Friday, November 12, 2010

Um, Ya Think?

In a season of police DUIs, possible excessive force (and a serious disagreement between administration and the rank and file over it) and a host of other issues with bad results varying from tragic to us-vs-them bad press to merely stupid, the Fraternal Order of Police local is running a survey to determine if there might be -- just maybe -- any sort of morale problem or a difference in perception between working officers and the people at the top.

Gosh, whatever could give them that idea?
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Relatedly, with the release of the internal investigation into Officer David Bisard's squad-car wreck that killed one motorcyclist and seriously injured two others, reporters and the public are still expressing skepticism that numerous other policemen, on the scene soon after the the crash, didn't notice he was intoxicated, despite his testing over the legal limit two hours later. Having worked with at least three people who had serious drinking problems, I am not surprised; a committed alcoholic can appear quite sober while drinking enough to put a light drinker under the table. Not saying the officer in question is; but were he to be, it would explain the apparent discrepancy. Policemen are good at spotting the inebriated but they're not Superman, especially when they're not suspicious about the possibility to begin with.

3 comments:

Nathan said...

Very good point about the Bisard fiasco.

Old Grouch said...

"I am not surprised; a committed alcoholic can appear quite sober while drinking enough to put a light drinker under the table.
IIRC they call 'em "high-functioning alcoholics;" over time they develop resistance to the intoxicating effect. (Which raises the question of how accurately BAC correlates with "impairment," but that's another argument.)

But being legally drunk just put the icing on the cake. What bothered me was that Bisard self-dispatched to a run not his own WITH lights and siren WHILE text-messaging on his computer. I'm pretty certain that he's not the only cop who does/has done this... not particularly reassuring for any innocent bystanders who might share the road with these guys.

Roberta X said...

Very true; it also answers my own "what if the popular wisdom is wrong" question -- what if he wasn't drunk at the time of the wreck, and either had a couple-three quick ones after (plausible) or the BAC test was simply wrong (less likely)? --He's still running hot under questionable circumstances and text-chatting at the same time: kinda-seriously questionable choices.