Let the cops run free

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I'm sick and tired of all the hubbub about whether Juneau police officers should work eight-hour shifts. The officers are the ones out there protecting us, and if they and their hired management consultant says they are serving the public better by working 12-hour shifts, then that's good enough for me. What does the police chief know?

Frankly, why do we need a police chief anyway? The officers can set their own policies, such as when to shoot a kid fleeing in a stolen car, or whether to have one or two patrol cars respond every time they pull over someone exceeding the speed limit. They and their police union know best, by gum. And while they're at it, why not let the officers set their own salaries? They know best how valuable they are.

In fact, if it's better to work a 12-hour shift rather than an eight-hour shift, then let's not stop there. After all, emergency room doctors often work 24-hour shifts, or even longer. And everyone knows that doctors never make mistakes. I'm sure that our police officers shoot just as accurately after 12 hours on patrol as after eight hours. And I'm sure they are just as vigilant, and exercise good judgment no matter how long they work, right?

I know that I get tired as I approach 12 hours of work, and find it harder to concentrate but, then again, if I make a mistake, all I've done is pushed the wrong piece of paper.

Dean Guaneli


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