Regular readers will know that one of my friends is a cop. We often agree on stuff you might think would separate us. That didn’t happen today.
I told him about sitting on an entrance ramp to the Connector (I-75 and I-85 are the same expressway through downtown Atlanta for a couple of miles, a design failure) on Saturday, on my way to play golf near the airport. I just missed getting ahead of what I thought was a police funeral procession, being the tenth or so car not permitted to enter the expressway by the police car that blocked it. (I had about 15 minutes while sitting to count.)
I watched police cars from a bunch of Georgia cities and counties, maybe a couple of hundred, pass me and then about a thousand, private, motorcycles, then a dozen or so more police cars, all with lights and sirens operating, before I was allowed to move.
Here’s the thing. All the cars and bikes were in the HOV lane to the far left of the southbound, seven or eight lane expressway. All of the remaining lanes were empty.
I was finally allowed to move and caught up to the procession in maybe a minute, just past the next entrance – no blocking, cars now were allowed to occupy the lanes next to the procession.
As it turns out, my friend the cop says it wasn’t a funeral (I wasn’t happy but I could have “lived” with fifteen minutes out of my life for a show of respect for a fallen cop). Nope, I was stopped for no good reason (at least that I can think of or that my friend offered) for the entire connector being blocked for the annual Georgia police something or other ride for the families of slain officers.
Don’t get me wrong, I want police to be paid well. I want them to be taken care of if they’re hurt. I want their families taken care of if they are killed. But I don’t think it’s a matter of respect for a few thousand people to be stopped in their tracks through downtown Atlanta while a thousand or so cops ride south in one lane with the rest empty. Though I didn’t mention it to my friend, it seems to me to a bit arrogant on the part of the cops.
My friend the cop and I have agreed to disagree on this one.