Keeping safety, rights in check

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Results of a joint operation held at the end of August have stirred heated debate in the community over whether or not vehicle checkpoints in Polk County are excessive.

We’ve all likely driven up on flashing lights, sunk down in our seats, started to breathe a bit heavier as we try and remember if our insurance card is in our wallet. Most drivers get nervous as they go through a checkpoint, even when they have nothing to worry about as law-abiding citizens. Some residents, though, feel even as law-abiding citizens they should worry. They say our local law enforcement working with Homeland Security sends a bad signal. They say the number of checkpoints is excessive.

Though most on our staff say they’ve rarely driven through a checkpoint here, many of us also admit we’re rarely out later on weekend nights when checkpoints might be more likely.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

We do see the results, however, of the many stops that are made. We’ve also heard people say they’ve been stopped multiple times. It is a fundamental right – in fact even patriotic – to question your government. One should certainly raise a red flag when you think facts point to a segment of that government overstepping their bounds. This is why civil discourse on topics like this is so important.