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Letter: To Serve and protect

I was fortunate to have June 30 off from work. That gave me the opportunity to take my 3-year-old daughter to the Fourth of July parade in downtown Dickinson.

There she had the chance to see police cruisers, fire trucks and many politicians, who were obviously campaigning to become our next elected officials. All of these people kept my daughter busy picking up Tootsie Rolls from the street.

My gratefulness for this event quickly changed into me being disturbed. I observed at least half of the officers and drivers of the fire trucks distracted by actively using their cellphones while parading through town. And I noticed every young child distracted by the large amounts of candy in front of them.

This combination is a recipe for disaster. Kids will be kids, but is this responsible behavior by our city employees who take an oath to serve and protect the community? Were any of their calls so important as to jeopardize the safety of the town's youth? Does it set a good example for the rest of the community who work in the oil industry or the private sector?

I think not.

I am employed as an oil field crane operator. And I am sure such recklessness on the job would cause me to be terminated from my position. I can guarantee that Marathon Oil, or Occidental USA would not tolerate such behavior on any of their locations. The local police and fire departments have much to learn from the oil industry. Although many people highlight the negative things the oil industry brings to town, they set the standard for safety.

Except for Halloween, I can't think of any other time throughout the year when there are as many kids out in public and on the roadways, especially when kids of all ages are coming way to close to the moving traffic. All drivers should be alert and free from distractions.

I hear advertisements daily on local radio stations warning about intoxicated drivers and the DUI task force. I believe this task force needs a reality check. I wish I could see them disbanded and begin to concentrate their efforts on a different aspect of road safety; that being hands-free electronic device usage. After all, isn't texting and calling creating more of a hazard on our roadways. Are there not more people distracted by texting than by drinking?

Andrew Gonsorowski, Dickinson