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Armchair chiefs

January 10, 2008 - Heather Ziegler
It's amazing that people who do not climb in behind the wheel of a police cruiser or pull on firefighters' boots each day become armchair experts on those professions come election time. No one can tell me that the issue of the two-man cruiser was not timed to coincide with this year's city elections. However, while I believe the chief of a department, in most cases, got his or her job because of past achievements, experience, leadership and dedication, there must be and there are checks and balances to their operations. So why not let the chiefs run their departments? As a young reporter I used to chase the firetrucks and cop cars. I would watch these men and women in action and respected what they did. It would make me crazy mad when I would hear some guys watching a building burn down then criticize the firefighters running into the buildings. Or when the police would be running down a bad guy, there would be smart alecks cheering for the criminal. I don't get that. Whatever your stance on the two-man cruiser, let's not overstep our boundaries and micro manage something as casual observers. If there is something wrong, sure, bring it up at council and commission meetings. If that doesn't work, then start your petitions, go to the media, but don't try to convince me that you know more than the chiefs if you aren't wearing the uniforms.


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