Thursday, June 4, 2009

1 out of 537

Every day we get an email that is sent out by the PIO department, PIO standing for Public Information Office. Governments LOVE the acronyms. I overheard a guy saying just the other day he was needed to go take a WIZ.

Anyway, we get these emails that run down everywhere that Fairfax County was mentioned in the local papers or online. I read the police blotters because its always interesting stuff. A few days ago I found out my former next door neighbor was picked up for shoplifting at the local K-mart. You can learn a lot about your neighborhood when you read these things.

Again, I digress. I was reading this email and one story I came across was how the Fairfax County Police had initiated a sobriety checkpoint in McLean, a well-to-do neighborhood in the northern part of the county. The story says that, according to police, they set the checkpoint up from 11:30 pm until 2:30 am and had 537 motorists pass through. They netted one arrest for driving while intoxicated. (Another was given a summons for a miscellaneous traffic offense).

That's 536 to 1.

I reread the quick article looking for some lost piece of information. Maybe I missed something. I didn't, the first time I read it it was correct, 537/1. The article did also state that eight Police Officers and six auxiliary Officers participated in this exercise, for three hours.

I am not a fan of a police dragnets where they stop perfectly innocent citizens, even for a brief moment, so that they can get that one person off the street that has no business being on the road. I think its lazy police work. Its not like fishing and waiting for a fish to bite onto the hook, its like throwing out a very wide net and catching 536 eels and one fish. I would be all for it if they were trying to catch eels, but they aren't.

Now I am not without a solution, or at least a better idea. Next time, split up the eight Officers and park them outside eight different bars spread geographically across all eight districts within the county. I bet that they could net more than one measly arrest for a DWI. At the least, they wouldn't be disturbing 536 innocent citizens.

Here's a link to the original article if your interested:

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