Where were the storm troopers?

Lately I’ve seen several letters to the paper about the recent power outage. The complaints range from “why aren’t our power lines buried?” to “why are there so many large uncut trees around town?” Granted, these are all valid points but I believe they ignore one of the biggest problems I’ve noticed. I believe one of the issues to be addressed is where were our policemen and women sworn to protect Oak Harbor residents during both major power outages, and the snow storm?

In all three instances, in total, I saw one, maybe two patrol cars. During the first power outage I stopped to buy some drinks in Albertsons and noticed how chaotic things were then. People were buying water in bulk, as well as all other groceries like they were preparing for the Apocalypse, or the next tsunami (which we were rumored to be receiving).

Driving through town took twice the normal time as drivers cautiously made their way through the many darkened stoplights. Yet I did not see one officer attempting to help direct traffic, something I feel would have been very appreciated.

The snowstorm was even worse. Oak Harbor doesn’t see much snow, so everyone was completely unprepared. Many cars were underweight to handle the snowy roads to the point where, on SR 20, going out of town past Blockbuster, cars were getting stuck one third of the way up the hill creating even more hazardous traffic conditions. Coming back into town, on that same hill, cars were sliding into the ditch on the side of the road. Even in the flat parts of town people were slipping and sliding and having problems navigating. But for the five cars I saw stuck on the roads in the space of 10 minutes and a distance of one quarter of a mile, I did not see any police helping.

Finally, I saw one officer during the last power outage who casually drove by me, as someone who decided to ignore right-of-way rules nearly hit me. In just driving through town I was nearly in an accident three times when impatient drivers decided to push through intersections against right-of-way after the cars in the same lane ahead of them had just gone through that same intersection. In those conditions it would have been much more preferable to have uniformed officers directing traffic rather than trust in the integrity and patience of other drivers.

I believe it’s high time we re-evaluated our police force. Yes, Oak Harbor needs some changes. And those changes need to begin with a reworking of the integrity, work ethic, and intentions of our local police force!

W. Cope

Oak Harbor