What will Davis deputies get next, mall-cop scooters?

Davis County officialdom can’t resist new toys for the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff just picked up two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and three more canines, using money from private grants and the federal economic stimulus bill. The county also recently secured not one but three mobile command centers, and a few years ago accepted a $10,000 off-road utility vehicle from a tobacco company.

The county’s always armed with rationalizations for these acquisitions and expenses, but the irony is always clear: Davis is also prone to eyebrow-raising tax increase proposals and the subsequent and inevitable tax-protest sagas.

Davis taxpayers don’t like being played for suckers. The sheriff’s office has a bunch of new toys and are armed with lists of plausible excuses to offer those who might question the spending. Ultimately, all the reasons given are “dumb,” as my teenage daughter might say.

The Harleys will help officers get to some emergency sites more quickly and the dogs will help catch more druggies, officials say. They had private donations and “Obama bucks” to spend, so it’s OK, right? Not so fast. Local officials are dodging responsibility for questionable spending by, in effect, blaming the donors and the feds for the outlays. While that’s technically true, it also means the county is going to have to pick up the operational expenses next year. And, trying to sell this expansion as a critical need falls well short of credibility; until the pots of gold materialized, there were no cries of Harley or police dog crisis shortages.

Hog happy
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner

The county said it needed three mobile emergency command centers because they have to be able to help Davis cities with their emergencies. Up north, Weber County says it gets along just fine with one mobile command unit. The Davis trifecta is a grossly redundant waste of tax funds, especially in a down economy. Officials should be consolidating services, not inefficiently balkanizing them even more.

You might think Davis had learned its lesson a few years ago when the sheriff’s office accepted a Polaris Ranger donated by the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Officials talked about how the Ranger would help search and rescue efforts. They weren’t bothered about taking a freebie from an industry whose products kill thousands of Americans every year.

What will Davis officers get next? Mall-cop scooters?

Here’s my suggestion for the rallying cry of the next Davis tax revolt: Remember the Harley.

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5 Responses to What will Davis deputies get next, mall-cop scooters?

  1. Cathy says:

    All the better for the police to get to the public parks to write tickets to smokers who violate the smoking ban. There’s a trifecta to think about… public parks: paid for with taxes, police: paid for with taxes, big tobacco: subsidized by taxes.

    And no, I’m not an anarchist… I just think we should privatize this kind of insanity and use our taxes to keep it in check. ;)

  2. Charles Trentelman says:

    one thing I’ve learned over the years is that cops can justify anything as needed for crime control — a harley is easy, Isn’t davis county the same county that has an entire van dedicated to animal rescue, as if that;’s been a critical need?

    then these same people go home and bitch about their taxes going up.

  3. Lars says:

    The true irony is that the Editor, and the 2 commentors most likely voted for the “stimulus messiah”. Whilst the rest of us voted for the American. With this kind of openly biased, pinheaded drivel is it any wonder that the “print media” is vanishing like dust in the wind at a increasingly rapid rate? Let’s cross our fingers and hope the Sub-Standard Exaggerator will soon join the other dead papers in the nether regions. Noone thinks the Police need a thing until they need a Policeman. If you hate the Cops, call a liberal when you need help.

  4. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Who said anything about hating cops? What’s objectionable is the what-the-heck attitude among some officials to just grab and blow money on stuff that’s not necessary. It’s not a cop thing, it’s a government thing. The Davis sheriff’s office is just one of the most visible recent local examples.

    Speaking of law enforcement, see the editorial and cartoon on the latest taser controversies.

    http://www.standard.net/live/opinion/editorials/177169/

    http://www.standard.net/live.php/opinion/editorials/177169/?photo_id=17492

  5. Cathy says:

    Sorry anyway I’m not a “liberal” nor did I vote for Obama (whom I don’t regard as a Messiah). The closest description I’ve heard for my political leanings is “granola conservative.” I’d have probably been a JFK backer if I’d been around in the early 60s. I know that some people like to vilify “liberals” but if you’re not a little liberal in this country, you’re probably stepping on someone else’s toes and freedoms.

    Which brings me to your last comment about calling a liberal when you need help… you know, as long as the law is on the side of the conservatives, they’re fine with calling them. If the police need to enforce any law that protects the environment or hinders big business, they start mud-slinging the “liberal politicians.” Maybe the conservatives need to figure out what is worth conserving in this world. This article might give you some insight.

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/may/18/00018/

    “The barbarians of the Roman era wandered and marauded aimlessly. We accepted rootlessness as the modern condition. We defended our unrestrained consumer appetites by spiting those who would counsel limits as freedom’s enemies. Despisers of communism, we worshiped capitalism, naïve to its revolutionary power to dissolve bonds we ought to have cherished and things we ought to have conserved. Though we like to think of ourselves as apostles of excellence preaching against the depredations of Hollywood trash and academia’s political correctness, we have reduced ourselves to sneering at the concept of elitism and celebrating ignorance and vulgarity as signs of authenticity.

    We cast aside the sense of temperamental modesty, of restraint and of fidelity to honorable traditions that have been conservatism’s philosophical patrimony, and exchanged it for a pot of ideological message. When MacIntyre wrote that the barbarians “have already been governing us for quite some time,” he didn’t mean the Democrats alone. “

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