DOES RHODE ISLAND NEED STATE POLICE?
It’s the end of the month and as always, county Mounties are out there hiding in the bushes or beneath darkened overpasses to collect revenue for the state by issuing citations to unwary motorists for all kinds of offenses: speeding, broken taillights, and now, too much snow on their cars. Tractor trailer drivers are required to risk their lives getting up on the top of their trailers and brushing off snow. Not only snow but ice as well. If you leave your car outside in an ice storm, just how in hell are you supposed to get rid of the ice which has bonded to the finish of the car? We have defrosters for our windows, but how do we remove ice from our cars without ruining the finish? Besides, during that last big snowstorm, I left Smithfield after I’d cleared the snow off my car but by the time I crawled into Providence, it was covered in another half inch of the stuff. Theoretically, I could’ve been given a citation for doing nothing more than driving to work in a snowstorm.
I’ve mentioned the state police presence on Route 6 a half a million times. I’ve taken Route 6 to work every day for the past two years. I’ve seen one accident during my commute and I rarely see anyone speeding. Ever. Yet the state police are there in their cruisers or dolled up SUV’s, parked with their lights off on the shoulder of the road at night, hidden under the 295 overpass during the day, or facing out face first from the side of the road, radar at the ready.
Route 6 is not a race track. 295 north and south is. Just what the hell is their problem with Route 6? There are more state police on Route 6 than there are guards at border crossings with Mexico.
Does this little insignificant dot on the map of North America even need a state police force? We’ve got a million little towns and cities with their own police departments, just inches apart from the duchy next to them. This is not northern Minnesota where you can drive forever before you come to the next Shell station or Burger King. Minnesota has a state patrol because they need one. We don’t. Local police are more than capable of investigating crime and corruption, clearing accidents, issuing citations, and chasing the bad guys. Why pay for the expense of a super police force in a state that’s a 45 minute drive from one end of it to the other, with towns, cities, and local police lined up all the way to Massachusetts or Connecticut? Does any member of the state police join the force because they look forward to parking on the side of the road nabbing speeders?
One day perhaps, we’ll come to our senses and get rid of the state police. But then again, when have we ever come to our senses?