Sheriff dramatic in fighting cuts | story, May 24
Deputies shouldn't have use of cars when off duty
In this story, Pinellas Sheriff Jim Coats said streets would be "littered with human carnage" if he had to cut his budget by 10 percent.
Here we go again with the old scare tactics. It seems to happen every time government at any level is asked to cut back exorbitant spending. It is condemnable human nature that when a politician or elected official has carte blanche with taxpayers' pocketbooks, spending is limitless. Can you imagine how conservative these individuals would be if it was solely dependent on their own pocketbooks?
The following is what really gripes me. My wife and I had to stop at a Walgreens on a Thursday and again on Friday. I noticed a sheriff's car parked at the entrance, but what really caught my attention was that the motor was running — I assumed for the benefit of air-conditioning — but the deputy was not in the car. I surmised that Walgreens had hired an off-duty deputy for one purpose or another.
The next day we had to return and there was the car again, idling with no one in sight. As we entered the store, there was the deputy on duty in the store. As we walked past the manager, I asked the purpose for hiring a deputy and he said that people were robbing pharmacies for drugs, mostly OxyContin.
Do the addition. If every Walgreens that has OxyContin has a deputy that lets his cruiser idle for the time that the pharmacy is open, can you imagine how much gasoline is consumed, plus the wear and tear on the automobile during that time? Just who is paying for that?
I don't mind a church or business of any kind that feels the need for protection to hire someone, but when it comes to the use of the vehicles, I have a problem. I never could understand how it is feasible to give deputies a car to use as their personal vehicle and let the public foot the bill. It's almost as bad as school buses running back and forth from one end of the county to the other delivering children to the school of their choice.
In the article, the sheriff is so worried about having to discard his so-called community policing program. This is nothing but something conjured up to placate and coddle the NAACP. Why don't the police see the need to operate this program in my community?
I personally think it's a shame that we have such a degenerate society that crime is rampant everywhere, but I attribute it to the condition of man's sinful heart and until that is rectified, nothing will change and it will only get perversely worse.
Bud Trill, Palm Harbor
Computers may keep Ulmerton traffic moving
I would like to know if the stoplights can be computer controlled to keep traffic moving on Ulmerton Road during rush hours. It would seem to save gas and relieve traffic if the lights, from 49th Street to Seminole Boulevard, were on a system to change as the heavier traffic from a previous light is approaching.
Dave Molloy, Largo
Oldsmar, Nielsen talks take more positive tone | story, June 22
Nielsen needs to think about local workers
How much is Nielsen promising Oldsmar to keep quiet about firing American workers and bringing in workers from India to take their jobs? Then they will go back to India and make their economy better while we are teetering on the brink of a recession.
Shame on you, Oldsmar. Have you spoken to the single mom who, after 19 years, got her walking papers? Oh yeah, she can't go to the media and she has to train her global replacements to get her severance pay.
I say we should be out picketing every day in front of Nielsen and tell them to remember our citizens here. But hey, if the government does nothing about it, do you really think a for-profit business will?
Diane Pearson, Dunedin