It is typical for off-duty police officers to volunteer to work security at special events. In fact, there is occasionally competition among officers who want the chance to attend them. The upcoming Beyonce concert in Tampa this April might have been such an event.
But according to Tampa Police Department Spokesman Steve Hegarty, there is no competition to sign up for her concert. In fact, there is no one signed up at all. Still, Hegarty insists the event will be staffed:
"We’re going to staff it because we have a responsibility to do that regardless of how controversial it might be, who the artist might be, or the politician might be. This is a couple of months away, so we’ve still got plenty of time to fill those slots.”
Other officials confirmed that staffing events for controversial figures has been difficult in the past, but that officers have always been willing to serve when called upon.
On Twitter, there were a number of people in agreement with the officers who weren't jumping at the chance to attend the event:
But there were a few who said that the police were the problem:
The Miami Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police issued a press release and call to other police officers nationwide to withdraw support for Beyonce following her performance at Super Bowl 50. In that release, chapter president Javier Ortiz stated:
"While Beyonce physically saluted the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers movement at the Super Bowl, I salute NYPD Officer Richard Rainey, who succumbed to his injuries on February 16, 2016, from being shot by two Black Panthers who he had pulled over in a traffic stop.
I also salute the dozens of law enforcement officers who have been assassinated by members of the Black Panthers."