Commentary: Police escorts: Nice if you can get themMay 23, 2019By Mary Beth SchneiderTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS–Its race day and you’re on your way to the Indianapolis 500.Or, that is, you would be on your way if only you weren’t stuck in traffic. Suddenly in the next lane, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer on a motorcycle comes zipping by, escorting someone else who is just too important to be sitting in an idling vehicle like you are. Maybe they are that important. It could be the governor. Perhaps one of the drivers or team members. Maybe it’s the archbishop, who has to get there on time to deliver the blessing. Or a busload of band members who parade around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the race begins.Or it might just be some richer person than you. Someone who was able to buy a package that includes a police escort to the track – a police officer who is on duty and being paid with your tax dollars.After the 2018 Indy 500 – an event I love despite the fact that I know next to nothing about auto racing in general – I began to wonder who got these coveted police escorts. I contacted IMPD last May 29 asking who could get escorts, who paid for them, the duty status of the officers conducting them and how many got them.It took several emails and nearly two months to get an answer. On July 25, a public affairs officer for IMPD informed me in an email that escorts are set up “for many people or organizations to include but not limited to” the following groups:Local, state and federal officialsMilitarySports celebrities and “politically associated persons important to the city”“Longtime community partners that benefit the city/department; police foundation, IMPD motorcycle drill team, PAL (the Police Action League) etc.”Families of officers working the eventDrivers and their familiesMedical personnelMediaI was told that that year about 50 on-duty police officers conducted escorts for about 330 groups or individuals and that the department does not accept payment for the escorts.I responded the next day, thanking him for the information but saying I found it only partially answered my inquiry since he had said those getting escorts were not limited to the categories listed. So, I asked for the list of exactly who got them.I’ve never heard back. An email and a phone call this week to prod an answer also went unacknowledged.This may be why: Google Indy 500 and police escorts and you will find tour promoters selling VIP packages for hundreds of dollars, even thousands, that include police escorts.Let me be clear: My complaint is not with the police officers themselves. They do a hard, often thankless job, putting their lives at risk to keep this city safe. The police I have known over the years are dedicated citizens who often go above and beyond to protect us, to make our neighborhoods better places. And they do it working long hours for inadequate pay.But they should not be assigned – on duty, at taxpayer expense – to help a private business make a profit off of tour packages. They work for all of us, not the privileged few. And I’m not thrilled either with politicians who have no official function at the track and who likely are already whooping it up on some lobbyist’s expense account in a suite getting a fast lane to the track, happy to be zipping by all the chumps who are their voters.Indianapolis has a crime problem. In 2018, for the fourth year in a row, we set a record for homicides, with 156 and we show no signs of slowing that sad statistic this year. Yes, the race and its adjacent activities are just a few days in May. But with a tight city budget and numerous unmet city challenges – from potholes to blighted housing to drugs – this is a waste of manpower and resources.A few years ago, the city bus service was forced to stop race day shuttles to the track due to a lawsuit. It took away a favored way for many to go the track, and likely increased the traffic jams. How is it wrong to use city buses to benefit many but ok to use city police to benefit a few?I’d email the city to ask why. But I’m still waiting first for them to answer my other emails.FOOTNi)E: Mary Beth Schneider is an editor with TheStatehouseFile.com, a news site powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
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LocalNews DAIC reiterate calls for working on Sunday by: – May 30, 2011 DAIC logo. Photo credit: Caribana.comThe Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce is reiterating calls for lifting in whole or in part, the statutory restriction on Sunday trading in Dominica.The DAIC says while it is not asking for an increase in the working hours of employees or denying an employee the right to worship his Creator, its membership is aware that some employees insist on Saturday as their day of worship while others maintain the traditional Sunday.The DAIC says the need to amend the legislation is strictly to regularize a situation that is already accepted by the Government, the General Public and even the very ones who suggest that Sunday should be left alone while agreeing that it is OK for businesses to open on Sundays once they pay employees double time.The DAIC says it is not denying that it is in the interest of its members not to have to pay double time for work done on Sunday.However, the DAIC says it is happy and willing to uphold and support the payment of overtime on work.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! 107 Views no discussions Share Share Share Tweet
RelatedPosts Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years Pirlo bags UEFA coaching badge Former Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri has left Serie A side Torino by mutual consent, with Moreno Longo brought in as his replacement. Mazzarri leaves Torino after two years in charge with the club in 12th place in Serie A, 11 points above the drop zone. Pressure had begun to mount after Mazzarri’s side lost 0-7 at home to Atalanta just over a week ago, and they were then beaten 4-0 at the weekend by relegation-threatened Lecce. A club statement read: “The President Urbano Cairo and the coach Walter Mazzarri, after an in-depth analysis on the set of situations that have now arisen, shared the decision to end the professional relationship early. “The club wishes to thank the coach and all of his staff for the commitment, fairness, and professionalism shown in these last two years.” The appointment of Longo, a former Torino player, follows a run of four straight defeats in all competitions and will be his second managerial position in Serie A, having previously managed Frosinone. Marrazzi, who led Torino to a seventh-placed finish last season, previously managed Premier League side Watford during the 2016/17 season. However, his time at Vicarage Road was widely seen as a failure, despite leading the club away from the relegation zone and into 17th. The Italian was let go by the Watford board in 2017 and replaced by Marco Silva, before taking the Torino post in January 2018.Tags: Moreno LongoSerie ATorinoWalter Mazzarri
Oklahoma suspended three players Wednesday, including one of their defensive leaders. SoonerScoop.com confirmed the suspensions of defensive end Ronnie Perkins, backup running back Rhamondre Stevenson and receiver Trejan Bridges. All three players will miss the College Football Playoff semifinal against No. 1 LSU at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 28. MORE: College football signing day trackerPerkins is the biggest loss. He leads the Sooners with six sacks and ranks second on the team with 13.5 tackles for loss. That will make it that much more difficult to slow down LSU’s offense, which is led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Stevenson ranked third on the team with 516 rushing yards behind quarterback Jalen Hurts and running back Kennedy Brooks. Stevenson took on a more pronounced role this season when Trey Sermon was injured. T.J. Pledger, who has eight carries for 62 yards this season, moves up the depth chart.Bridges has seven catches for 82 yards and two TDs this season. Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said he had no comment when asked about the player suspensions Wednesday.