LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — There’s still discussion surrounding Lynn Haven’s Police Chief Ricky Ramie’s text messages, reportedly using derogatory language about women and lesbians. City officials are requiring Ramie to go further in making amends.
When the issue first surfaced late last year, City Commissioner Judy Tinder called for Ramie’s termination.
The city’s outside labor attorney recommended against that move, and Ramie received a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.
During Tuesday’s Lynn Haven City Commission meeting, a few people continued to express their feelings regarding the text messages sent by Police Chief Ricky Ramie.
City Mayor Jesse Nelson said the issue is not being overlooked and there is a plan to continue the dialogue. That started with a meeting last week with the local president of the Gulf Coast LGBTQ Center.
“It provided us to offer more transparency as a city so that people can see this is not something that we condone, but also they can see that it’s not something we’re overlooking, that we have been proactive and very thoughtful in how we’re handling this situation,” Nelson said.
There will be a multi-step plan to address the concerns and avoid future issues. One part is the mayor making a statement.
“Make a statement so that the citizens in our community will understand that everyone is safe, no matter your race, ethnicity, sexuality or age, and that you can certainly trust our local law enforcement not to discriminate against you for those factors or for any factor at all,” Nelson said.
He also wants to inform the community about the training that is required for all law enforcement about diversity and inclusion.
Mayor Nelson plans to have a private meeting with the parties involved.
“Try to conduct a one-on-one session between Chief Ramie and Ms. Tinder and Ms. Vicky Cook so that he could personally sit down with them and make an appeal to them regarding his regret and his remorse over the situation and over his statement,” Nelson said.
Several commissioners apologized to Tinder at the meeting.
“We’re all one commission, we’re one family and so then when one of us is hurting, all of us are hurting and so to see one of our fellow commissioners hurting, wanted to let her know that we’re here to support her in any type of way that we can,” Nelson said.
He also plans to hold a town hall meeting on February 23rd, giving residents the chance to talk about safety concerns within the city.