Anti-nepotism plan roils La Crosse cops, firefighters

Being a cop or a firefighter tends to run in a family, which is why an anti-nepotism policy proposal in La Crosse, Wis., is under fire.

The La Crosse Tribune reports the proposal disqualifies any candidate who would be supervised by or supervise a family member. If an employee becomes an immediate family member of another employee and one supervises the other, one employee must transfer to another department, take a demotion, or quit.

The proposal isn’t going over big with cops and firefighters.

“We hire great employees and because their marital status changes, you’re going to penalize them?” Fire department union president Lt. Lance Tryggestad told the paper. “This will affect us and harm our department. Firefighting and policing, that’s in our blood. It’s a family thing all over the world.”

“I’ve seen the quality that comes out of families of law enforcement, and the city should be striving to benefit from that, not to prevent it,” retired police Lt. Dan Marcou said.

The city’s mayor said with three shifts, it should be possible a family member can move to another shift to comply with the policy.

  • Kassie

    When they say “this will affect us and harm our department” they don’t see how nepotism is already hurting their department. We have nepotism rules in place, but there are a lot of husbands and wives and parents and kids working here, they just can’t report to their relative. There have been a couple questionable arrangements, but for the most part, it works well. Government jobs are good jobs, especially in smaller towns, and they should be available to everyone in the community, not just the relatives of those already working there.

    • Tim

      Exactly. Pretty much every private sector organization works this way too, aside from really small mom-and-pop type operations.

    • Neil

      Pretty much. Same deal in the private sector: I can’t report to a relative or vice versa. Conflicts of interest or even the appearance of conflicts are not in the interest of the people of La Crosse. Particularly on the law enforcement side.