Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bicycle Helmets...you choose

Bicycle helmets have been a very hot topic in Toronto the last few days. On Friday August 13th, a cyclist died after a fall from his bicycle almost a month earlier. He struck his head which ultimately led to his death.

I issued a news release about the death and the same day that it was released via the Toronto Police Website, the Toronto Sun published an article that urges mandatory helmet use according to an Alberta study.

So, looking at raising public awareness over the issue, I Tweeted and Facebooked (is that a word?) both the news release and the article...then the storm came.

The word 'helmet' became a trending topic on Twitter in Toronto and the conversation was heated on both sides of the issue. Some people argue that helmets should be mandatory while others say that the choice is up to the individual.

My opinion is simple...what is safest should stand. Mandatory? Not sure on that, but should you choose to wear one? Absolutely!!

You can't tell me one solid reason for not wearing one...I've heard plenty, but not ones I'd support. But, I can give you one good one. A helmet protects your brain. You know that thing inside your skull, pretty much runs your body...only get one, can't be fixed thing?

But, who am I to say...here are some other opinions.
(Thanks to @bradeinarsen for the link)

But there are lots more...

Best line I have ever heard?
"Let me first say that I didn't start swearing a helmet regularly until AFTER I WOKE UP FROM THE COMA"
See the whole article for that line:

So...whats your opinion? Your views, thoughts, arguments.
Do you have any research that can support helmets, no helmets. Can you make a strong point?
Let me know and have your say here...pls keep it clean!

To see some of the conversations that took place look at the following Twitter Streams

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Guest Post - Why Do Cops Get To Harass People?

I have to confess right off the bat here, this is not my original thought. I wish I was talented enough to come up with this stuff on my own. I am re-posting this. It is from a good friend of mine who has a blog as well. http://www.motorcopblog.com/
Just like Motorcop, I found it funny and thought I would share it too.
You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Please remember, commenting is welcomed, just keep it clean and respectful. Even if you don't agree with what is said, be polite and factual about how you tell us you don't agree. If you agree, same thing, be clean and polite.

I don't often straight plagiarize or just post something someone else has written...but the BlogStocker sent me something I couldn't resist posting. Please to enjoy...

Recently, the Chula Vista Police Department ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, "Community Policing."

One of the civilian email participants posed the following question: "I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

"First of all, let me tell you this...it's not easy. In Chula Vista , we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

Another popular one is, "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licenses and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

STATUTES: When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to "harass" some people.

Next time you are in my town, give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can harass me." It's one of our favorites.