For months, Denver residents have been hearing the sob story about the city’s budget shortfall (despite its aggressive pursuit of parking tickets) and the importance of passing 2A to help stabilize the Denver budget. And, then, there are the million yard signs advocating for the tax hike for Denver’s families. But, despite the so-called shortfall, the Denver Police Department’s has a new toy, a low-rider squad car designed by students. Here’s what the Denver Post had to say about the absurdity: “It has everything a traditional squad car does, but it’s the details that make it pop — or drop.”
DPD’s second (yes, second) low-rider is painted deep blue and is equipped with 18-inch chrome rims, hydraulic lifts (these allow the driver to raise or lower the chassis), and a custom sound system with two sub-woofers in the trunk. To be fair, some of the time and funds dedicated to pimping this ride were donated by Colorado State Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association and mechanics, so its only partially a boondoggle.
Amazingly, Denver’s Manager of Safety Alex Martinez said “the lowrider is just another way the police department can continue to create a relationship with the community.”
Actually, Mr. Martinez, you know what would create a better relationship with the community? A police force that responded with appropriate force to complex situations. Does this lowrider accomplish that by coming with training in judgment and ethics? No? Then, not helpful.
In addition to community-building, this car also will be used to recruit new officers, according to the Denver Post article. But, one of the talking points of 2A has included that this tax increase will help save police jobs and pay police appropriately. Apparently, they haven’t gotten the full “cost of living” raises over the past few years. We’d like to have sympathy for their plight; however, small business owners haven’t gotten raises and some haven’t even taken a pay check to mitigate the economic catastrophe.
Everyone wants a strong police force and capable fire department, and that natural desire is going to make 2A an attractive option. However, a recession is not the time to raise taxes on struggling families. And while governments should take a more austere approach to management of services during these times, the Denver Police Department seems oblivious to the struggles of families trying to make it in the private sector.