Letter: Department’s hard work shown during ‘ride along’


A few days ago, I visited the Oak Harbor Police Department. I used the phone in the lobby and asked to speak to an officer. Following their procedures I was told to have a seat and an officer would soon see me.

I did as directed and, in time, an officer showed up. I explained my problem and he advised me what to do.

I then asked him a question about vehicles changing lanes and turning without using directional signals.

The officers informed me it is against the traffic code to change lanes or direction without signaling. But the police do no enforce that unless it results in an accident. At which time, it could result in an additional citation.

That got me to thinking. How many other cases do they see a violation of some law but do not take action unless someone is hurt or property damage takes place.

If, while on patrol, and they see someone stacking wood or some other materials against a house and pour gasoline on it. Do they not interfere until the suspect lights the material and the house is in flames?

Maybe I decide to carry a concealed weapon, but did not get a permit.

An officer notices I have a concealed weapon but takes no action. I pull out my weapon and start shooting. After the officer takes the weapon away from me, do I get a ticket for not having a permit?

During my time in the military, there were always on us to perform “preventive maintenance.” Fix it before you have a problem. If there is a law that states “do not,” then there is a reason for “do not.” Correct it before you have a problem.

For about 10 years, I was a member of the Oak Harbor Police Community Advisory Board. During that time I had many “ride alongs” with officers during their tour.

My target was to ride along with officers covering each day of the week and each shift. That way I got a view of what the police were exposed to 24/7. Very educative for me as a resident of Oak Harbor.

At times, my driver pulled over someone who had just violated a minor traffic code. The officer explained to the driver that he had just violated a traffic code. No ticket this time but next time there will be a written citation.

I think most took his advice. Preventative maintenance.

There was one who would not. From the stories I heard, most of the officers had at one time given the young driver a written citation.

If the reason for the traffic stop was not a minor violation a written citation was issued. There is the story about cops always on a coffee break. During all those many “ride alongs,” there was only one coffee break. Not very many over a 10-year period.

Robert D. Brown

Oak Harbor

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Music Festival fabulous because of community

Editor, On behalf of the board of directors of the Oak Harbor… Continue reading

Letter: Navy naysayers will have irreversible consequences

Editor, To the misguided citizens trying so very hard to force the… Continue reading

Letter: Doing simple research would have prevented today’s noise complaints

Editor, I have two properties on Whidbey Island, both in the Oak… Continue reading

Letter: Fire district has been and will be served well by Koorn

Editor, I urge all residents of Island County Fire Protection District No.… Continue reading

Letter: Severns is committed to the city, should be re-elected

Editor, This letter is to express my support for the re-election of… Continue reading

Letter: Support the candidate who serves as a ‘voice of reason’

Editor, I want to compliment all who run for office as it… Continue reading

Letter: Failure to do due diligence is a self-inflicted injury

Editor, Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your “Growler flight path”… Continue reading

Letter: Proposed housing code change is a matter of greed

Editor, I’d like to respond to reporter Laura Guido’s article, “County eyeing… Continue reading

Letter: Publisher’s column on the nose about Growler noise

Editor, Dear Publisher Keven Graves, amen to your Sept. 21 column in… Continue reading

Most Read