Representative Dooley July 23rd COVID-19 Update
11:42pm and we adjourned for the night on day 2 of the Police Reform Bill. It is still a crap sandwich but it is way better than the Senate version - and we aren't jamming it through in the middle of the night - so that's something. I'll wait to do the entire rundown on it once it is finalized - but unless it changes dramatically with the last 50 amendments - I will be a strong no.
One of the remaining amendments is one of mine. It states that whatever aspects of immunity may be taken away from a police officer also applies in kind to us. I think that is fair, we shouldn't as legislators have more rights and protections than the people protecting us. I'm not hopeful but I think it is important to try.
Unfortunately, the legislature is famous for being above the law - we created the open meeting law but exempted ourselves, freedom of information is required for all state and municipal employees down to the school bus driver - but nope - we carved out an exemption, all employees have the right to unionize - unless you are legislative staff - the law specifically prohibits it so we can fire at will with no protection, the list goes on and on.
And soon, a police officer (and slippery slope - everyone else will be next) will be able to have his protections stripped away by some political appointed board - a majority of which can never have had any affiliation with any police organization - get to determine if they have a job and are subject to lawsuits. Who would want that job.
I was talking to a few friends that are cops and we were saying - jeez- remember 2 months ago when we were heroes and everyone was asking us to do a parade for their kids birthday and thanking us for protecting them and putting ourselves in harms way. And overnight we are evil racist, mean, and deserve to be abused. It is so sad and I will be honest - it makes me mad.
Let's get rid of the bad cops, let's increase training and education, (remember up until last year the democratic legislature refused to even fund the police training), and move forward - identifying problems and making things better. Progress. These officers at least deserve to have a seat at the table and be listened to. They put their lives on the line for us. I got a gut wrenching email from Cindy Chesna (Officer Michael Chesna's widow) this afternoon. It was personal so I won't share it - but the arrogance of our actions, disrespecting heroes like him and the other brave men and women putting their lives on the line is disgusting and it infuriates me. These same people who are throwing the police under the bus today, will be posing for a photo op and inviting them and their union to their fundraiser tomorrow. And God forbid if there is a protest out there - call the police and escort me to my car.
Ok, if I wasn't wound up before, I am now. I have some time (I think( tomorrow morning to do some catch up on my cover stats - but they have remained pretty flat. Someone said that their was a spike amongst college kids in the KP towns but the graphs and spreadsheets I pulled up from the health reports doesn't say that at all (minor increase in total in Plainville and Norfolk in past 14 days and minor decrease in Wrentham - and by minor I mean 5 or less over the 2 week period)- But I (and the charts) have been wrong before so I have requested the info be specifically pulled by DPH as they will have the most up to date data - and hopefully they get it back to me sometime tomorrow.
Well, long day and tomorrow will probably be similar (and maybe Saturday - woo hoo! - after all, it is simply a 9-5 job, LOL) Keep staying safe, wearing your mask, washing your hands, try not to party in crowds - it just isn't worth it - even if you don't care about getting sick - I don't think I can handle going back to the beginning of all of this. And I know my wife can't handle having to deal with me 24/7 again. So for the sake of my marriage and sanity (hmm, I'm sure there is a joke in their somewhere) be good, be better than good, be awesome!