I’ve started several blogs in the past week but have stopped after a little voice in my head seemed to be saying, “Idiot..do you really want to go there?” But, what the hey. The first has to do with that reverse sting by the Sioux Falls Police Department in which they placed an ad on the internet offering the services of a couple women available for “escort” (heh, heh) services. The escorts were, of course, “undercover” lady officers. Well, I’ll be darned if the phone didn’t start ringing within a few minutes and rendezvous were arranged. When the guys showed up..a few of them were looking for more than someone to share a dinner with at HuHot. As soon as they offered the ladies cash for whoopee, the cops swooped in. When the night was over, 8 fellows had been charged with trying to hire a hooker (or in a couple cases BOTH hookers at the same time) and charged with a misdemeanor. The lads also got their names on the news for all to see. The public has been assured by Chief Doug Barthel that the department will be renting more motel rooms and giving some of their female officers double duty in the future..so ya better watch out. I sure would like to see that ad but am not about to go searching for it on-line. Don’t need anything like that permanently stored on my hard drive.
Now, I’m not defending these lonely and apparently horny guys or advocating legalized prostitution but, for heaven’s sake, is the crime rate in Sioux Falls so low that police have to dream up busy work for its officers with these fishing expeditions trying to lure people into breaking the law? I know it’s not legally considered entrapment but it sure seems to come awfully close. Chief Barthel says he was disappointed at the large number of responses to the ad. Really? You didn’t realize the internet..even here in Sioux Falls..was teeming with men looking for a roll in the hay even if they have to pay for it? What happens now? Will any of the eight guys arrested actually spend the maximum one year in jail or will they plead guilty, pay their fines..go and sin no more?
I also understand the dangers of drinking and driving but am not a fan of those flock-shoot police roadblocks in which motorists must basically prove their innocence to pass through. I realize they snag a few violators by using these sobriety checkpoint techniques but police used to need “probable cause” to pull a person over. Now, don’t yell at me saying that I don’t seem to care about getting drunk drivers off the road..I do. But if that is, in fact, the main objective here, wouldn’t it be more efficient and effective for police to station officers outside the most popular bars in town and nab patrons as they leave and get behind the wheel? You know for a fact they’ve been drinking and there’s a better-than-average chance they’d test positive for exceeding the legal alcohol limit allowed for operating a motor vehicle. Sure the bar owners would cry foul..but, after the smoking ban, it’s apparent they don’t have any rights anyway.
Now, the city council has decided that it is going to be illegal to text and drive. Violators face a 200 dollar fine. I’ve written here before that I think texting drivers are far more dangerous than those who’ve had a couple drinks. Just this past week, Linda was coming home from Alcester when she came upon a car doing about 45 miles an hour. She passed only to have the car race past her..weave across the center line then slow down again. Drunk you say? Nope. When they got into town Linda could see the other driver typing away on his phone. My problem with this new ordinance is enforcement. How in the world can police know for sure if a driver is composing and sending an electronic message (Illegal) and not just dialing a number or receiving a text or playing Angry Birds? (Legal) Even they haven’t quite figured out the rules of engagement yet.
I don’t have any answers on this one; the genie is out of the bottle. I’m afraid people (young people in particular) aren’t going to stop texting and driving but will now try keep their activity out of sight which is even more distractingly dangerous.
Let’s give this a try: “Hey, all you kids out there, Grandpa Doug here with a request; don’t be dumb with your smart phones. I know you believe that keeping in touch with friends at all times is really important but please, please don’t text when you’re behind the wheel or allow your phone to distract your driving in any way. I’ll bet each of you knows someone who has had an accident or a close call because of it. Don’t let that happen to you. Remember, there are lots of people, including me, who love you dearly and only wish to protect you from harm.”