Friday, January 25, 2013

Is Our Country Choking to Death on Red Tape?

In yesterday's Dayton Daily News Police Blotter column was the following report ...

"A 41-year-old man was arrested after being seen staggering into traffic...around 5:00 a.m. He told police he had gone to a bar with friends who left without him so he was walking home. He couldn't find a ride while police waited so he was jailed."

Not all that interesting a report, but it got me thinking. If the man was walking home, he probably didn't live all that far from where the police picked him up. The police waited while the man trying to find a ride - I'm assuming by phone. At some point, the man was in the police car.

Why didn't they just drive him home?

Yes, I know, there are probably rules and procedures and insurance issues that prohibit police officers from giving a civilian a lift but...well, isn't that the point?  They weren't far from the man's home, he was in their car, he wasn't a serious criminal. They even tried to help him out by waiting while he hunted for a ride.  Once upon a time they would have driven him home, given him some kind of warning about the next time he went drinking, and that would have been it. 

Instead, the police department incurred the expense of processing an arrest and whatever court related costs will follow while a man suffered the embarrassment, expense, and other possible consequences of being arrested (including going to court).

Rules and procedure verses common sense. Red tape.

Do you have any red tape stories to share?  Do you think we're choking on our own laws, rules, procedures, etc.?
 
Groaners for the Day:  (I haven't made you groan in a while so here's a couple.)

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

21 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

I hate that we've become so tangled in bureaucracy that we can't or won't do the common sense thing.

Back in the 60s my mother-in-law had trouble parallel parking. (You remember those humongous cars.)

After several tries, she stopped, got out of her car, and hailed a passing police car. The officer stopped and parked her car for her.

It makes me laugh every time I tell that story. Different times.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So if he's located a ride, they wouldn't have taken him in? But they still spent tax dollars just waiting with him. You're right - just take him home!

LD Masterson said...

Maria - exactly the kind of thing I was remembering. But I don't believe our police are less caring or willing to help - they just don't have the option.

LD Masterson said...

Alex - Doesn't make much sense, does it?

Stacy McKitrick said...

I can only assume one stupid idiot spoiled it for everyone else. Isn't that always the case where red tape is concerned?

Of course, didn't Otis always sleep it off in Sheriff Taylor's jail cell?

LD Masterson said...

Stacy - Good point about the one idiot. I remember when our office allowed staff to bring their kids to work with them if they got caught with no babysitter on a snow day or something. Then one staff member let her kid run amok all over the office and bingo - new policy, no kids.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is just ridiculous!

The vulture joke is a real groaner all right.

Carol Kilgore said...

Double groan :) :)

I definitely believe we have too much red tape.

Linda G. said...

Ugh on the red tape. Seems like common sense just doesn't exist anymore.

Love your groaners! :)

LD Masterson said...

Diane - Ridiculous indeed.

(yeah, I groaned at that one myself)

LD Masterson said...

Carol - I'd like to suggest we find a way to cut back on the red tape but I'm afraid the red tape would get in the way of our efforts. :-)

LD Masterson said...

Linda G. - It's certainly gone into hiding.

Mason Canyon said...

I think common sense has gotten lost under all the red tape we have today. They should have carried him home if they were willing to let him find a ride home in the first place. Love the groaners.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

LD Masterson said...

Mason - I agree completely.

Tara Tyler said...

exactly! follow the letter while the bad guys take every shortcut... untie our protectors' hands, they have good judgment to make decisions and report it later! hopefully, they will soon be able to take his fingerprints and photo on the scene, then drop him at home and send him a fine! saves time & makes money! same for traffic offenses, beware the hidden cameras!

Tara Tyler said...

and a! for the groaners! =D

LD Masterson said...

Tara - In this case, I don't think the police were all that interested in charging the guy - if he could have found a ride home. But since he couldn't and the cops aren't allowed to drive him, the only option they had was to arrested him. Stupid.

Mike Keyton said...

Sometimes red tape can be sinister
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/01/every-tabloids-worst-nightmare/

Eve said...

Hey LD! There's an award waiting for you at my blog. And I love the groaners today!! I intend to work those into my everyday conversation, lol!

LD Masterson said...

Mike - I read the report on your link. I'm not sure "sinister" is quite strong enough.

LD Masterson said...

Eve - Thanks a lot for the Versatile Blogger award. I'll collect it properly next week.