Sometimes I feel like a criminal. Sometimes I get parking tickets for somewhat exorbitant amounts of money (at least they add up), and sometimes I get pulled over to make sure I have my papers – license and registration. Being on the road so much, it is also very easy to see that many others are subjected to these checks – to these methods of revenue-generation.
Our police force, sheriffs, and state patrol are a group of men and women who are charged with (swearing an oath upon) some means of serving and protecting the people who they live amongst. Unfortunately, it oftentimes seems like their purpose is to write as many tickets as they can for as many statutory (not constitutional) laws that are created at a local, state, and federal level. It is more about revenue-generation that serving and protecting.
More than once I have seen a law enforcement officer speed by someone on the side of the road who is obviously having a problem to go and write a ticket to someone else. Maybe the ticket is for speeding, for not wearing a seat belt, for expired tags, for a burnt-out headlight, for no insurance – but whatever the reason, it is not to “serve and protect” – it is to generate revenue. Yeah, maybe if the person is going 20 MPH over the speed limit – they may be endangering others, but how often does that happen? Most of the time, people get pulled over and written tickets for crimes that are by no means crimes. We are not criminals, and it is a shame that we are starting to feel that way.
I had a very pleasant experience one time with an officer who really was trying to “serve and protect”. My infraction was minor, he was kind and courteous, and just warned me that others in his field may not be so kind. For the first time I did not feel intimidated by the law (as well as I shouldn’t because I am not a criminal), but I actually wanted to participate in the process. To serve and protect – why is that not painted on our law enforcement vehicles anymore? And I mean OUR vehicles – it is our taxpayer money that pays for those police cars, and pays for the salaries of the law enforcement officers. They are OUR public servants – and should be serving us by protecting us from real criminals – from people who threaten the life and limb of the American public.