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Who is policing the police?

POSTED: February 22, 2007 5:07 a.m.
We expect the police to obey the laws we hire them to enforce. Yet, every day, some violate these same laws, claiming the right to do so just because they are wearing a badge. The courts know the laws are being broken by law enforcement officers, but they turn their back to what is transpiring.  The politicians know the laws are being broken, yet they allow those officers to continue doing whatever they please. Why? Money!  
The laws are being blatantly broken by traffic enforcement officers so city and county coffers can be filled with traffic fines. Most citizens are intimidated by the judicial system of “good-old boys.” This system makes it almost impossible for a citizen to defend him or herself without a lawyer and most lawyers cost more than the fine. Therefore, the coffers fill up.  
There is no better place to see this than on I-95. New Yorkers heading to Florida and Floridians headed northward are easy prey for our civil servants with badges.  Bryan County is among the worst. They know I-95 means money for the county. If you regularly travel to Savannah, you will see sheriff patrol vehicles sitting just south of Richmond Hill in the northbound medium. When returning from Savannah, southbound, you will usually see two patrol cars in the medium waiting to pounce on our neighbors from the north.
Now, even Midway is getting in on the money machine. Midway hired a police chief. I thought you needed a police force to have someone be chief. With a population of a little more than 1,000 residents, why does Midway need any police?
The Liberty County Sheriff does an excellent job providing protection. Oh, now I remember. Midway filed for a license to use a speed detection device, otherwise known as radar. I guess Midway needs more money to run the city now that it is growing.
But what does this have to do with the police breaking the laws? Just look at how they go about apprehending the notorious vicious criminal speeders. These police vehicles are parked in the medium between the highways. The Uniform Rules of the Road states, “no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle on any controlled access highway” and, “no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle in the area between roadways of a divided highway, including cross-overs.” It’s against the law for the average citizen to do this, but if you have a badge that is different. The police park wherever they want.
The rules also state every vehicle stopped or parked upon a one-way roadway be as close as practical to the right edge of the right-hand shoulder. The right-hand shoulder is not the median. How many times do you see patrol cars crossing the median or entering the highway from the median? This is in violation of the Rules (See 40-6 et al for the laws regarding traffic).
Whenever you see a patrol car in pursuit of a speeding car, the patrol car has its lights on but not its siren. Again, this is in violation of the rules. The statute allows for a law enforcement vehicle to exceed the maximum speed limit only when such vehicle is making use of an audio signal and use of flashing or revolving blue light. The last time that I checked, lights do not make an audible signal. Remember the last time that a police vehicle passed you when you were driving at the posted limit?
Either the laws need to be amended, or the police should be held to the same standard as every other driver. How can our lawmakers and police expect the citizens to obey the law when the law enforcement agencies do not?
Who is policing the police?
You can contact Calderone at lenc@coastalnow.net.
 

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