Deputy shouldn't have been cited for accident
To the Editor:
I am writing in regards to the incident that involved Deputy Folks and Tony Maneotis in February.
What do you think when you hear or see an emergency vehicle? I was taught to immediately move to the side of the road and stop so that the emergency vehicle can continue safely to their EMERGENCY destination.
There are people out there that are relying on those officers to aid in situations, but obviously some people are too busy talking and not paying attention to realize that all of the cars are stopped, even at a green light. Others see that officer with an understanding of the law and respond to the situation accordingly, they STOP.
I ask you, what do you think that you are teaching others in Moffat County through these actions? Obviously, you feel that you can justify your actions through blaming the deputy for performing his duties. What are you teaching our children? This is what you are teaching our children: To not obey laws because you obviously feel that you are above the law and free from the repercussions of your actions.
Your choices have been poor, beginning with the accident that you, sir, caused, then followed by your obvious lack of honor in that you have failed to take responsibility for your own actions. Now it is your responsibility not only to yourself, but also to your family and Moffat County to admit that you were not paying attention to your surroundings, indeed you, not the officer, because you know that it was you who failed to follow the law.
I offer my support for Deputy Folks. I applaud his courage, honor, along with his overall professionalism, for which he has demonstrated through his dedication to his work and his personal ethics.
Why did Mr. Maneotis not receive citation for failure to follow the direct orders of a law enforcement officer who was indeed following the laws? The law states, "Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible or visual signals...the driver of every other vehicle shall yield to the right of way..." and "...Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.n(42-4-705). I think that sums it up, quite nicely.
Why did Deputy Folks receive a citation for failure to control Mr. Maneotis's actions? He did everything in his authority to ensure a safe passage to the scene of an emergency. Obviously, we all know that without some type of restraint, it is impossible to control a person's actions, especially in another vehicle. If they fail to actively participate in the process, then they are considered to be evading the law and therefore deserve a citation for failure to obey the laws, right?
Who came to your aid while you were in your vehicle? I think you may have forgotten this in your thank you to "all those that helped you" letter to the editor.
I believe that Deputy Folks was the first to your aid and obviously continued in his duties to serve and protect even after you ran into him and totalled the vehicle. I am sure that you appreciated his assistance, right?
Why put lights and sirens on a vehicle, if you are not going to assist them in doing the job that you entrusted them to do? If I were a law enforcement officer, I would think twice before putting my life on the line and I would always remember that there is nothing there to stand beside me and my actions. By not issuing a ticket to the citizen who failed to follow the law, what are we saying about the laws and your future ability to serve and protect. Was that not sacrificed?
Finally, if our local government believes that the officer was at fault for doing his duty and his inability to stop that one individual (the rest stopped) that failed to appropriately control his vehicle, then the liability outweighs the risks, because no one can control someone else's actions, whether you are a law enforcement officer or not. This issue is one that leads me to believe that our legal system has failed the officers and the citizens of Moffat County. Why should an officer be committed by putting their life on the line to protect the community that has convicted another officer for actively performing his duties to the citizens of Moffat County?