A Texas police chief is speaking out after he was asked to leave a Woodlands doctor’s office because of his firearm.
Conroe Police Department Chief Philip Dupuis told The Courier that he walked into the Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists office in the 3900 block of Pinecroft Drive last week when the receptionist informed him that he needed to leave his handgun in his car.
Chief Dupuis, who was not in uniform, said he identified himself as law enforcement and had his badge and police identification card clearly visible before he was asked to take his gun outside.
“It’s just bad,” Chief Dupuis told The Courier. “My badge is clearly displayed. I have my lanyard on with ‘police’ on my ID card hanging around my neck. I had handcuffs. The lobby was full of people, and they asked me to leave because of who I am.”
The doctor’s office had clearly posted signs outside saying firearms are prohibited, and since Chief Dupuis was not on official business, he said they had every right to kick him out for whatever reason.
But that doesn’t mean he agrees with them. He wrote on Facebook that he had “never been so embarrassed” in his 35 years of law enforcement.
Texas ENT Office Manager Ryan Johnson said he has apologized to Chief Dupuis personally.
“Mr. Dupuis identified himself as a police officer,” Mr. Johnson told The Courier. “This situation simply should not have happened.”
“We have personally apologized to Chief Dupuis for any inconvenience or embarrassment he experienced,” Texas ENT said in a Facebook post. “Our company values law enforcement officers and first responders for their selfless service and will serve them and our communities with the utmost respect.
“Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists will continue to treat armed law enforcement officers who have the appropriate identification,” the statement said. “Again, we sincerely apologize to Chief Dupuis for the situation and the embarrassment he may have felt. We will make every effort to ensure this does not happen again in any of our locations.”
Chief Dupuis said the incident has made him think twice about encouraging his children to go into law enforcement.
“After a day like today, I want to come home and try and talk them out of it,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to talk my children out of being in a profession that I have loved for so long and has provided for me and my family a good life. When I see something like this, I don’t want my kids going through this.”
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