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Yyyyyyyyyyeah... I just moved to this state (sorry, Commonwealth) not that long ago, and when I heard this dust-up over police detail being required as flagmen, I thought (and this is a direct quote): "huh?"

I can guarantee you, where I come from, they have regular plain ol' civilians (plain, except for the fact that they go through the same safety training, etc. as police do here) doing this job, and I assure you they do the job just fine.

Except for the guns... Maybe packing heat is a benefit in the most dire of traffic cop situations.... Hmm.

John K

You stole my idea!

Same day, but in the North End. Salem Street. Complete street blocked-off. Police officer dozing.


Cops ought jsut stick to fighting crime, Ooops I forgot, in this state most of the police ARE the crime.


Perhaps you should talk with some of the construction crews, engineers, etc about how they feel if cops were replaced with some kid with an orange vest while inspecting tunnels and bridges.
I work with about 40 engineers and many of them have stories of drunk drivers, speeders, harassment, crashes, illegally parked cars, etc.
What would a kid in an orange vest do?

Aaron Weber

For bridges and high-speed roads, we'd still have cops directing traffic. And for other situations, the trained flagger would call the police if they spotted a crime.

As it happens, this system works out fine in 49 other states.


Same thing in Back Bay on Tuesday. Sidewalk work at the foot of the Arthur Fielder footbridge. Not even on the road. State cop sipping cawfee, watching workers dig a hole.

Jay Levitt

"What would a kid in an orange vest do?"

@Liz: Why? What did the cop do?

I think we need a Flickr tag for "cop on detail, staring at cool construction equipment, facing away from traffic."


The ignorace amazes me. The state scams the citizens over and over and nobody catches on. They combined the Troopers and Mets to have one State Police force, then they invent the Park Rangers. The Boston does the same thing with the Municipal Police and the Boston Police then creates Boston City Security. Now, feeding of the primal hatred towards authority, the state is going to intoduce flaggers. God we are idiots. The amazing 75 cents an hour we save by using flaggers is going to be replaced with rising health care benifits and pensions. But we are just happy we got to hurt some cops. Those cops who make all that money by working 80 hour weeks. How dare they better their lives, how can our servants work harder and make more money then us? It is simple economics, it is cheaper to pay an employee time and a half for 40 hours a week than to hire a second employee at the same pay and provide benifits. Flaggers are just hacks in vests and we are the idiots letting the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University run our government.

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If only the 350 cities and towns could find the same political will. We can break the back of the police unions here, if people don't chicken out.

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The situation is not hopeless. Policing has seen much progress.

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What does working detail mean? Is it the cop's job to watch the work being done? I don't get it.

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Not sure what the police offers is doing there; unloading a truck doesn't seem like a task that needs police presence.


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