The Journal Sentinel does a nice job documenting the drop in State Patrol ticketing on the highways when many officers were called for Capitol crowd control during the recent protests, but let's not forget that Republicans Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald further diverted patrol officers from traditional duties by sending them searching for absent Senate Democrats.
I'd love to see an accounting of the patrol hours lost to the political demands made by Fitzgerald on the agency, which is now run by his dad, 68-year-old Stephen Fitzgerald.
The senior Fitzgerald, a former Dodge County sheriff, lost an election to return to the position in September, 2010, and then, presto! - - over five in-house candidates - - was chosen to command the State Patrol by the Walker administration less than a month after the swearing-inn.
I posted this commentary about a month ago:
Thursday, February 24, 2011
In the state that leads the nation in drunken driving and binge drinking and drunken-driving fatalities, sending Wisconsin Stare Patrol officers to all fourteen Senators' homes early Thursday morning to flush them towards the Capitol for voting is a foolish and dangerous waste of resources.
State Sen. Tim Cullen, a Janesville Democrat, reports visits on two separate days.
Worse, the Walker administration just appointed Stephen Fitzgerald, the father of the Republican leaders of both Wisconsin legislative houses, superintendent of the state patrol.
So nepotism meets abuse of power.
The State Patrol is staffed with sworn, armed officers. It should be free of political influences, with officers assisting motorists in distress, or pulling over unsafe vehicles, overweight trucks, speeders, and drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.