Dec 27, 2007

Stinking badges

Recently, the California attorney general held that a county sheriff could be held liable for issuing badges to civilians that too closely resemble the hardware carried by sworn peace officers.

This prompted a few of the cities that had issued realistic-looking badges to their city council members to rethink their policies - however, rethinking is not the same as reversing, as the San Gabriel Valley Tribune points out.

The central question reporters never seem to ask (Trib included) is why council members need badges in the first place?

Let me hazard a guess: Police like for council members feel a part of their exclusive club. It creates the kind of kinship that can be useful when contract negotiations come up.

On the other side, council members like to feel they are somehow above the laws they pass. Plus, an "official" badge is a handy thing to have when you get pulled over for weaving down Main Street.

Maybe the Trib will do a follow-up and ask the council members directly why they find it so hard to gives up their toys.

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