Deputy Colton

Wednesday, September 10th 2008, 10:34 pm
By: News 9

My assignment tonight on the Payne County Sheriff's Office is a wake-up call for all Oklahoma citizens.

The purpose of the story is to bring awareness to the lack of drivers training that may exist inside local law enforcement agencies, and the liability it brings with it.

Deputy Colton is 29 years old and has wrecked three police cars.   Now, don't get me wrong.  I truly to realize officers, deputies and troopers spend hours on the road each shift and the conditions that endure.  I'm also aware that many accidents involving our boys in blue are caused by other drivers who don't pay attention or fail to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.

However, in Colton's case he has nobody to blame but himself.

In his first accident, he damaged a city of Stroud police car by crossing the median and hitting another vehicle.  In his second accident, Colton fell asleep at the wheel, and in the most recent crash, investigators say the deputy was distracted by his police radio.

The question we must ask ourselves:  Is Colton, and other who have a similar history of accidents, a threat to citizens on our public roadways?   My personal answer is yes.  Colton could have hit a pedestrian or hit head-on with another passing vehicle and the results could have been fatal.  We simply can't take the chance with somebody who continues to have a track record of these accidents, not to mention a past case of drinking and driving and the numerous other traffic violations on his record.

This is why all citizens should pick up the phone tomorrow morning, call the sheriff's office and demand that all deputies receive more training behind the wheel.  It would also be wise to advise any and all local law enforcement agencies to reconsider the amount of consideration put into an applicant's driving record before he or she is hired to patrol our streets.

Failing to do so is not only costly to us, the taxpayers, who have to pay for the repairs and replacements of the wrecked patrol cars, but it's too dangerous.

Rusty Surette