Last month in Columbia, South Carolina, police officers were awarded for their crack down on drunk driving. Local officers were awarded for various accomplishments. One officer was awarded “Rookie of the Year” for registering nine DUI arrests. A local highway patrolman was also awarded for having 109 DUI arrests under his belt. This begs the question, is it appropriate to give police officers public awards for doing their job?
Drunk driving is a serious offense, but with varying laws and regulations from state to state it is important that police officers and the public alike see eye to eye on such a serious issue. As a populace are we comfortable with officers receiving a bonus for one particular type of arrest over another? Even more alarming is in the same Columbia area, local law enforcement agencies have set-up a live drawing with DUI arrests being the ticket in, for two new fully equipped police vehicles. The public must be aware of local DUI laws, as well as search and seizure rights, because law enforcement agencies are spending more time pursuing drunk driving. It would not be too much of a stretch to wonder if such “raffles” for new police vehicles or awards for DUI convictions are going to affect an officer’s ability to remain fair and unbiased.
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