Upon hearing about this proposal to fine people who do not lock their car doors, I pictured a small town. How else would they be able to tell police officers to use their time by walking around checking car doors to see whether or not they were locked. I was quite wrong in this assumption. According to the Upper Moreland Township website , this area occupies 7.5 square miles and has a population of 24,993 residents. According to the treasurer’s report , there is a $100.00 balance in the police department fund. With so many people, such a large area to cover and a mere $100.00 in their Police Department Fund account, I have to wonder, is this proposal worth the taxpayer’s money? Below are two (of many) reasons I don’t believe this ordinance should be passed.
Upper Moreland Township Proposing Car Locking Ordinance-The Cost
I can see their point as to why the commissioners proposed this bill. In Upper Moreland Township, most of the stolen property reports are from cars. So I am imagining their line of thinking is, that by forcing people to lock their car doors by law, in the end there will be less money spent on hours because less stolen property equals less calls, less reports and so on. However, it leaves me to wonder if they are thinking of the time spent checking on cars and writing fines. Given their current reporting on the department finances, I think they would be far better off right now thinking of the present, not possible future crimes.
Upper Moreland Township Proposing Car Locking Ordinance-Invasion of Privacy
I can see where this could lead to loopholes in existing laws that protect our privacy. This in turn leads to abuse of power. I can see where the police officers could start using this law as an excuse to not only check to see if the cars are open, but to search them as well. I can hear the words probable cause being uttered already. If someone is an upstanding citizen and have nothing to hide why should this matter? It matters a lot. One abuse leads to another and another. There are reasons we have existing laws against illegal search, and most of them are because of prior abuse. Just ask anybody who’s been wrongfully targeted by police and they will tell you wholeheartedly that these abuse of powers do exist. Sometimes willfully, sometimes this is done truly by accident. Do we really need another loophole?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I myself would be pretty unhappy if I was in serious need of a police officer and the one closest to me was tied up writing tickets for unlocked cars. The police are busy enough with violent crimes and drug activity. In my opinion this proposal was not well thought out. Taxpayer’s money would be better spent in so many other areas, like the police department itself.