Updated: Ocean City Beach Patrol Head Faces Sanctions Over Locke - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Ocean City Beach Patrol Head Faces Sanctions Over Locker Room Email

Posted: Updated:
Ocean City Beach Patrol headquarters (Photo: WBOC) Ocean City Beach Patrol headquarters (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP/WBOC) - An official in Maryland says the longtime head of the Ocean City Beach Patrol could be disciplined for an email instructing employees to use the locker room that "corresponds to your DNA."
    
Capt. Butch Arbin wrote the following email to dozens of patrol members Sunday: "WE are NOT Target.. USE the locker room that corresponds to your DNA..IN plain words Males use the Men’s locker room ONLY! Females use the Women’s locker room ONLY! If you’re NOT SURE go to Target…"

The retailer's policy allows transgender customers to use the restrooms that match their gender identity.
    
In a followup email he sent to patrol staffers, after he received a call from the Baltimore Sun about his initial email that had been forwarded to the newspaper, Arbin said he was responding to female employees' complaints about men who aren't transgender using women's changing facilities out of convenience.

"I used humor to make the point," Arbin wrote. "However, this is not the same issue that has been in the news. The males that have used the Women's locker room are not using out of necessity or because they are identifying as a woman, they are using it out of convenience and this was not the purpose in establishing two separate locker rooms in our new headquarters. I was ONLY looking out for the women of the patrol and was not attempting to put down any group or individual, only maintain a nice facility for the women who choose to use a gender specific facility."

Ocean City Director of Emergency Services, Joseph Theobald, oversees Arbin and the OCBP. He said while he does not believe Arbin intended to offend anyone, Arbin should not have sent that email.

""His comments were insensitive to a segment of our society," Theobald said. "For that, Ocean City government apologizes if we've offended anyone and at the same time, it's not the policy or the process within the Ocean City government to say such things."  

Ocean City spokeswoman Jessica Waters called the email "inappropriate," saying it didn't match official city policy. Waters says Arbin will be sanctioned in some way.

Late Tuesday night, Arbin sent a third email to patrol members, in which he wrote: 

"Dear members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol,

"Upon reflection of my prior emails, I feel it is necessary to readdress you and further apologize for my insensitive comments.  In no way did I intend to offend you or make you feel as though I was making fun of any member of the transgender community.

"My careless attempt at humor was inappropriate and in poor taste.  I hope you will accept this heartfelt apology and allow us to move forward, with a positive and more tolerant attitude for each other, our colleagues, our residents and our guests."

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