mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Give me my night back...

So I'm having a little get-together this weekend, so I had to make a trip to one of my favorite retailers on Tuesday - Well's Discount liquors. So I load up on clearance-priced raspberry belgian beer, a handle of Seagram's 7 (which oddly enough was only a buck more than a bottle less than half the size) and a small bottle of my old college friend Jagermeister. So I'm headed up Charles Street near TowsonTown Blvd and I see a bunch of fire trucks, a police car, and some other cars moving very slowly up the right lane. It almost looks like a funeral procession or something. I debate if I should find another route, but I figure I can probably get around it, plus I was curious what it was.

So finally a hole opens in the left lane. I move over and start to move past the procession. There's a banner on a Ford Econoline van about "taking back the night". Further ahead, the cars have various Citizens On Patrol signs (some of which resembled the ones used by pizza delivery drivers) and banners. I finally get past the mess, move back into the right lane, and hop on 695.

Evidently, this was for National Night Out. Evidently, clogging up traffic on major county roads is somehow supposed to reduce crime, as if criminals are intimidated by slow-moving processions of firetrucks, police cars, and private cars with stupid signs.

I would like to go on record as being against crime - and to be fair, the procession didn't delay me that much. But anything that holds up traffic, that makes people have to pass, is a bad thing. I also wonder if that's the best use of resources - I saw at least three county police vehicles (2 crown vics and a Jeep Cherokee) plus three fire trucks. Is paying cops and firefighters to make a symbolic gesture really a great use of my tax dollars? Does stuff like this really have any impact on criminals? I doubt it.


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