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Friday, January 13, 2006

On occasion I find the opinion section of the News-Leader to be of some entertainment. Lately, there seems to be lots of cop bashing. Is Springfield anti-police?

I understand the general fear of authority Joe-Schmo has, but most police officers are good people. It irks me to see negative generalizations on a group of people who put their life on the line everyday.

For example, Mark Britt of Springfield pretty much says you can't trust a police officer who chases after a fleeing vehicle. He implies that chasing after an offender that gets killed in the chase is the police's fault. I see, they broke the law and were ordered to stop, then broke the law again and ran, and it's the cops fault. Got it.

Or how about David Atkins' letter where he's blaming the use of red light cameras on lazy cops, "The cops in Springfield, I think are lazy and they eat too many doughnuts." He says that he's been rear-ended 4 times for stopping on a yellow light and that this will only happen more with the red-light cameras.

I try my best not to run yellow lights. I'm one of those guys that won't creep into the intersection for a left turn hoping that the yellow light will give me time to go, and I haven't yet been rear-ended.

Mr. Atkins is probably one of those guys that gets broad-sided when turning left because someone in the opposing inside-lane of traffic was waving him on.

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Blogger Kara said...

Being in Springfield has made me a little anti-cop... but not because they are lazy - quite the oposite. There are too many cops for Springfield, they have too much time on their hands. They are bored and use that time to harrass the citizens instead of maybe - bust a meth lab. However, when you need them - like when the neighbor in the apartment downstairs is having a screaming party at 2 am - its going to take them 4 hours to respond. The parties over and I finally got to sleep - thanks! (This actually happened when I was a sr in college and lived in an apt near campus).

And - what! They keep asking us for millions of dollars... when their pensions are cut they take it out on the voters by pulling us over. One day during finals week I got a ticket on campus and found out they gave out over 250 tickets between 8 am and 10 am pretty much ALL to broke students running late for finals. Glad to help you make your year end quotas guys!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

Oh, and drive a day in any other city and you will learn that Springfield has LOOOOOOONG yellows - drive a day in KC or some other city and you will quickly find out how long. But I'm sure Springfield "metro" drives getting used to the long yellows has nothing to do with him getting rear ended.

Maybe a shorter yellow would solve both problems.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Duane Keys said...

Hmmm, I guess I've not had a real bad experience with them. I've called the cops on rowdy neighbors before and had good respone times. I imagine apartments may not get as much of a response as a house though, but that's just a guess.

As far as getting tickets go, were you parked illegally? It would be difficult for me to defend myself if I actually broke the law and thus deserved the ticket. If you were parked in the neighborhoods surrounding the school I know there is consider pressure from the people who live there to have the police enforce the parking permits. A friend of mine lives south of campus and people who don't have a neighborhood parking permit will park across their driveway sometimes!

The pension deal is a bad deal for the cops. How would you feel if the company said "oh yeah, we didn't really put any money in your 401(k)?" I would expect my employere to do what it takes to live up to their end of the bargain.

Though I don't condone any officers taking it out on citizens, and I haven't seen any evidence of that occuring on any kind of systematic basis.

The traffic signal timing are set up by engineers and admittedly the engineers and cops may have different priorities. Engineers are looking to maximize throughput, police want to protect people.

There are quite a few long lights but from what I can see it appears to be a function of the speed limit for that road. It takes longer for a car at 45 mph to slow down so they need more time to see the yellow. But you're probably right that it temps drivers.

Maybe they should shorten the yellow, but delay the opposing light from turning green right after. That'll only make those people who try to start rolling when they see the other light is yellow.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Duane Keys said...

That should have read:

Maybe they should shorten the yellow, but delay the opposing light from turning green right after. That'll only make those people who try to start rolling when they see the other light is yellow mad.

4:57 PM  
Blogger M.Brothers said...

I had a buddy from high school who went to UMKC for four years. He came to visit once and I was driving him around. I went through a yellow light and he tightened up, almost as if I was blatantly running a red light.

He thought the light was going to turn red. So yes, we do have longer yellows here than some other places (KC at least).

Don't know exactly how that affects drivers/police/traffic flow, but it surely means something....

6:42 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

Its funny becuase probably in late July or maybe even later summer 2005 I wrote to Springfield News-Leader and it was published about how well the Springfield Police do there job. It was all due to a scary few seconds of a bum asking me and co-workers for our lunch on the square (downtown). The cops were there like Superman and made the man go sit in a corner untill I an other citizens taking their lunch brake had left the area.
Ive not had any real bad experiences either, plus I was pulled over once due to the tint on my windows being too dark and I had no shoes on and I was not wearing my seat belt. He gave me a ticket for the tint but the other stuff he let go.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Duane Keys said...

Ah, I remember reading that letter! On my way to the bloggers meeting I had a guy ask me for a dollar. A stern no sent him on his way.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

The ticket I got was for speeding... like 36 in a 30 zone I beleive - not a parking ticket.

I got home from class and saw how many other students they had pulled over. Yes its a high pedestrian area - 5 minutes later when I parked I too had to walk across the street - but come on 200 tickets for kids late to finals going 5 miles over a TINY speed limit just because they didn't like the way the public voted (and its very likely the students weren't the ones that voted)

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kara, Did you ever think about maybe LEAVING EARLIER for class. Maybe that way you would be ON TIME and would not have had to speed to get there. I love the college train of thought, it's always the cops' fault "they're picking on us because we go to college"...
A Springfield Cop

8:55 AM  
Anonymous TehHammer said...

bullshit you aren't a cop. dick. 12 year olds aren't policemen. Why not put your rank. At worst, you are a lameass imitation of a cop. You know, like midwest security.

Even if you are a policeman, you should be ashamed of yourself for even responding to such a juvenille thing on the INTERNET. If springfield cops actually surf blogs looking for ways to respond to complaints.. its a long, sad road to destruction for springfield.fnord.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here 20 yrs ago from dc. when locals discribed how the city police behaved here i did not belive the . after all those guys are only doing there job . a few years later due to my drug addiction i becamethe focus of the harrassment,i got around 17 motor vehicle tickets on the street i lived on in about a years time. i am college educated have a good family i am no thief and stayed at home a great deal of the time when you come hme and you have patrol cars at each end of the block facing your housewating for you what would you call it . i lost my license due to these tickets and who ever gave me a ride to the store got stopped all this stemmed from people coming over from around the corner and my taking in strays people without aplace to go. i sure got in alot of crap for someone who stayed at home.now i have a felony .did time in prison and have difficulty finding decent employment. i am not treated as a normal citezen i am treated as a thief or a lier. when in truth several officer will tell you i am very honest and frank.

If i got hit by a truck i would be arrested for impeeding traffic . if i call the police they arrest me it is ridiculous

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Chase Davis said...

Although I did'nt have time to read all the post, it is my opinion that the bad drivers in Springfield are all the people who come down from Kansas City and St. Louis, or move here from California.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is OLD but I'm going to post this anyway. I'm pro-Cop I know many are really good people, but they are human beings and not perfect.
A family member of mine who is in her 30's (lives in a poor area) was abused in the middle of the night by a Springfield cop who thought he had the right to drag her out of her house ( she was standing just inside her front door) and throw her on the ground because he did not like what she said to him.
My family member is a good person, and this cop was a arrogant jerk to her.
There are *some* cops who do think they are above the law.

3:48 PM  

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