It reminds me of the California Department of Transportation running a sweeper train during rush hour — it's poor judgment and lacks common sense.
I decided to ask some difficult questions of the officers conducting this ill-advised check point. They are not used to citizens questioning their authority, which I think is a healthy thing to do.
My concern for the public's safety has become a political toy for our police union.
You see, the police union doesn't like me. I challenge them. I publicly talk about their huge pensions that are bankrupting our state. Since this incident I have been attacked by the Costa Mesa police union president, Alan Rieckhof.
I have received dozens of calls and e-mails from people who were tied up in the traffic jam. They witnessed near-collisions of automobiles, which had to lock up their brakes to avoid rear-ending cars that were backed up onto the off-ramps and freeway.
Rieckhof knows this issue is about salary and benefits. If former police Chief Dave Snowden had pulled over to question a DUI checkpoint at rush hour next to the freeway, do you think we would be having this conversation?
Would Rieckhof have orchestrated a bunch of cops at last week's council meeting to speak out against me?
I have a meeting scheduled Monday morning with police Chief Chris Shawkey and City Manager Alan Roeder. I am sure that the three of us can find a solution for when and where to place DUI checkpoints that are both safe and productive. Coordinating with the traffic and engineering department would be a good first step. I support DUI check points, but we need to make sure they do not unnecessarily create unsafe road conditions
I have a great appreciation for all of our police and firefighters. I grew up in a law enforcement family. My father is a retired deputy sheriff, and my brother is a police officer. I know the tough job they have and dangerous work they do, for which we are all grateful.