Monday, January 5, 2015

Sometimes you just have to pack it in.

When I moved to Pittsburgh one of the first things someone did was stuff me into a car and take me for a ride through a neighboring township and stick it in my head that the area was one big speed trap.

I was grateful, of course and as time passed I learned several routes to avoid the area when at all possible.

What was going on at the time was a township really couldn't afford their own police department so they decided in a way to finance their own jobs by writing tickets whenever possible.

The city would get a part of the fine and the number $12.50 per ticket comes to mind unless I am wrong.

I once had to pass through the township and was stopped along with everyone else in what they palmed off as a DUI checkpoint but was in fact a seat belt check point. They were ticketing people for not wearing seat belts.

In PA a police officer can not stop a person simply for not wearing a seat belt. It has to be in connection with something else. For example if one gets stopped for running a stop sign the seat belt offense can be an add-to.

This particular department was using the excuse of running a DU checkpoint to cover for a seat belt check.

The department was nothing more than a nuisance and finally the township realized they couldn't afford them anymore so they abolished the department and contracted with another municipality to get police protection.

Personally I was glad to see them go as they seemed to have forgotten what they were there for. They were also poorly trained.

It costs money to train and supply a good police force and it is not cheap. Often times a poorly trained and financed department is more trouble than it is worth and in this case the township decided to contract out. It was a small township and likely the cost per citizen for police protection was pretty high and likely unaffordable.

My guess is that some of the officers were likely hired by the municipality contracted and they wound up better off as they probably didn't have to run to the bank on payday.

What most likely happened here is that the people in the township actually got the services of a better department with better trained officers.

I have an old classmate living in Vermont and he reported that his small town abolished their department a while back and now gets their police protection from the (he says)well trained Vermont State Police.  

I guess in his case it makes sense. He said the local department got to be a nuisance and it was probably for the same reasons as I saw down here.

Departments are always clamoring for money and the truth is that they would be able to get it if the funds don't keep getting diverted for other things. 

It seems that a lot of politicians keep saying a tax is going to first responders when in fact it gets diverted into useless social programs.

Screw the social programs! If something is being earmarker as being for first responders, then send the funds there. 

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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