Friday, 04 December 2009 00:00
On Dec. 1, I started my day. I left my home in Glen Cove, where I have lived for over 34 years. I drove through our beautiful town to Starbucks. I ordered my coffee. I had to wait while they brewed a fresh pot. I looked around while waiting. School Street was decorated for the holidays - Rita’s new Italian ice store, Gold Coast Realty, the new jewelry store. I felt good. School Street was breathing again. Starbucks gave me my coffee free because of the wait. I was happy to be in my town.
Then I got in my car and proceeded half a block when a Glen Cove police officer stopped me. I did not buckle my seat belt yet. He asked me to roll down my window and noticed my seat belt was not fastened yet. The intimidation now begins. I was asked to pull over with four other cars already stopped for the same thing - people leaving their town to go to work. By the way this was at 8:30 a.m. I was humiliated. I have not received a summons since I was a young man. I got out of my car to plead for a warning instead of a ticket. I think they would have arrested me if I did not go sit in my car. I believe they wrote five summonses while I was waiting. These were two officers in the middle of town, where the summer concerts were enjoyed by all. I went to the Police Station which is across the street. I was upset but the desk sergeant had great people skills. I am writing this letter because I made a mistake and could have received a warning but this was clearly a ticket revenue-generating event. So thanks to the people at Starbucks for your holiday spirit. I wish our peace officers had the same holiday spirit. I did not get a warning. I will give my friends and neighbors a warning. Please buckle up, it’s the law.