Traffic laws are put in place by the government to regulate driving and make the roads as safe as technically possible. So it makes sense that if you want to go 20 mph faster than what the government deems safe, you will get a citation. But what if a police officer does well over 20 mph? Surely, they would face the same charges as civilians, right? Rarely does anything happen to them other than a slap on the wrist.
A Sun-Sentinel article published at the beginning of February noted that since 2004, speeding Florida officers have caused at least 320 crashes and 19 deaths. However, only one officer went to jail — for 60 days.
If you’ve ever driven around South Florida for more than a few days, you have probably seen a patrol car go flying by. You would normally expect the officer to be responding to a disturbance or a call — which makes sense. But no, it is just your every day jerk with a badge taking advantage of his or her power.
I don’t want to sound bitter but that is probably the best way to describe my resentment. We civilians hold police at a much higher standard than that of the general public. These fine men and women undertake extensive training to help them deal with the daunting task of keeping us safe. Shouldn’t we hold them to a higher responsibility to follow the law? Most definitely. But who can police the police?
I think, therefore, we should follow an example from the United Kingdom and create an organization like the Independent Police Complaints Commission, a non-governmental agency that handles complaints and appeals against police. Only then will actual complaints in America be heard because they sure haven’t in the past.
Several police chiefs across Florida have said they are taking steps to crack down on offenders and punish them far more severely than they had in the past which is great news for the public. I am glad something is being done, but I doubt there ever will be enough action to counter the lives already lost due to their negligence.