Pictures from the Spill

Update: Tim Freeland has posted 37 more pictures from the spill. Click here to see the gallery or click here to view the slideshow.

Stewart Moyer sent in these great images from the spill this morning:

We couldn't get very close to it, but my camera zoom proved somewhat effective.

Click here to view the gallery or click here to view the slide show.

Many thanks to Stewart for his contribution. Remember: is Citizen Journalism. If you take pictures/video/audio of an event happening, we'll publish it!

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Thank you, Stewart!

Thanks a bunch for the great photos, Stewart! I appreciated the closer look. Next time, you'll have to put on one of those hazmat suits and sneak even closer! Not that I approve of such devious tricks, but it'd still be awesome!

Has anyone else noticed how apropriate the word "accident" is on that sign?

How about a re-spelling: "acid-dent"?

- Brendon Etter
A Play A Day & Lysteria

A closer look?

Speaking of sneaking closer, Al Roder was seen at the site of the acid-dent sporting a Northfield Police Department badge. I didn't know he had a background in law enforcement, too? He must, because (mis)representing oneself as a law enforcement officer when you're not one is against the law. Presumably he wanted to get a closer look at the accident and didn't think his credentials as City Administrator would get him a pass......

Wrong Al

If it were Al Roker, then I'd be concerned.

Besides only fools charge into the scene of a chemical spill. :)

Wait! I've found a picture of it happening:

Clearance Credentials


If true, I would bet the Northfield PD gave Al Roder that badge as a temporary clearance to access the scene o' the acid-dent - so he didn't have to explain who he was to everyone he encountered. I doubt there were malicious or duplicitous motivations involved.

- Brendon Etter
A Play A Day & Lysteria

but I play one on TV......


It doesn't matter if the Northfield PD gave him the badge--it's still illegal to represent yourself as a cop if you're not one. Not even if you play one on TV.

He probably did obtain the badge from the department, possibly even at his direction (speculation on my part), but what could they have said to him? "Uh, sorry, Boss, but no can do?" If someone gave him the badge and told them to use it at his leisure, that only makes that person complicit.

There are reasons that it is illegal to walk around wearing a badge if you're not actually a cop, particulary at the site of a HAZMAT incident. The police officers that worked hard to actually earn the priviledge of wearing a badge have been extensively trained to work at a HAZMAT site. Wearing a badge tells everyone in the area that you are trained to not only to work in a situation involving hazardous materials, but that you're not an untrained observer (eg a liability).

Sorry, Brendon, I usually agree with your posts, but not this time.

Playing on the scene of a acid-dent

I am absolutley appalled that a suit from the city was on the scene, untrained, possibly endangering himself, and potentially creating more work for an already overstressed system. I agree with Frank, if you are not an office then you should not have a badge on! Our EMS, officers and firemen have had extensive training to deal with a situation like this, what sort of hazmat training has the city admin, extra cream on a fancy tie??? A chemical spill is no place for a civilian. I also agree with Frank that if an officer did give Mr. Roder a badge, it was most certainly under duress! Why isn't an adminstrator supporting the people that he is directing by getting the hell out of their way and letting them do their job?!

A Whole Lot Of Iffing Going On


It's important to note that this is not necessarily fact. Your comment was the first time I had even heard a claim that Roder was at the site.

I think there's a significant difference between representing yourself as a cop - as you say - and being given a badge as a clearance credential. A whole different situation.

Meaning, flashing a badge and pretending you are a police officer is one thing - and do you really know it was a badge? How close were you to Roder when this happened? Did he say "I'm with the Northfield PD"? - and flashing something that gives one access to a site that, it could be argued, Roder should have for information purposes related to his position, are two very different things.

You note that you are assuming that he went to the police and demanded a "badge"; perhaps the police went to him and said "here's a pass that will let you get past the security perimeter so you can talk to those leading the clean-up effort."

The point is neither of us know. Nor do any of us know, as "Victor Hugo" implies that Roder was getting in the way of people doing their job - although that's certainly a possibility in such cases. I hope, if he was there, that he was briefed about the situation and that's that. I don't know. This is a lot of "iffing" on all of our parts about little.

It's not that I think duplicitously representing yourself as a police officer is right - clearly it's not; it's that I think we have next-to-no credible information on which to deduce that Roder was doing so.

Maybe you could ask the Northfield PD about what happened. Also, in repsonse to Mr. Hugo's concerns, it would be good to hear from someone who worked the scene if they thought efforts were hampered by any "suit" from the city. Those would be much better sources of information on this issue than either of us iffing around the scene.

- Brendon Etter
A Play A Day & Lysteria