Published 12:00 am Monday, July 12, 2004
The following is intended only to provide information you would not ordinarily have available to you. Think what you will when you read these numbers; just remember you are paying for them via your miniscule property taxes.
The city of Suffolk has a total fleet of 436 vehicles, as of this moment. This list does not include any off-road or support equipment like water pumps, trailers, etc.
Sheriff, 13 vehicles; Public Works, 61; Police,170; Public Utilities, 57; Fire, 41; Parks and Recreation, 20; Fire Volunteer, 15; all other departments, 44; and rescue, 15.
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Only God knows about those &uot;other&uot; 44. This list includes cars, pickup trucks, work trucks, trash trucks, sewer trucks, fire trucks, dump trucks, and special application vehicles.
Sixty-two of the vehicles are SUV-type; 11 Compact; 42 mid-size; 3 full-size; and 6 oversize.
Think what you want about these, but city officials insist they are necessary because of the type of terrain where they might be used. Remember, this is a very mountainous area. If you are interested in cost per mile breakdown you will note that the Compact SUVs at 3 cents per mile are cheaper than Compact cars at 4 cents per mile. Surprising. And their figures state that there is no difference between the cost of Compact cars and Mid-size, both cost 3 cents per mile.
So why all this fuss about SUVs? But full- size SUVs jump to 7 cents per mile and over-size leap to 12. Full-size police cars cost patrol at 10 cents. I have no clue as to how they figure any of these costs per mile. Probably the same computer that calculates our assessed valuation.
One year ago Australians were forced to surrender their 640,383 personal firearms to be destroyed by the government, a program that cost the taxpayers more than half a billion dollars (That’s $780.79 for every gun collected and destroyed. The first year results are now in and Australia-wide homicides are up 3.2 percent. Assaults are up 8.6 percent, and armed robberies up 44 percent. In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Trouble was that criminals forgot to turn in their guns and John Q Public is now far more vulnerable than before. Only idiots did not know this would happen.
The previous 25 years had shown a steady decrease in armed robbery but now the baddies are almost guaranteed their prey is unarmed. Break-ins and assaults of the elderly have seen a dramatic increase. Dad’s closet shotgun is gone and even the modern cell-phone can’t bring police help fast enough.
Of course the politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased after such a monumental effort and expense in ridding Australian society of guns. Have you heard any of our 6:30 talking heads mention these statistics? Hopefully politicians in this country have access to these facts and will learn from them. The Australian experience proves &uot;Guns in the hands of honest citizens saves lives and property, and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law abiding citizens. But take away machine guns.
I have passed this hijacking scheme onto my email friends and you should know about it too. Picture this – you jump in your car, lock the door, put on your belt and start the engine. Suddenly, looking into your review mirror you notice some official looking paper on the back window. Your take off the belt, jump out to see what it is and WHAMMO, the hijacker jumps into your running car and takes off with your purse, child, pet, you name it. And he may back over you in the bargain. Beware; be wise.
Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org