SHOULD WE ABOLISH THE POLICE?
Why is it, that when I dial 9-1-1, I can never get a police officer response. Currently I’m about 0-12. Yet, it never seems to fail that there is always an officer ready and available to ticket you.
Recent cases in point. A couple months ago I received a $110 ticket for not displaying my inspection stickers on my window. Mind you, my window had just been replaced. Then broke again 1 week later on my way to vacation. Then followed by days of massive flooding in our region. But none of that meant anything because, as the oldest !@#$% officer I’ve ever seen in my life stated, it was a matter of priorities.
More recently, I dialed 9-1-1 twice in relation to a min-van that was swerving all over the road. I followed this vehicle through half the country, often at 35mph. Flashing my lights whenever he was about to go off the road or into another car. I prevented 1/2 a dozen accidents. Still no action on the part of the police. Regardless of the fact that this was a mini-van and there was a higher than average chance children could have been on board.
A few days ago I received my first moving traffic conviction for accidentally running a stop sign. Now, I’m guilty. I failed to stop. My lunch was sliding off my seat, I was distracted, and it was drizzly. I realized I was going to have to make a really really hard stop and probably pass the sign a bit. So I kept going. Yes….I was wrong. And wouldn’t you know it, the one time I fail to stop. N-A-I-L-E-D.
Oh, let me describe this stop sign. It’s a back country road, off a back country road. There is a T-intersection with a stop sign. This in the midst of about a 1,000 acres of farmland. The intersecting road was clearly at one time the farm road, but was paved over at some point and made an actual road. I have seen exactly three vehicles use that intersecting road in the year+ of driving past it. And only one of those was oncoming from the road.
So basically, we have a stop sign for the soul purpose of having a speed trap to make $$$ off of. There is no safety reason for the stop sign. The view as one drives gives clear visibility of the oncoming road for about 1/2 a mile.
That said, I was guilty. I ran the stop sign. What !@#$% pisses me off. Is the fact that I stop at this sign every day on my way to work without fail. Regardless of the fact that it’s a stupid useless and annoying sign. But the one day I fail, there is a cop to nail me with a ticket.
Meanwhile, every !@#$% time I need a man in blue. They’re no where to be found. I’d just once, like to get an actual police response from a 9-1-1 call. Sorry men in blue. I know there are some really good cops out there. (Rich at BlueSheepDog.com seems like one, and I know a few officers personally.) But overall, I have found the majority of my interactions with police forces to be sub-par and unprofessional. And I question whether we should in fact have police forces.
I know that’s a very controversial statement. But look at it from my perspective. Dozen times calling 9-1-1, no response. Mind you, for one of those incidents was later deemed worthy of three police cruisers. Which were sent out to take a police report after the gas station manager called it in when all was well. But when the threat was posed, I got told “It’s New Haven, what you want us to do about it.”
Dozen times calling 9-1-1, no response. When my mother and I were dealing with a convicted Federal felon who was engaging in criminal behavior. We dealt with three law enforcement branches and not a single one were willing to do anything. And two of them stated of their own omission that it was essentially laziness.
So as far as I view police officers, they seem to be mostly a resource for counties and cities to raise $$ via ticketing of minor infractions. Well, I don’t view that as something the public needs. And frankly, I’m tired of being told that the reason officers can’t respond to my 9-1-1 calls is cause they’re too busy. Too busy doing what? Speed traps and fundraising.
The sad truth is that the regular speedsters and crazy drivers on the road seldom get caught by police. In fact, I’ve watch police officers quickly give us chase of those. The ones who usually receive tickets are those who drive the regular traffic flow on a highway that has artificially low speed limits set so that tickets can be given at need.
We’d be better off, if we set the speed limit and enforced it. But set them at a realistic speed. In fact, I’ve advocated that we need to move to variable speed highways. In which the speed limit can be adjusted based on the time and conditions. 55mph may be a fine speed limit on a rainy highway during rush hour. But is it a realistic speed limit at 3am?
I’d really love to hear from police officers, if any are willing to give voice, as to why 9-1-1 calls for me and many I know go un-responded too. But you guys always seem to be there to give out a ticket. Is this a management thing? Is there pressure from the depart, cities, etc. to ticket. Is this considered a higher priority than serving and responding to calls.
I am just trying to understand….cause I really don’t. And it’s very frustrating. I drove for half my county, for approx. 35 minutes. And apparently no officer was available to respond to my call about a vehicle swerving all over the road. The responsibility to protect lives fell onto my shoulders. I drove several exits past my house to ensure no one was hurt and no incident occurred. Thankfully, they eventually pulled over to the side of the road. But seriously, shame on the police, shame.
Lastly, my final reason for this contemplation is the 2nd Amendment itself. How much has the right to keep and bear arms been hurt by our multitude of standing police corps (and with Mayor Boomberg blabbing about his army, is there any other name for it but police corps). There was a time in the past where every decent person in town was expected to play a part in regards to dealing with and subjugating the criminal element. We gained safety in relinquishing that duty to a professional, but have we at the lost? our own active role in self-preservation? the strength of our rights? How many times have we heard someone say “We don’t need the 2nd Amendment. That’s why we have police.”
Please don’t get me wrong. I do believe there is a need for a professional police force, and that they have a role. I believe that role is to deal with the hardened professional criminals and gang lords. And to assist the citizens in their defense against criminals at hand. To me, the role should not be ticketing the avg joe for driving the traffic flow speed. It should be nailing those idiots who we see every day weaving in and out of traffic going 20mph+ more than anyone else on the road.
I would make a wager that if NONE of the ticket fine went to any government entity (not the city, not the emergency fund, not the ambulance fund, nada). A hypothetical situation where a traffic fine went to any 501C3 registered charity of the driver’s choosing. That we’d probably see an order of magnitude less tickets given out. The irksome part is that I feel this recession has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of ticketing being done. Perhaps the cash strapped cities and counties forget that most of US are also cash strapped in this recession.