Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just In Time for Christmas; Colfax Has Added Yet Another Branch of Police

Not satisfied that there is no longer any commerce in Colfax, or that Colfax is considered the speed trap of Washington State, they are now cracking down on offending Christmas wreaths and Coug flags.

Here is the City of Colfax's idiotic but feel-good, sensitive, politically correct statement, as reported in today's Whitman County Gazette:

Mayor Norma Becker at the start of Monday night’s council session outlined city policy behind an order which required Assistant Chief David Szambelan to remove a Christmas wreath from his assigned squad car. Szambelan reported on the wreath ban in a letter to the editor of the Gazette. He said he was ordered by the police chief to remove the wreath after the chief received a complaint from a city council member who was not identified.
Mayor Becker said the city’s police manual has been made more explicit on the use of city police cars. She said once the city received a complaint she felt the city really had to address the issue. After getting the complaint, she said she felt the wreath was very inappropriate.
Mayor Becker said the city’s personnel manual did not specifically address the situation and suggested it could possibly be changed.
City Attorney Bruce Ensley advised against changing the personnel policy to meet every contingency. Ensley said under the city’s chain of command the police chief had the authority to order the removal.
Councilwoman Jeannette Solimine said she felt Szambelan’s letter, which said he was ordered to remove the wreath because of a complaint from a council member, “really put a bad light on the council.” She added she was under the impression that the city over the years has received several complaints about the Christmas decoration and a WSU window flag which Szambelan has also flown on the squad car.
Mayor Becker pointed out motorists from Oregon or other areas who were stopped by police could find reason to object if the squad car was flying a WSU Cougar flag.

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