‘Professional Kidnapper’ T-Shirts: Eight AZ Child Protective Investigators Fired

Prescott, Arizona’s Department of Child Safety (DCS) is down to one, and presumably lonely, child welfare investigator still on the job.

I guess it goes without saying that when eight-out-of-nine fellow investigators actually had the ‘nads to show up to work donned in hot pink T-shirts (apparently all 3X or above) emblazoned across the front boldly proclaiming to the world, “Professional Kidnapper”.

If that wasn’t stupid enough, across the back asks the musical question, “Do you know where your children are?”

Perhaps the height of bureaucratic arrogance, it’s being reported that “The T-shirts were an apparent attempt to poke fun at critics’ portrayal of DCS.”

Reported by the all-news AZCentral.com (Arizona Republic) Mary Jo Pitzl;

For a group of child-welfare investigators, it was not a good look: Bright pink T-shirts stating “professional kidnapper” on the front.

On the back: “Do you know where your children are?”

The attire, apparently worn during work hours, led to the firing of multiple staffers last month, multiple sources in Prescott and in child-welfare circles told The Republic. One former staffer, reached by The Republic, confirmed she had been fired over the shirt, but would not speak on the record.

As a result, a Department of Child Safety office in Prescott was apparently left with one investigator to handle complaints of child neglect and abuse.

A DCS spokesman, in an e-mail late Monday, declined to provide details on reports of the firings, writing “The department does not comment on personnel matters.”

Nor did DCS comment on how the agency is coping with a drastically reduced investigations staff. The agency is advertising job openings in the area.

The T-shirts were an apparent attempt to poke fun at critics’ portrayal of DCS. The agency’s detractors have long raised concerns that it removes children from families too easily, and is biased against parents, with some going so far as to accuse it of kidnapping.

But Christina Sanders, a former DCS unit supervisor, said the dismissals were long overdue. When she heard about a photo showing the investigators posing in the T-shirts, she had enough. She emailed DCS Director Mike Faust, exasperated at their conduct. She has since seen the photo and confirmed it depicts some of her former co-workers.