The slide of the nude blond woman appeared for just a fleeting moment at the meeting of Montgomery County Police Department officials, but that was long enough to set off a round of wisecracks, an angry memo and full apology from the county's new police chief.
As department management officials watched a slide presentation last Thursday of a new computer system, a woman in an erotic pose suddenly clicked by on the screen.
"Policemen being policemen, did their thing with wisecracks and snide comments for more than seven minutes," said one member of the largely male audience, which included Police Chief Bernard D. Crooke Jr.
The slide, slipped into the presentation by the Long Beach, Calif., police officer who was demonstrating the computer system, perked up waning interest in computer matters. But the bantering it caused offended the five women present, as well as few male officers.
Sgt. Steve Gaffigan of the Research and Planning Division immediately sent a memo to the chief expressing his "personal and professional disgust" about the slide. "As if the slide display was not enough, the childish bantering that followed only added to the embrassment by myself and, I am sure, others, in the room," Gaffigan wrote.
Crooke responded quickly with his own memo to Gaffigan, along with copies to the five women, saying he "regretted that the slide that was shown for about one second distracted from the presentation.
"I regret further that I also added a comment to the 'childish bantering' that followed," the chief wrote. "I will try to be more sensitive in the future."