Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Local Cop emulates a classic Barney bit....

Lancaster's latest Barney Fife episode:

Monday, my brother was riding his motorcycle through the street that goes from 188 to Main Street beside Kroger East and the Hospital parking garage. As usual, and as ALL motorcyclists do when they can (Everyone who rides any kind of two-wheel vehicle avoids speed bumps when they can.), he avoided the speed bumps, coasting around them at less than 10mph. He does not believe that he swerved far enough to be considered outside of the lane -- those speed bumps - as most speed bumps - do not extend to the edgelines of the lane, and most of that road has no edge lines.

As he passed through the Kroger parking lot, he thought he heard someone yelling, but because he was wearing a helmet, he couldn't tell where it was coming from. He proceded through the light and into the Dairy Queen parking lot.

As he exited the DQ lot, a cruiser lit him up. The officer then proceded to read him the riot act about avoiding speed bumps.

I looked, and nowhere in the ORC can I find anything about avoiding speed bumps. And that, according to what the officer told him, was the sole reason for the officer pulling my brother over. (My brother has no points, is an AMA member AND volunteer trainer and otherwise model citizen -- unlike me.)

It must be this cop's pet peeve. But I have never heard of a cyclist being warned or ticketed for avoiding a speed bump. Next he'll be ticketing stray cats for jaywalking.

Unfortunately, even though our police are supposed to be "public servants", from the taxpaying public's standpoint there is very little defence against these overreactions and overreaching authority. And the proper response, which is laughing at them, will get you a ticket.

A classic Barney bit.

This brings another question: What are the percentages of "Barneys" to good, intelligent cops?

I have a good friend who teaches English at a local college where there is a sizable program in Law Enforcement. All students are required to test out of or take an introductory (Less than college Freshman level) course in Communication (Reading and writing and basic English). "Comm 1", as it is called, is taught at about a high school sophomore level. In "Comm 1", the Law Enforcement program's students tend to show less than adequate communication skills. My friend expresses concern that many of these future LEOs are not qualified to work in fast food, let alone in a job where they are responsible for any decision making that in any way affects other people.

Back to our "Barney": We would hope that any "weeding out" process by various agencies can catch most of these guys. But unfortunately, that is not happening. The placement figures for graduates of the local college's LEO program is over 80%.

Fills you with confidence, don't it....

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