Friday, November 02, 2007

Police for Free

Today’s Boston Globe article reporting that Governor Patrick will consider using contracted flagmen instead of police officers at highway construction sites lacks the clear reporting of an AP story the Globe ran yesterday:

The state's detail system has been a political hot potato in the past. While the state does not have a law requiring police officers to guard road construction sites, police unions have held a stranglehold on the jobs because of their lucrative nature.

Unions argue that communities get an expanded police force for free, since utility companies and private contractors pay the detail fees on their projects. But critics note that utilities and contractors pass on that cost to consumers.


Teresa said...

This is the first state I've been in that uses police at construction sites. For that matter, they aren't even flag men as they mostly stand around and talk with the people working instead of paying one bit of attention to the cars going by. They don't even bother to let you know if the road is clear on curves and hills when they are at construction areas. At least with flag men, you have a chance of not being hit by oncoming traffic. Geeze!

This is NOT an expanded police force, as they are NOT doing police work. What crimes are they preventing or solving? It's basically some overtime pay for standing around all day chatting.

George W. Potts said...

Patrick is pulling a classic Clintonian move. Create angst in the police unions and then, when he decides not to remove them from their detail work, he is a political hero.

If anyone does not recognize that police detail work deminishes their crime enforcement effectiveness (just note the statistics), then they should also believe that slick Willie really "didn't have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky."

Harry said...

Massachusetts is the only state that has this practice. The other 49 states are not as progressive and haven't caught up to us yet.