‘Bad Boy’ 
 earns cop 
pink slip



See a cellphone video of Officer Reinhardt’s karaoke performance, at GJSentinel.com.

Only in Palisade.

Here, the unusual confluence of karaoke and police work has become talk of the town and stirred civic involvement.

Mark Bartholomew, a doorman at The Livery Saloon, said petitions calling on the Palisade Police Department to reinstate Officer Edward Reinhardt are still circulating with about 70 signatures to date. Petitions are to be presented at a to-be-determined meeting of the town board, he said.

Reinhardt was fired by the Police Department in the aftermath of an incident May 23 at The Livery, when he took to the microphone and performed a karaoke song. Witnesses interviewed by the Daily Sentinel said Reinhardt sang an impromptu, and well-received, rendition of “Bad Boys,” the theme song for the television show, “Cops.”

Reinhardt declined to be interviewed for this story, citing advice of his attorney.

Others who witnessed the events of May 23 — a well-attended night of karaoke at The Livery — said they won’t forget it anytime soon and they’re dumbfounded it cost Reinhardt his job.

“He took a couple minutes to show himself to be a human being instead of a robot with a badge and gun,” Bartholomew said. “I’ve never heard applause like that in all the years we’ve been doing this.”

Running 9 p.m. to midnight Fridays, karaoke night commonly brings officers to the bar to perform a “walk through,” a simple show of force.

Karaoke Cop from The Daily Sentinel on Vimeo.

“It settles things down and serves its purpose,” Bartholomew said.

Around 11 p.m. on May 23, Reinhardt and a second officer made their way through the bar as several patrons offered encouragement to try their hand at karaoke. When his partner left out the front door, Reinhardt took the microphone.

Witnesses said while singing, the officer took out his handcuffs and gestured a playful warning for the “Bad Boys.”

“I’ll tell you, everybody went crazy,” said Anna Reynolds, “It was such good public relations. I was shocked to hear he’d get fired over something like that.”

From the perspective of the bar witnesses, nothing in Reinhardt’s performance could have been painted as inappropriate or disrespectful.

“It’s not like he was twirling his shirt over his head,” Bartholomew said.
 Later that night, Reinhardt’s partner and Palisade Police Chief Tony Erickson returned and demanded surveillance video from the bar.

Reinhardt, a certified officer in Colorado since 1989, was told to turn in his badge and gun that same night. He was hired April 1 as a seasonal employee from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office.

Erickson said he couldn’t discuss a personnel matter in detail, but defended the firing.

“I wish Ed well,” he said. “This is not part of the job I enjoy but it was something that needed to be done.”

While Bartholomew and others say Reinhardt’s song was positive public relations work for the police department, Erickson isn’t sold.

“My definition of community relations is on another level,” Erickson said. “And my expectations for performance and professionalism in rebuilding this agency are very high.”

Reynolds and company have their own expectations for small town policing.

“Everybody loved it,” she said of Reinhardt’s song. “Especially in a small town, you get to know your police officers.”


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Not Freida Cook - Am Patrick Rodgers -  Looks like a tyrant in Palisades for a Police Chief and a let me tell you what my partner did “snitch” for Reinhardt’s partner.  Guess the Chief hasn’t heard of Community Policing, because it entails Officers thinking outside the box, interacting with citizens and building a partnership with the community.  For the positive reaction from the citizens in this case, Reinhardt should have gotten a maximum of verbal counseling from the Chief, if it was a big thing for him. 

To the Palisades City Council, my recommendation is to keep Reinhardt and dump the Police Chief.  P.S. By the way, if the Council is looking for a replacement, I am a big supporter of Community Policing and am available for the Chief’s job.

So,  There will be no more coffee and DONUTS in uniform with citizens at the local bakery right?


Mr Rodgers, behavior like this while wearing the uniform of the Police Department that you work for is illegal, and grounds for termination. Community Policing does not include singing Karoake in one of the local bars while wearing your UNIFORM and BADGE!! He was on duty serving the citizens of Palisade and he should have ben acting like a professional.

Kudos for taking a stand and following protocol Chief Erickson.

And, for the record, “Not Freida Cook-Am Patrick Rodgers”, the name of our town is Palisade, not Palisades… thats a town in California, but I am sure you are aware of that already.

Not Freida Cook - Patrick Rodgers - Thank you Dana for the spelling lesson, I stand corrected on “Palisade.”  You are however, wrong about Community Policing.  While I personally might not have chosen Karoake as my first choice of public contact, in Officer Reinhardt’s case he did and the people loved it.  Do you know why?  Because it eliminated the broad brush perception by many that all Cops are cold blooded ass kickers who could care less about the people they work for.  It showed Reinhardt’s human side, just like everyone else present.  Frankly in these days of distrust of government, that two or three minute performance was worth a million bucks in PR.  I saw nothing on that video that was unprofessional.  You state it was illegal, could you please share with us the law which was violated? 

Still, even if the Chief didn’t like what Reinhardt did, it was such a minor thing, a verbal warning would have been more than sufficient discipline.  That is how a leader would have handled the situation.  Sorry, but in both public and private organizatons today there is employee discipline (mostly positive types) and then there is excessive discipline by small minded managers who fail to grasp what motivates and doesn’t motivate people. That is what happened in this incident.  Hopefully, there will be enough of a public outcry that the Town Council will reinstate Officer Reinhardt to his job.  He sounds like the kind of a guy I would want protecting my community if I were in fact a Palisade resident.

Who did it embarrass?  Who was in danger? Rodgers is exactly right!  Typical over-reaction by a supervisor with no sense of humor and/or a sense of reading the situation period…... he wasn’t there.  A few years back the Fruita PD dressed up like Hogs at the Fruita Festival, heaven forbid, wearing their badges and police hats in the parade!

I think they are all still working and enforcing the law but…......Fruita is a lot closer to California than Palisade thank God.

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