Police

Voluntary Government Checkpoints Criticized in "Era of Rampant Distrust of the Federal Government"

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Reason

Some police departments across the U.S. are saying that they will no longer take part in the federal government's voluntary traffic checkpoints, which are designed to gather data for programs aimed at preventing drunk and drugged driving. 

From USA Today:

A tactic used by the federal government to gather information for anti-drunken and drugged driving programs is coming under criticism in cities around the country, and some local police agencies say they will no longer take part.

The tactic involves a subcontractor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that uses off-duty but uniformed police at voluntary roadside checkpoints where motorists are asked on their behavior behind the wheel. In some cases, workers at the checkpoints collect blood and saliva samples, in addition to breath samples. NHTSA has said previously that the surveys do not collect any DNA. Drivers are not charged at the checkpoints.

USA Today's reporting goes on to point out that the checkpoints have been heavily criticized this year in numerous cities during what is described as "an era of rampant distrust of the federal government."

In an era of rampant distrust of the federal government and in the wake of the Obama administration's National Security Agency surveillance scandal in which the agency has collected telephone calling records from millions of unsuspecting Americans, the checkpoints have come under intense criticism in several cities this year.

"Five years ago it would have been a different story," says St. Charles County, Mo., Sheriff Tom Neer, who recently authorized deputies to participate in a checkpoint in his St. Louis suburb and saw a public backlash. "There're just such strong anti-government feelings among people. Under the circumstances, I would not allow them to do it again. It's just because of the perception."

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  1. In some cases, workers at the checkpoints collect blood and saliva samples,

    WTF for?

    1. How else will they be able to frame anyone and everyone?

  2. what is described as “an era of rampant distrust of the federal government.”

    of

    “unexpectedly”

    “inexplicably”

    “bewilderingly”

    rampant

  3. Under the circumstances, I would not allow them to do it again. It’s just because of the perception.

    Without the negative perception, this would be hunky-dory then, right asshole? Fuck, even when people do the right thing they so often do it for the utterly wrong reason.

    1. Perception is also why cops routinely get away with murder. Admitting that they did something wrong might affect public trust. So it’s better to allow cops to commit murder than to punish them for it, because punishment would require admitting that what happened was not justified.

    2. Why do you hate America? Don’t you know that if our brave boys in blue were in any way hampered by pesky laws or accountability the streets will run wild with islamofascists and fleet-footed negroes?

  4. It’s just because of the perception.

    But not because of the principle. Got it.

    1. Scumbags are gonna scumbag.

    2. Principles in policing is so twentieth century.

      The twenty-first is the century of expedience.

  5. “voluntary traffic checkpoints”

    some of these words don’t work together.

    because even having to ‘slow down’ is not a ‘voluntary’ procedure. Can I just put a big, ‘Thanks, but No Thanks!” sign on my door and blow by doing 75mph? if not, then we’ve got issues.

  6. “Five years ago it would have been a different story,” says St. Charles County, Mo., Sheriff Tom Neer…

    He’s not wrong. A newly-elected, bright, clean and articulate president was at the helm, protecting us from all things Bush. “If Obama wants my bodily fluids, he must have a good reason.”

    1. You know who else wanted bodily fluids?

      1. That depends. Do they want the precious bodily fluids? Or the non-precious bodily fluids?

  7. “There’re just such strong anti-government feelings among people. Under the circumstances, I would not allow them to do it again. It’s just because of the perception.”

    These completely unjustified perceptions of out-of-control law enforcement agencies are ruining what once was a totally awesome job. Damn right wing nutjobs!

  8. “It’s just because of the perception.”

    It has everything to do with the strange perception that people have that the government is untrustworthy, and nothing at all to do with the fully justified and true belief that the government is untrustworthy.

  9. Truly, we are weeks away from Libertopia. “Where we’re going… we don’t need roads.”

    1. OMG! I just realized Doc Brown is a libertarian. He hates teh roadz!

      1. He was. But unfortunately for him, those Libyan terrorists he was going to get plutonium from were actually FBI agents, and he’s currently sitting in Gitmo without trial.

      2. He was. But unfortunately for him, those Libyan terrorists he was going to get plutonium from were actually FBI agents, and he’s currently sitting in Gitmo without trial.

        1. I hate squirrels.

          1. What about Libyan squirrels?

      3. You see Doc Brown. Proglodytes see Dr. Weir, Grand High Libertarian.

  10. The Sheriff is Neer.

  11. I assume since because the president is black, being against these policies is racist.

    Derp

  12. “There’re just such strong anti-government feelings among people.

    Oh, how I wish.

    “We need a sample of your saliva.”

    “Why!?”

    So we can collect your DN…for drug testing.”

    They just know control-hungry dickbags when they seem them.

  13. a subcontractor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that uses off-duty but uniformed police

    This is just total crap. Same thing with off duty, uniformed cops doing security work and other private work. Complete, unadulterated bullshit.

    1. This. My state, and I assume most states, have laws prohibiting bar employees from enjoying a drink after hours while wearing bar regalia, presumably to make busting servers drinking on the job easier for ATF cretins.

      If we can make laws addressing the sartorial habits of unarmed bar employees, why can’t we do the same for the armed thugs moonlighting on security details?

      1. If you’re off duty but wearing the uniform, in my book you’re impersonating an officer.

        1. Yep, you aren’t police when you’re off duty.

          I tell this to people all the time when they say, “You’re a computer guy. Let me ask you something.” My immediate reply is “I’m only a computer guy when I get paid to be a computer guy.”

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