Roy Exum: Profile ‘Em, Chief Fletcher!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I’m as excited as most people that Fred Fletcher will be sworn in as Chattanooga’s new police chief this Thursday. Believe it or not, he’s already made an impact. Since he was hired from Austin, Texas, the personable guy has competed in some bicycling and running events which is quite a change from the remarkable leaders who have served before, and I am eager to watch our community embrace him.

Before he takes this week’s oath of office, the veteran lawman may be well advised to learn a quick lesson from Chief David Oliver, who heads a small but efficient police department in Brimfield, Ohio. Located in the northeastern area of the state near Akron, Brimfield has far fewer shootings, assaults and drug problems than Chattanooga but – nonetheless - Chief Oliver has started demanding that his officers profile citizens, and he makes no apology for it.

“We make a good amount of traffic stops and arrests, yet we issue few citations. That all changes on Monday, June 9th, 2014. For the summer, we will become an agency with a mission to write tons of tickets. We are not doing this for the revenue,” he said in a public warning.

“As part of this mission, we will be profiling a certain group of people. If you belong to this group of people, I will not apologize for the inconvenience if you are stopped. It is not harassment, so don’t go there,” he added in a terse announcement that has gone viral on the Internet.

“I am ordering my officers to stop anyone (using expert profiling techniques taught to us by an ancient order of Shaolin monk police officers) who is a member of this group of people,” Oliver’s edict to all homeowners read. “When my officers observe anyone belonging to this specific group, we will immediately stop the person or persons (sometimes they travel in groups) and give them a ticket.”

As the liberals in the community began to twist, Chief Oliver then brought the thunder. “Effective June 9th, 2014, we begin ‘Operation Safe Summer.’ My officers are ordered to stop anyone appearing to be 15 years of age or under who is riding a bicycle and wearing a helmet while doing so,” Oliver wrote. “My officers will then issue the youthful offender a ticket for a free ice cream cone from Frank’s Drive-in.”

My goodness, is that a wonderful slice of Americana or what? The concept is hardly new. At Chief Oliver’s request the folks at Frank’s Drive-In handed out over 200 ice cream cones to kids last summer but this year the cops will be out in earnest. Imagine what vibes it would create if Soddy -Daisy’s police or Collegedale’s finest would ticket some unsuspecting and over-heated young peddlers this summer.

Helmets reduce head trauma by about 70 percent. And ice cream can develop a bond between kids and cops that will last for the rest of their lives. Chief Fletcher knows well the friendships that are built through recreational sports and wouldn’t it be cool, in a manner of speaking, if we could devise more ways to build some sorely needed bridges?

* * *

Whole Foods grocery stores in Memphis and Nashville are legally selling wine right now, rather than waiting until July 2016 per our puzzling legislature. According to the Nashville Business Journal, the slick way it is being done is with a recently discovered loophole in a Tennessee law that allows for “cork and carry” at restaurants and wine bars that are inside grocery stores.

The trick is real simple. The customer orders a bottle of wine, has it opened by a store employee and then tastes a prescribed-by-law two ounces, just as you would in a trendy restaurant. Then the cork is put back in the bottle, it is bagged and paid for at the wine bar – not the regular cash register – and out the door you go with a sweet taste in your mouth.

I’ll bet you could do it in Chattanooga and in all other grocery stores where food is being served.

Is that clever or are our politicians a little goofy?

* * *

Monte Harrison, a sensational football player who the University of Nebraska plucked out of Lee, Missouri, was believed to be so athletic he could have played wide receiver for the Cornhuskers this fall but a funny thing happened on his way to college.

Last weekend Monte, an outfielder in baseball, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round and, after being picked 50th overall, was faced with a tough decision. The Brewers realized that and, after they offered the gifted kid a $1.8 million signing bonus, he has decided to sign a contract rather than attend Nebraska.

* * *

There will be a lot of familiar faces at the graduation ceremony when William Tennett High School sends its 2014 Senior Class into the world. Of the 485 students who will graduate at the school located in the Philadelphia suburbs, there will amazingly be 14 sets of twins.

For the record there are five sets of male twins, seven sets of male-female siblings and two sets of girl twins. Researchers say the chance of twins is up 78 percent since 1980, this due to fertility drugs and the like.

royexum@aol.com



City Officials Should Tour Our Roads

As we near the election in March, now would be a good time for our city officials who are up for re-election to spend a little time exploring their realm.   I would invite them to take a scenic tour starting at Lake Resort Drive paying attention to the portion of the road which was recently repaired which now appears to be sliding back towards the lake again.  Follow ... (click for more)

Senator Alexander: Senate Should Promptly Confirm Betsy DeVos

Democrats desperately are searching for a valid reason to oppose Betsy DeVos for U.S. Education Secretary because they don’t want Americans to know the real reason for their opposition.  That real reason? She has spent more than three decades helping children from low-income families choose a better school. Specifically, Democrats resent her support for allowing tax dollars ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police To Add 14 Officers After Violent Weekend; New System To Allow Local Testing Of Shell Casings

In the wake of a weekend in which five people were shot with two dying, the Chattanooga Police Department is adding 14 more officers, Mayor Andy Berke and Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday. The department is also utilizing a new system that will allow local testing of shell casings and avoid a long wait time after sending them off to Nashville. Chief Fletcher also said there ... (click for more)

McReynolds, Brooks Arrested After Police Chase Ends In Crash On Monroe Street; Accord Had Been Stolen From Dealership

Marquis McReynolds, 25, and Jermichael Brooks, 23, were arrested after a police chase on Monday.   A task force including the ATF, FBI, and Chattanooga Police Department officers pursued a stolen vehicle. That pursuit resulted in a traffic crash and the arrest of two convicted felons.   The pursuit began at 5200 Highway 58 just after 7 p.m. after police ... (click for more)

Big McClendon Curtis Leads Central Past Hixson

Central coach Rick Rogers knew this would be a long season for his Purple Pounder basketball team after his top seven players graduated last year. He’s exactly right, but things are headed in the right direction for Rogers as his team improved to 5-10 overall and 3-6 in District 6-AA with a heart-stopping one-point win at Hixson Monday night. That’s two wins in a row and the ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Bradley Central No. 1 And No. 2 In State Wrestling Poll

Now in its 25th year, The Poll is primarily a measure of  dual meet strength  with some consideration to individual tournament strength.   Votes are cast by a state-wide panel of high school wrestling coaches and are based on a maximum Power Ranking of 100%.   STATE POLL:   RANK ... (click for more)