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.