Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bad Cop! No Donut!

In the referenced article, a Tallahassee cop was kicked off their version of SWAT after subjecting children and other civilians to tear gas. Oh, well, looks like another reject has been condemned to issuing speeding tickets.

I’ll admit that I’m not too happy with some traffic cops right now. Someone close to us (call her “Anne”) was recently given a speeding ticket for traveling 77mph in a 70mph zone on an interstate highway (that’s 124kph in a 113kph zone for you metric heads). Other vehicles were passing Anne up, even on the bridge where the cop caught her.

The fact that the cop issued a ticket to Anne and left the faster cars alone illustrates my primary gripe. That is, despite the speeches often delivered by traffic cops (and I’ve heard plenty, trust me), safety was not the primary concern in this case. Making a quick buck (125 bucks, to be exact) for the city was.

Is speeding wrong? Yes, it’s against the law, okay? However, speeding citations are usually not issued on interstate highways for offenses of less than 10 mph over the limit outside of construction zones, accident vicinities, and speedbump craphole little towns. But what about the whole Big Fish/Little Fish concept? Catch someone who’s driving faster and you can make more money. So the cop wasn’t just greedy; he was lazy as well.

Do our police forces have trying, stressful jobs? Yes. Are they paid enough? Obviously not. I know several law officers and they have all mentioned having to work extra jobs in order to make ends meet. Are the majority of our police officers good people who try to do their job as best they can? I don’t think I’m being too idealistic when I say they are. Regardless, this is another example of how a few bad apples can ruin the whole bunch, or at least besmirch their reputation as a whole.

For those of you who didn’t read the referenced article, I’ll now be fair and state that the cop first mentioned was playing a prank on a fellow officer during a training exercise and never intended for the gas to hit any civilians. While this doesn’t release him from culpability, it does lessen the anger one might initially feel towards this person.

Rant's over. Thanks for listening.


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