On Thursday, a Santa Fe deputy driving a Dodge Durango SUV smashed into three vehicles at an intersection in Santa Fe while responding to a call. Here is what the front of her vehicle looked like. Totaled. It is remarkable no one was killed. Some members of the community have come to this deputy’s defense, invoking the “mile in their shoes” argument. One individual has pointed out that injuries were involved in the accident she was responding to, which justified her disregard for traffic lights: “Keep in mind she was responding to a crash with injuries, wouldny you want her getting there as quickly as possible of that were you or your family member involved in the crash!”
I sharply disagree with this viewpoint. A law enforcement officer responding to the scene of an auto accident in a reckless manner that endangers the lives of others, for which she then gets cited by her own department, is objectionable. Period. No “walk a mile in my shoes” argument pertains. Not even ambulance drivers (who are actual paramedics that may be able to render life-saving measures at the scene) are allowed to smash through red-lights as though the laws of physics have been suspended for them by flipping the overhead switch that reads, “Emergency Lights + Siren.” There is no switch for “Grand Theft Auto” in either police cars or emergency vehicles that I am aware of, although during my tour in Iraq, we drove as though that switch not only existed, but was permanently engaged. In Baghdad. In Iraq.
Santa Fe is no combat zone. Drive accordingly, sir.