As I've written before, paid police details are a scam and ought to go. At jjdaley.com (a Boston daily read), John Daley takes a different view. He's wrong. He writes that throwing out the paid police detail system because of a corruption scandal would be tossing the baby with the bath:
There are two separate issues: police details themselves and police abusing the system. The [Boston] Globe apparently has them confused. Tightening up on the latter is reasonable. Abolishing details altogether, a Globe goal, is not.
[The Globe] paints it as a police union intimidation issue. Menino, who has made his reputation in standing up to police unions, is in favor of paid details. Barbara Anderson, quoted in the Globe story, doesn't have a dog in the fight. Details don't cost taxpayers anything. Why exactly was she approached for the story?
I strongly disagree with Mr. Daley's opinion.
It is a police union intimidation issue. When hundreds of uniformed cops protest your every move, that's intimidation. Of course Menino will back the details. Remember the disgraceful conduct of the police union around the DNC?
The taxpayers do have an interest. I'm no fan of Barbara Anderson, but she's right about the burden. The city requires details. NStar, Verizon, and Modern Continental are forced to pay for the details. They get the money by raising rates or raising their construction bids. Either way, we pay.
In general, police details cost too much, waste police resources, diminish extant police resources, are open to abuse and are widely abused. They need at least to be reformed, if not abolished.