Protect and serve….OK, maybe serve, if it’s not too much trouble.

I’ll say up front that I think Birmingham’s police force generally does good work, and I’m pretty happy to have them around. I’ve made a few friends on the force, and they’re good people.

Last night, I witnessed a moment that wasn’t the best for the boys in blue. Granted, this was also a very minor incident. I was driving home, and came across the aftermath of an auto accident, which had shut down my side of an intersection. At least two police cars were sitting in the intersection with their lights on, presumably to keep people on my side of the street from living out their Dukes of Hazzard or Starsky & Hutch fantasies by using the extended tow-truck bed as a ramp. The cross street was one way going to my left- so for people on my side of the street, the only way through the intersection was to turn left. There was no turn arrow on the traffic light, and poor visibility around the wreck, making it hard to see whether a car was coming in the one lane open in the opposite direction. A small clump of Birmingham’s finest was standing at the far left corner, watching the traffic as people tried to dodge one another to get around the wreck. Apparently, not a single one of them got the thought that directing traffic might be a good idea. I’m sure they’re taught this in the academy. Heck, even I can direct traffic. I was tempted to park my car and get out there to do it myself.

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