Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Raise the Bar...Raise the Pay

Let's see...Extortion, money laundering, bribery, firearms charges, and cocaine trafficking...Sound like a hardened criminal? Nah...It's just a Tennessee Sheriff from Bob Corker's town of Chattanooga.

Roane County does seem to have a good sheriff, for now, even though we have a Judge doing time and a killing at the Courthouse, to sully our reputation. Our local law enforcement officers do lose their jobs from time to time, like say when they get busted for DUI for the second time, although the charges themselves don't seem to stick and they may just get hired somehwere else. Other charges against local law enforcement seem to vaporize after a while, unless the officer happened to be messing around with someone's significant other. That complicates things for the mess-er and then having...say...a stolen trailer in the back yard gets him in trouble.

It probably comes as a shock to you folks that I have an opinion on all this:

I think we have too many cops!

What? I can hear you saying...Too many? What about the crime rate? Well around here, some bad cops are contributing to the crime rate and we need to get rid of those and spend more money in training and salaries on the rest of our officers.

How many of you regularly see two or three or even four enforcement vehicles surrounding some poor smuck who got pulled over for a traffic violation? It took four of them to give my kid a ticket for a burned out headlight, and I suspect most of you folks have similar stories, even though you won't go public with then for fear of retaliation. It's OK. I'm here for you. I'll wear the target.

So here is the deal. I figure it only takes one officer to make a traffic stop and there's no reason we need three of them patrolling a four mile stretch of Highway 27, or whatever. Cut numbers and use the money to increase training, oversight, benefits and pay for our enforcement officers.

With the low pay we have now, the officers we are most likely to encounter are enthusiastic, zealous, trained at minimum levels, inexperienced and raw. As soon as they have enough training to get a better paying job somewhere else, the ones that can, move on. I don't blame them. Around here, the hours are bad, the pay is low, and they get articles written about them just like this one. Our men and women in Law enforcement deserve better.

I say, "Raise the bar...Raise the Pay"

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Cops are like women, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

    All we can do is hope that our communities properly screen employees and try to avoid hiring shit birds and giving them badges and guns.
    That's a major problem these days.

    The Bristol PD has remarkably pleasant cops for the most part. Kinda shocking to someone like myself who's lived in California, Arizona and Texas where some of the worst excuses for law enforcement in history reside.

    The Bristol PD seems to have quite a bit of integrity (though bad apples are inevitable). Not a lot of rights violations, they don't taser people for looking at them wrong like so many cowards-in-uniform do these days.

    One really has to make an ass of one's self to get noticed by the law around here, and that's good enough for me.