Speak Out A 10/31/01

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Officer's viewpoint

CONCERNING THE Speak Out item about student profiling: Apparently the caller was a student. I'm a police officer. Although this caller thinks he is being discriminated against because of his age, it's his driving ability that is in question. Statistics show that younger people are not as effective behind the wheel as most drivers. Therefore, we do hand a large majority of our tickets to the younger crowd. When they get a little bit older, they'll be the ones looking back and saying, "Boy, I'm glad the cops are stopping those kids and keeping us safe." Also, it is not against any state's law to enter or proceed through an intersection on a yellow light. And I guarantee the caller has never seen anyone receive a summons for such.

Faster in Illinois

THERE'S DEFINITELY something wrong with the street and bridge construction here in Cape Girardeau. They are piddling along with the bridge on Rodney Street. I get a paper from central Illinois. A bridge job over a small river was started on May 14. The new bridge cost over $760,000 was open by the first week of October. Compare this with the way they're piddling along on Rodney Street.

Positive story

I WISH to thank the Southeast Missourian for running a positive story on Wednesday about Corona Harper. She's certainly a very deserving person. It was so nice to see something about her in your paper.

Lottery keeps going

THE MOST amazing thing about the Sept. 11 tragedy: They shut down baseball for a week. They shut down the stock market. They shut down NFL football. But the lottery kept going. The nightly game and the Powerball and other lottery games didn't miss a beat.

Publicize blood drives

I'M READING about the blood drive. If even one-fourth or one-fifth of the publicity was given to the blood drive before it took place rather than after it was held, it would do much more good. I look at the paper every day, and I wasn't even aware that a blood drive was going on. That happens a lot here. The publicity comes after the event has happened. It should be the other way around.

Walk in their shoes

IN THE past few weeks I've watched people complain about the Cape Girardeau police and fire departments. Let me tell you something. Until you've walked in their shoes, you have no clue what they go through. Try running into a burning building. Try going inside when you know there are people trapped and you can't get to them. Try helping somebody who doesn't want your help. Try assisting some elderly lady who knows she's in danger but she's so far out of it she doesn't know what's going on and to her you're nothing but trouble. Until you've walked in their shoes, don't complain about them.

No heaven for them

TO THE person who called about gays and lesbians and said "keep the positive words coming and don't forget that freedom is for everyone": There's no freedom for gays and lesbians. The only thing they're free from is heaven, because they'll never see it.

Checking on teens

I WORK at a local clinic. I see numerous school-age, teen-age children daily coming in for birth control and sexually-transmitted disease testing or treatment. These teens come to me during school hours so their parents do not find out. They are getting out of school somehow. As one teen said, "Our principal lets us sign out, and he knows where we are going." I urge and challenge you parents to call your school, check on your child's absences, even request a printout. Then ask the school officials why they are allowing your teen to leave without your permission. Please, parents, care about your teen-age child. The local statistics are alarming. If you think it's not your child, chances are you're wrong. Talk to your kids about what's going on in their lives.

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