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License to Arrogance

By: The Humble Trooper

Troopers At Work

After 26 years of enforcing the traffic laws in this state and working along other dedicated officers to keep our highways safe, we are, at times, confronted by all that Mother Nature can throw at us. Fires, Fog, Smoke, High Winds, Tropical Storms, Tornadoes, or any combination thereof, are not unusual for this state. Attempting to manage the unforeseen and unpredictable is hardly an envious position to be in when people’s lives are at stake. This state experiences dozens of such events that the FHP manages every year without much notice. Except from the public that is inconvenienced and the elected officials that demand the roads are opened immediately.

What is also not unusual for this state is the blatant arrogance of our state elected officials. In Mike Schneider’s January 31, 2012 article, “Questions remain in deadly pileup”, the Miami Herald reports that Governor Rick Scott is calling for an immediate investigation into the Florida Highway Patrol’s handling of the incident leading to a massive pile-up and multiple fatality on I-75 on Paine’s Prairie south of Gainesville. Now, this would have been a perfect opportunity for our Governor to “get to work” for a day as a fire fighter or state trooper and try for himself to use a crystal ball and foretell what mother nature will do. He may also discover that communications among emergency personnel is less than adequate and with 2 or 3 troopers working a midnight shift in the Gainesville district, he may further discover that his cut backs have some real life complications for the safety of the citizens of this state. Personally, I welcome the investigation.

What is more interesting, as I read the Herald, is a small article by Steve Bousquet, “Scott to cast vote in Tallahassee”, where the Governor, after 8 years of residence in Naples just updated his driver license to reflect his new address in Tallahassee on January 24th of this year. That means he violated state statute 322..19.2 which reads in part that a person has 10 days to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of the driver’s address change. Failure to do so is a non-moving infraction in the state of Florida. Furthermore, state statue 322.02 states that ONLY the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has the authority to enforce this statute. That would be the Florida Highway Patrol.

Once again, the Governor has publicly and irresponsibly pointed the finger of blame at public employees for political gain. The problem is not with men and women attempting to control the uncontrollable, but with an administration that mandates less troopers and officers on the road with less money to manage and administer proper public safety policy. But given his penchant for ignoring rules and law, I suppose a simple license violation is not worth talking about. And threatening the enforcement agency with “fault” in this most unfortunate crash means he surely won’t be investigated for the violation. Now that’s leadership.

A Humble Trooper Who Works For You

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