Monday, November 13

What Kind of Driving Should We Expect From JSO?

Today at around 11:40am, I saw two Jacksonville Sheriff vehicles either responding to a crime or committing ones, but I'm not really sure how to figure it out. I was on Monument Road, nearly to McCormick, and a JSO vehicle pulled up alongside my car very quickly, nearly hitting the car in the left lane. Then the officer tailgated the driver in front of him until that driver pulled into my lane. I figured the officer was responding to a call, an assumption seemingly confirmed by another JSO vehicle heading west on McCormick towards Monument about two minutes later. The second police car had lights on but not the siren, so maybe both of these cars were responding silently to a break-in or something.

I went home to check the calls for service on the JSO website. I want to know if something was happening in my neighborhood, and I figured if there were two units responding, then something was going on. The problem is that there was nothing listed anywhere near Monument and McCormick around 11:40am:

I want to error on the side of JSO here and assume there was a legitimate reason for one officer to be intimidating drivers on the road and the other to be alarming other drivers with his/her emergency lights. However, I have heard some of the stories from friends of mine who are police officers, so I know they will occasionally use the official vehicles to get places faster.

In all honesty, it's not the community's job to police the police force. Even though I took a photo of the JSO vehicle that was tailgating, I'll leave it out of this article. I'd rather the officers police themselves. Would they want another officer doing these things if there wasn't a call? Besides, maybe there was something going on. I later found that there was a domestic dispute call at 12:29pm in the area. Perhaps these police officers were anticipating the call. Or maybe the system records the calls after the officers have completed the investigation rather than when they are called to the scene. Since I can't be sure, I can't accuse anyone of inappropriate behavior.

In my mind, however, if a police officer is responding to a call, then he or she should use appropriate measures to ensure the safety of innocent people who are just driving around. Generally, this would mean lights and a siren, I assume.

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