By Kaitlin McCulley
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) — A local police chief was asked to leave a doctor’s office in The Woodlands Tuesday afternoon because he was carrying his duty weapon.
Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis said he arrived at Texas ENT Specialists on Pinecroft Drive for an appointment Tuesday wearing his gun in its holster. He said he also was wearing his badge and law enforcement identification.
Dupuis said an office manager asked him to take his gun out to his car.
“I said, ‘I’m a police officer, I’m not gonna take my gun outside. I can carry in here’, and she said, ‘Well we have a policy, no firearms,’ and I said, ‘OK then, I’ll leave,” Dupuis said. “And the rest is on Facebook.”
Dupuis posted on Facebook, saying in part, “I will be looking for a new ENT […] I have never been so embarrassed in my 35 years of law enforcement.”
Dupuis said he was embarrassed and angry.
“I’m not gonna sit in an office without my gun when I have on everything else, with workplace violence and everything else going on in this society, I want to be armed and be able to react if I need to,” Dupuis said.
There are “No Firearms” signs posted outside the doctor’s office, however those rules do not apply to licensed law enforcement officers in Texas. If a private business owner does not wish to have any guns on private property, that owner can still ask an armed officer to leave.
Dupuis said he understands that and he complied.
A spokesman for Texas ENT Specialists said the employee who asked Dupuis to leave with his firearm made a mistake and that the company welcomes armed law enforcement officers.
The company sent Eyewitness News a statement, saying in part, “Our team is working diligently to ensure that a situation like this does not occur again. Our company values law enforcement officers and first responders for their selfless service and will serve them and our communities with the utmost respect.”
Nevertheless, Chief Dupuis does not intend on returning to the practice.
“I’m probably going to find a different doctor,” he said.