By Buddy Hazell
Special to The News
This week, I am going to deviate from my normal subjects, and write about someone else. This week’s column is to give the Malakoff Police Chief Billy Mitchell and his staff the praise they deserve. I do want to point out two officers who have been assigned to School Zone duty; Officer Touncy Hart and Officer Robert Siegmund. The job these two men have done this past school year has been outstanding.
I take our seven year old daughter to school every morning, and pick her up every afternoon. I come into Malakoff from the east, and just before I get to Hillcrest, I see IT. See what? A sign hanging over both lanes of the west bound side of the Hi-way. The sign has four flashing lights, and between them in large letters, SCHOOL, speed limit 35 MPH. I can read it. So can you. Then I see him parked at the Village Center complex just waiting for you. Who do I see? I see “The Man In the Black car.
I normally turn up Hillcrest to Dewey and proceed to the Elementary School, I find on the corner of Dewey and N. College a sign, fully visible even to this 82 year old man. The sign reads School zone, 20 MPH. (Don’t tell Chief Mitchell, but sometimes I miss this sign and fail to slow down.)
There are a number of children that walk to school on Dewey Street, and have to walk on the street or just barely off the road. These children may dart out into the street without any warning; WHY, because they are kids.
These officers are not there to arrest you or give you a ticket; they are there to protect our children. However, depending on the violation or perhaps our attitudes, we may receive a citation or in a more severe case, you may be arrested and given a free ride to the Ray Nutt Hotel.
Just like adults, kids do a lot of stupid things; some things get us in trouble, severely injured, or killed. For we who drive in our School Zones, is it not stupid to enter a School Zone going faster than the law allows? Come on folks, these are our kids, yours and mine.
Talking with Chief Mitchell, I asked him, “What is the most used excuse for speeding in a School Zone”? His response really surprised me. I thought an adult would say, “I am late for work”; in the case of our School students, the tears will start to flow as they would say, “If I’m late one more time I will get ISS. But the most used excuse He said was “I’m sorry Officer I didn’t know I was in a School Zone.”
Aw, come on folks how stupid do we think our Police Officers are? JUST KEEP DOING YOUR JOB OFFICERS AND YOU WILL HAVE MY THANKS.