ROUND ROCK, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - If you've passed through Williamson County school zones, chances are you already know 'Flat Wolf' -- basically a foam-based cutout of a real-life Deputy named Wolf.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody says it's time for some other deputies from the Traffic Unit to join 'Flat Wolf.' "What we're trying to do with these cutouts is to supplement resources to some degree and also be a deterrent to speeders when we can't be at a designated area," Chody said.
Whether it's a school zone or a problematic highway, Chody says the "flat" deputies can work alongside their not-so-flat counterparts. "The actual deputy can work one side and the cutout can work the other. Because the ultimate goal is to slow people down, it's not to write tickets," he said.
Chody points out the foam law enforcement officers are free to the taxpayer. "We use seized funds to purchase these. The drug cartels have bought these for Williamson County," Chody said.
The Sheriff says the community seems to get it...and laugh about it.
"Some of them think it's funny because it is funny. And we're okay with that," he said.
But something Sheriff Chody didn't find funny...this line from a recent episode of NBC's "Late Night With Seth Meyers." Meyers said "A Texas Sheriff has placed cardboard cutouts of officers holding radar guns on the side of several roads to deter speeding." A comedian on the show chimed in: "And even one of those managed to shoot a black guy," she said.
Well, the #FlatWolf even got mentioned in a @SNLUpdate skit. Too bad they took the opportunity to use a proactive approach to serve the community and vilify police officers. @sethmeyers @FBCSO @nbcsnl #IKnowItsAJoke #NotAmused pic.twitter.com/ye2cRqeNLl— Williamson County Sheriff Chody (@SheriffChody) February 7, 2019
"I understand it was a joke. And I get that. Everyone knows I have a sense of humor like no other but I don't think there's anything funny when you talk about shooting an African American male," Chody said.
Especially given the anti-police climate and rhetoric across the country in Chody's view.
"It's getting worse because people like Seth, Mr. Meyers, is promoting a false narrative with police officers that Texas Sheriffs are out there shooting black males, that's not true at all. Not in this case in Williamson County and when he says that general statement and it goes unchallenged, I think it just allows it to continue," Chody said.
"Now, I don't like it frankly because anytime somebody is dead or shot I don't like jokes to that nature but I'm not a comedian," said Nelson Linder, President of the Austin chapter of the NAACP.
Linder thinks Sheriff Chody should have just let it go. Change the topic, focus on the positive and keep doing good work locally. "He's not going to win that battle. It's impossible. Because you don't have to. Do your work. It speaks for itself. If you're doing the right thing you're going to be ok," Linder said.
Hey @sethmeyers --- @SheriffChody thought this joke last night was inappropriate. I interviewed him today about it. Just wondering if you and writers stand by the joke or if y'all think it missed the mark. Let me know, thanks! @nbc @LateNightSeth https://t.co/r3OnB9OUkc— Casey Claiborne (@CaseyOnFOX7) February 7, 2019
"I just didn't think it was funny and I wanted him to know about it. He probably will never hear about it and that's ok," Chody said.