Uncommon Common Sense: LAPD's Union Bucks the Brass

By W.D. Reasoner on April 24, 2012

A short while back, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced, with the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, that he was promulgating a new "Special Order 7", under which officers will no longer immediately impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days if they meet certain criteria such as having car insurance and no prior convictions for driving without a license.

The basis for the order became apparent fairly quickly, as various illegal alien advocacy groups came rushing forward to endorse the proposed change, which, they claimed, had put an "undue burden" on illegal aliens caught behind the wheel with no driver's licenses (to which they are not entitled under California law).

Last week, the Los Angeles Daily News published an article updating us on events surrounding this change in policy, effective as of April 22. It appears that the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police officers' union, is less than comfortable with the special order and is suing to enjoin its application, arguing among other things that it would violate state law.

According to the article, "Beck developed the proposal, with the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as a way to offer incentives to drivers to comply with the law when it comes to having insurance and identification."

Wait. What? This kind of bloviating from public officials doesn't just offend the ear. It insults the intellect by letting us see in just what low regard they hold our reasoning capabilities. Saying black is white and white is black does not make it so. Even the meanest understanding recognizes that a pig in a tuxedo is still just a pig.

Leaving unlicensed drivers in possession of their cars to encourage them to "comply with the law" is like leaving the bottle in front of an alcoholic to encourage him to develop fortitude. Drunks will inevitably take a swig and unlicensed drivers, once they think the coast is clear, will be back behind the wheel and on the highway again in no time at all. Why does Mr. Beck think they obtained cars to begin with?

Shame on Mr. Beck, whose job is to protect the community. And kudos to the police union for taking a stand in favor of public safety and against this political maundering. It shows uncommon common sense.