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Responsibility is no accident

In a culture where celebrities, politicians _ even a bishop _ try to worm their way out of traffic citations, it's nice to have a guy around like Steve Hogue.

Tampa's police chief was driving to work last Wednesday when he ran into a Volkswagen Jetta, causing a fender bender at an interstate on-ramp in north Tampa. The chief was looking at cars in the merge lane and did not realize traffic had stopped in front of him. He told the investigating officer and was cited for following too closely. "It was all my fault," he told a Times reporter. "I'm just embarrassed. I feel terrible about damaging other people's property and inconveniencing them."

His honesty and sense of responsibility is refreshing. People make mistakes; what's important is owning up to them. The chief could have thrown his weight around or fudged on the facts. That he didn't shows character and judgment _ good things for a chief, and for anyone behind the wheel.

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