DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s been more than a month since we first brought you this story… a mother says she was told by a Sheriff’s Deputy that she couldn’t breast feed in a public building. Now, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office admits the deputy violated their policy.
The incident happened inside the Montgomery County Job Center. Mother Alainna Nichols says the officer on duty told her she could not feed her child in the lobby of the building.
“As soon as I started breast-feeding him, the sheriff’s deputy that was standing in the hallway to make sure people couldn’t get down the hallway without a ticket starting yelling at me that I can’t breast feed there,” Nichols said. “That it’s illegal to breast feed in public and that I needed to cover it up or take it to the bathroom.”
The altercation lead the family to file a formal complaint with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. In a letter addressed to the family, signed by Sheriff Phil Plummer, the Sheriff writes, “Our internal investigation into your complaint is now complete. The Investigator’s report discloses that Deputy Ramey did violate agency polices and procedures. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I have referred this matter to Major Scott Landis, Division Commander for appropriate corrective action.”
“I’m just glad that their internal investigation turned up the right you know sometimes when agencies do their own internal investigation you may or may not get the results that you’re looking for,” Father Jonathan Nilson said. “It seems like they were thorough and they got to the bottom of things and admitted they are wrong. At this point training will make things right.”
According to the Sheriff’s Department, they’re working with a breast-feeding organization to get that proper training. Nichols hopes what happened will change some people’s view on breast-feeding in public areas.
“I know people who have not been able to breast feed their babies as long as they should because they were worried about breast feeding in front of people because they feel like it’s offensive,” Nichols said. “They feel like they’re exposing themselves to breast feed and that’s just because of what society has made it into.”