To the editor:
Let me begin by giving a sincere congratulations to Sky View High School’s football team for winning state! This is in no way meant to be commentary about Sky View, football teams, or any other particular school or team.
I was leaving Smithfield on November 22 when I heard sirens and saw the flashing blue, white, and red of police cars. I imagined there was some sort of accident on Main Street, so I pulled over to the side, waiting for emergency response vehicles to pass me. The other cars in the area did the same. I was a little surprised to see the police cars driving so slowly, and even more surprised to see multiple school busses behind it. My initial thought was that something was seriously wrong. Why else would a police car escort a school bus?
Afterward, I googled “Sky View High School state” and discovered that the football team won state.
I’d like the community to consider the implications of police escorts for non-essential reasons. We are so programmed to think that these vehicles need top priority on the road because they are responding to emergencies or enforcing the law. This is the case 99% of the time; they have an important job to do. In my view, it sends a conflicting message when they escort sports teams, even if it is for a big accomplishment. It clogs traffic and uses police resources.
Maybe it’s time to reconsider this tradition.