To the Editor:
On several occasions recently I have been left perplexed on how police officers are allowed to do certain things that other drivers are not. Often, it seems as though the rules need not apply to those wearing a badge.
Earlier in the spring of this year, I was passed by a St. Lawrence County Sheriff on St. Highway 310. This officer of the law was driving very fast, way over the speed limit, and so I decided to drive the same speed as they were. As it turns out, I followed this St. Lawrence County Sheriff from Madrid, to Canton traveling no less than 75 mph the entire way. During some of the drive the Officer was actually increasing the distance between our vehicles. Now, you certainly make good time driving at this speed. I always assumed that without emergency lights engaged these patrol cars are considered regular traffic, and should be treated as such. Perhaps I need clarification on this subject.
Now lets fast-forward to June 22, 2012 at 3:15 p.m. A St. Lawrence County Sheriff, plate 126, passed me as I was driving 62 mph on St. Highway 68, just outside of Canton, and the officer went out of sight within 60 seconds. The driver must have been traveling at least 80 mph to gain this much distance in such a short period of time. As it happens, I ended up right behind their vehicle at a traffic signal in Canton, so their speeding saved them no time.
I often wonder if the selection of civil servants is appropriate. Police officers are responsible for upholding the law, and so, they really should lead by example. Countless times I spot a police officer talking on a cell phone while driving their patrol car, and there is no repercussion. Very frequently officers break the speed limit while their emergency lights are off, again with no negative consequences. It’s negligent, and irresponsible.
Although I am sure other, more profound laws are disregarded when some officers are off duty, while on duty it would be nice to see a little more leadership. After all, the residents of this great state pay your salary.
Kyle Weaver, Canton