Jacksonville Fire-Rescue captain posts signs some consider racial in nature

Officials say 25-year veteran vented frustration at fire house

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville fire captain is still on the job after officials say he posted signs at work that some say appear racial in nature.

The signs read, "Welcome to the Plantation."

Channel 4's Jim Piggott was with Capt. Alvin Floyd last month, following him as he conducted fire inspections on the Westside. Floyd talked about his job but never mentioned he was frustrated with it.

About a week later, fire officials say he took out that frustration by hanging up the signs.

According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Floyd printed out three signs and posted them on the second floor around his office.

At first, fire officials said, they did not know who put the signs up. But they later traced them back to Floyd, who they said admitted doing it.

"The investigation that revealed Capt. Floyd to be that particular culprit led to his confession, and he has since expressed his remorse," JFRD spokesman Tom Francis said.

Floyd was unavailable for comment Wednesday on the investigation, which is still underway.

Officials say the signs were not meant to be racial, only an analogy to slave labor, even though the 25-year veteran is making $86,850 a year.

The Fire Department has been taking flak for years on the subject of discrimination. A federal lawsuit is still in the works regarding promotions of black firefighters.

The attorney involved in that case said he had not heard of Floyd's situation and couldn't comment because Floyd is not his client.

Floyd is not represented by the fire union, but the union president, Randy Wyse, said he understands Floyd's frustration but does not condone his actions.

Piggott asked Wyse about the racial nature of the signs and why the subject keeps popping up in the Fire Department.

"Yeah, you thought you would get past the racial aspects of it," Wyse said. "We are not saying, you know, it will probably always be there, racial issues, in any sort of job that you are doing, but I would not consider that he was making a racial statement there. It's just the frustration of it. And to be honest, Jim, I am not surprised by anything I see anymore."

Copyright 2012 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.