
However, when Roorda was asked if he spoke with Chief Jenkerson and what was his response.
“He didn’t seem happy with the explanation,” Roorda said. “That’s probably because he’s got some hard feelings towards me and my union.”
Roorda did not elaborate, but was asked if it involved pension issues and Roorda said it could be that and pay parity issues.
KMOX reached out to Chief Jenkerson for comment, but was advised he would not be talking any further – other than the letter he wrote in a letter.
“It is unfortunate that an individual such as Mr. Roorda, who is paid to represent an organization comprised of brave and professional police is continually allowed to voice and put into print his uneducated, uninformed and disparate comments without accountability or correction actions. His baseless comments are an insult to every professional first responders, including firefighters and EMS, in our City.”
To read the entire letter, click here.