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Mailbag: Heavy fines do more than bunny costumes

August 11, 2010

Regarding Maria Smart's Aug. 9 letter, "Drivers must be slowed," we should all be saddened by the actions of a reckless driver who struck and injured her mother on Glendale roads. However, apparently, Smart did not actually read the two articles in the Glendale News-Press that she sites as she criticizes Councilman John Drayman in her anger at the driver who struck her mother.

In the first article, Drayman stated that police resources should be placed out in the community busting speeders and reckless drivers rather than dressing police personnel in rabbit costumes ("Sting like a bunny, April 1) to see how drivers will react.

The anomaly to which Smart refers, and Drayman pointed out, was in creating a road condition that is not in any driver's normal experience and then drawing conclusions from this as though the situation is typical of what someone like Smart's mother might encounter.


The second article in the News-Press ("Stings go on, sans bunny," April 2) indicated that the Glendale police chief must have agreed with Drayman because he immediately discontinued the bunny sting in favor of the same pedestrian sting carried out in plain clothes, which is what Drayman advocated.

By the way, according to that article, the plain clothes sting was just as, if not more, effective.

There are those who seem to have not gotten the memo on the second Glendale News-Press article on this topic who want to ignore the reporting of the success of the plain clothes sting advocated by both Drayman and the police chief — either because they didn't read the article, because of politics, because they believe no one should ever disagree with police policy or, as in the case of Smart, because she is grieving over the reckless and thoughtless acts of a dangerous driver who injured her mother.

The point here is not whether the police should dress officers as bunnies, Santa Claus, Abe Lincoln or leprechauns to attract attention, teach a lesson or create news.

The point is that Glendale residents deserve better, more effective motor vehicle enforcement on our streets. We are constantly told that there are not the resources to effectively stop speeders and reckless drivers.

Some of us believe, in light of this constant excuse from our city management, that what resources we do have should be spent on catching actual bad drivers in real situations and fining them so severely that it makes an impression on their pocketbooks.

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