Police Chief: 'Please Do Not Intimidate or Harass' T-Mobile Employees

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) has issued an update to their statement regarding the incident on Sunday in which a detective was refused service at T-Mobile.

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 2:07 PM
Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 2:13 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. —

UPDATE: The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) has issued an update to their statement regarding the incident on Sunday in which a detective was refused service at T-Mobile, apparently due to the sidearm that he was wearing.

The following comes from Chief Bill Landis:

I have spoken with corporate and local T-Mobile Management and it was conveyed to me that the employee did not act appropriately nor represent T-Mobile and their policies regarding law enforcement. T-Mobile does allow armed sworn police officers in their stores. T-Mobile management has taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to our police officers or any police officers in any of their stores now or in the future and apologized to the Detective personally for the way he was treated.

There have been incidents of harassment from the public as a result of the social media posting to store employees. Please do not intimidate or harass T-Mobile or their employees for the actions of an individual who no longer is affiliated or speaks on behalf of them.

Thank you!

(Updated 10/11/18 2:04 p.m.)


UPDATE: The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) has largely confirmed the details of the incident at a T-Mobile location in Grants Pass, with one major exception — according to the latest statement from GPDPS, the department has not yet been able to to directly contact T-Mobile for discussion of their "policies."

In the statement, GPDPS says that one of their detectives went into a T-Mobile store on Terry Lane on Sunday. The detective was reportedly using his personal time-off during the day while trying to fix an issue with his wireless account.

GPDPS says that the detective was in "department clothing, displaying his department badge and had his department owned firearm, handcuffs and other equipment in plain view."

While speaking to an employee in the store, the detective was approached by another employee who said that the detective would have to leave because of his holstered gun.

The detective tried to explain that he "was still subject to response/callback should he be needed to respond to an emergency," according to GPDPS.

The employee — who would later state that he was the store manager, GPDPS said — told the detective that it was T-Mobile policy to not allow guns inside the business, and the detective would still have to leave.

At this, the detective left the store.

"This incident has received much attention from the press and social media," GPDPS said. "It is not clear if the employee was speaking on behalf of T-Mobile and we have reached out to T-Mobile regarding policies so that we can appropriately address the issue an continue to provide emergency services and respond to public safety needs in our community including T-Mobile."

"As of this date and time, our Agency has not received correspondence from T-Mobile. Any inquiries regarding the policies of T-Mobile should be directed to them."

As reported earlier, executives with T-Mobile have taken to social media and repeatedly indicated that they have extended an apology to the detective, and that the incident does not reflect any company policy of theirs. They claim that the issue has been addressed at the store in question.

(Update 10/9/18 at 2:15 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: The corporate leaders of wireless company T-Mobile have taken to Twitter in response to criticism after an employee at a Grants Pass location reportedly refused service to an on-duty police officer — allegedly because the officer was armed in the store.

"A mistake was made by an employee at a single store and it has been addressed," said CEO John Legere in a Tweet response. "We have nothing but respect for law enforcement."

Jon Freier, Executive Vice President of T-Mobile's US Retail, had a somewhat more detailed response to similar critiques.

"We have investigated this issue at one of our independently owned and operated stores in Oregon. While isolated at this one store with their employee, it’s clearly unacceptable. We will be taking the appropriate actions to ensure this does not happen again," Freier Tweeted.

"And we’ve made contact with Detective Brown to genuinely apologize for this terrible experience. Very poor judgement. We will be taking the right set of actions and next steps," Freier continued.

An account of the alleged incident quickly made the rounds on social media after Grants Pass Police Community Officer Jennifer Brown, wife of the detective who was reportedly refused service, contacted the "Blue Lives Matter" organization and told them what she had heard from her husband — a detective with Grants Pass Police.

NewsWatch 12 has attempted to reach out to Detective Brown and Grants Pass Police for comment. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) has said that a press release regarding the incident is forthcoming.

Deputy Chief Hamilton did confirm that T-Mobile had reached out to the department and Detective Brown to offer apologies for the incident.

In a request for comment from T-Mobile, Freier said that he would have the company's Media Relations team contact NewsWatch 12 with additional information.

This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will be updating this article as more details emerge.

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