Editorial By Tim Enloe / Accessmilton.com / 770 653 0552
When I was in grade school, I went to Alpharetta Elementary. That was 33 years ago when only 3000 people called the area known today as Milton, Alpharetta, and Johns Creek home. The odds of a horse and rider being seen on our country roads was far more likely than a police officer or commuter. Numbers breed crime and there were far less law breakers back then in what is now Milton than today.
Officers then, much like today, have always been the public's friends. More importantly, however, they have been the public's protectors. Contrary to ignorant assumption, these heroes do not have a secret hit list in their cars. They are in place to enforce the laws that the elected body by the public have put in place.
In reading Milton Resident Sam Dobrow's recent editorial on CNN's Ireport, I was angered and humiliated in the same breath. First, the later. The humiliation comes from a fellow resident attempting to make our young city appear as fools with the current employment of City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. Mr. Dobrow speaks of a "culture of service" making claim that Mr. Lagerbloom is not up to task. Countless times, I have seen our city manager go above and beyond his call of duty; from meeting with residents regarding various issues such as improving our parks to enforcing our speed limits and everything in between. If that isn't service, I don't know what is.
In consideration of Mr. Lagerbloom's career in the police field, this is an advantage - not a detriment. This man can relate to our Police heroes regarding the daily trials of protection, enforcement, and the job instead of questioning their every move as someone might with a different background.
The accusor goes on to state that Mr. Lagerbloom has " values align more with military command than with customer service." If this reference of
"military command" means that our city manager goes by the book when it comes to the laws of our city and enforcement, then thank God - a gray area perspective is hard to see through, anyway. Enough with the Witch hunt. Lagerbloom is an asset and we are lucky to have him.
Sam seems bothered by the fact that we now have officers that actually work in Milton and protect it's citizenry from law breakers instead of sit around and do nothing. He references a "neighbor's honor student crying in her car while a police officer writes a ticket at the bottom of a long steep hill." Instead of chastising the officer for writing the justified ticket and enforcing the law, Sam should hope this situation will keep fellow citizens who reside on said road safer as they check their mail, cut their front yards, or pull in and out of their drive ways. Better yet, that officer should be praised for helping to insure that this "honor student" will have something to pour all of the education she has strived to learn into instead of a direct hit with a tree. There is a reason for punishment and it is to learn.
A "Stop" sign doesn't translate to "slow down during rush hour" in the English language - it means "STOP."
I encourage Milton's finest to park in my driveway, my mother's driveway, or any other resident who fears for their family's safety when it comes to the horrific problem of speeding in our open road neighborhoods. If the officers are following individuals who chose to drink and drive, then more power to them. Tell families who have lost a loved one to such a driver that this approach is unfair and see where you get. In 2009 alone, there have been two fatalities on our roads that I am aware of; one right in front of my house on Bethany Road. "Police State"? - I wish.
Mr. Dobrow goes on to state that when police "are hiding out looking for speeders, they are not deterring, preventing or interdicting violent crime and crime against property." WRONG. Their mere presence makes would-be criminals think twice; their waiting to catch law breaking speeders is saving lives. From what he shares, it would seem all Milton needs to do is park a bunch of empty cars with a siren on top of them around town and that will suffice. Everyone will fall right in line, right? WRONG.
A security guard is NOT a police officer - next.Sam can let his contempt breed away and his statement of "revenue enhancement" disgusts me. What he doesn't know is that half my immediate family is dead. That's right: DEAD. My two older brothers were only 3 and 1 when they died in a fire in the 1960's, my younger brother died in a car wreck while driving down Mayfield Road on his 25th birthday, and my father lost his life some 40 plus years after my two brothers left us to another fire - all by tragic, unnatural means. If only an officer had pulled my brother over, if only an officer saw the smoke, if only... Thus, if revenues are generated for the city and our officers via tickets being written against those who chose to break the law and the family that I have left is protected, then revenue away. I hope some of our officers working twelve hour shifts get some of that added to their yearly salary. They have more than earned it. Who knows? Such revenues might even help keep other taxes in check.
When it all boils down to it, one can easily assume that Sam got a ticket and he thinks he is above the law. He believes that officers should be his friend and to prove their allegiance the law should hold no place in his world. I can see it now; Officer Smith "Attention all units; Sam is coming through, be sure to wave as he speeds by and stop all traffic and deer. He is in a hurry!" From what Sam has relayed, it is ok to go 60 plus miles per hour through our open road neighborhoods where mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters live. He believes that it is ok to put other families safety in jeopardy as long as he has a "Sam-I- Am Cruise Card." WRONG.
If Sam were to look at some of the more respected areas of the country, he will see that such cities have a very impressive and active police department. There is a reason why property values are higher in some areas than others. One reason is that the laws are enforced and crime is nominal. Rest assured, the more officers we have enforcing the laws on the books, the more "a shinning city on the hill" Milton will become.
In closing, to Mr. Chris Lagerbloom and our wonderful Milton Police department, keep up the good work and don't change a thing. Enforce the law and thank you for protecting Milton families. You truly are heroes. Next, I wish Sam Dobrow a long and happy life. I hope he joins the adopt a hero program in Milton and helps to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I hope he finds objectivity through this editorial. I hope that he never loses a family member to a tragic accident. I hope he never has to hold a loved one's hand as the nurse turns off the machine and that inevitable flat line never comes and the pulse never stops. I hope...