It is unbelievable how when you sometimes believe you are doing the right thing, and the best for a child’s safety, the tables get turned against you by the very person who should be grateful for your actions.
It happened to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer Laurie Bisch. The incident occurred some time ago in 2008, when Officer Bisch took a 17-year-old friend of her daughter to an urgent care facility after her dog bit the girl.
Unable to reach the girl’s mother, Officer Bisch did what any other normal person would do in a case requiring immediate medical attention, and took the girl to receive medical treatment.
To avoid delaying treatment until the girl’s mother became “available,” Bisch told the medical personnel that the girl was her daughter and paid for the treatment out of her own pocket.
After learning of the incident, the girl’s mother – instead of thanking Officer Bisch for her concern, quick thinking and fast action under the circumstances, since she was nowhere to be found – turned around and filed a complaint with the Metropolitan Police Department for insurance fraud.
So much for being grateful! Filing a complaint for insurance fraud and tainting the good record of the officer, instead of communicating with her as the owner of the dog, explaining the circumstances why it was so difficult to find her in time of need, understanding the fact that Officer Bisch did not use her insurance as payment, asking the amount of money spent, and reimburse her for that expense.
The fraud charges were dropped, but still the department issued Officer Bisch a written reprimand for “conduct unbecoming an officer.”
Now the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that Officer Laurie Bisch was properly disciplined for misrepresenting the identity of her daughter’s friend.
I wonder what type of reprimand Metro Police would issue if Officer Bisch had taken a different approach to the situation. If she had said, “Sorry, but your mother is nowhere to be found, and if she has not furnished you with a good number to communicate with her in case of an emergency, then we have to wait until she makes herself available to take you to a doctor herself.”
I bet a thousand dollars (that I do not have) if that was Laurie Bisch’s reaction to the situation, that the mother of the child would have filed a complaint against the officer for not responding to her daughter’s medical needs.
The Police Department would have issued a reprimand for “conduct unbecoming an officer for neglecting an injured person,” and the Supreme Court would have upheld Metro’s decision to reprimand the officer, nonetheless.
Regardless of how different the situation might have been, she was still going to be thrown under the bus in retaliation for having the audacity to run against Sheriff Gillespie.
The little I know of Officer Laurie Bisch tells me that it was never her intention to act improperly (if that was the case), that she was more concerned about the child’s well-being, and that she would never put a person’s life in danger if she could help it.
Now, we understand why there are so many insensitive people in the world.
You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky, email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.