Friday, October 01, 2010

Rather a bit "man bites dog"


It's not very often you'll see me commend a local police department, but I have to hand it to the Jennings, Missouri PD. They did a good thing:

The city of Jennings has asked St. Louis County police to take command of its Police Department in the wake of a federal and state investigation into missing public money that was meant to pay for drunken driving checkpoints.

Jennings Mayor Benjamin C. Sutphin said grant money totaling tens of thousands of dollars was paid to several city officers in recent years for overtime work on sobriety checkpoints that was never performed.

"The officers got the overtime pay, but they never did the overtime work," Sutphin said. "The department did not conduct a single DWI checkpoint over a period of 2½ to three years."

I suppose I could work myself into a snit over the "waste of taxpayer money" and that sort of thing, but I'm choosing to see the glass as half full here.

First of all, that taxpayer money was going to be spent whether the Jennings PD took it or not. It's US Department of Transportation grant funding, handed out by the Missouri DOT. It's not like Barack Obama was going to send everyone a partial refund of income tax if Jennings PD turned down the loot.

Secondly, any other police department would likely have actually used that money to conduct the blatantly unconstitutional "DWI checkpoints" it's earmarked for. If we're going to pay cops, I'd rather we paid them to go home and watch TV than to cruise the streets hassling the serfs.

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