So a friend and I were in a 7-11 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan the other night getting my daily Slurpee (no, I don’t really get one every day, but sometimes it seems like it), and there was a Dearborn Heights police car parked in the parking lot, but still running.
Inside the 7-11 were 2 Dearborn Heights police officers over by the magazine rack reading a magazine. I figured they were just in there to quickly buy something so they just left the car running.
So I went over to the Slurpee machine and made my Slurpee, picked up a 2 liter of Diet Mt. Dew, and got some candy. That took a few minutes – the officers are still there looking through magazines and just talking to each other, with both of their backs turned toward the car. At that point, I began to wonder, “Why are they still here?”
So I got in line and waited for the cashier to get to me to ring me up, paid, and left. The policemen were still there. My friend and I were in the 7-11 for over 5 minutes, and in that time, the officers did nothing but read a couple magazines, with their car still running.
Now, I understand the logic behind leaving a car running for a long period of time so that the battery doesn’t drain, but if they were only going to be in there for a semi-short period of time, they could’ve easily turned the car off and saved the gas without putting their battery in jeopardy. (And I have seen policemen turn their cars off when going in to a restaurant, so I know that they can be turned off for at least a certain amount of time without the equipment inside draining the battery).
But that’s not the biggest problem I had. I’m more curious about why they were in a 7-11 reading magazines instead of doing what they’re supposed to be doing – out on patrol or taking calls. Also, why wasn’t at least one of them watching the car? Every winter, I heard on the news a local police chief urge people not to leave running cars unattended because it might get stolen. The same goes for a police car. What’s to stop a drunk (or stupid) teenager from getting dared into stealing a police car? Sure, they wouldn’t get away with it, but chasing after them would still use up more police resources.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a LOT of respect for police officers – overall they’re probably one of my favorite groups of people. But what I saw seemed to be nothing more than a waste of time and taxpayer money.