A few pre-Thanksgiving thoughts to ponder, and maybe debate:

Things really have changed in the police world when you read about a patrol officer confessing to drunk driving before he’s even arrested (“Norton cop charged with OUI, leaving crash scene,” Nov. 16).

The story by police reporter David Linton included the charges against the off-duty officer and the fact that he had been put on administrative leave.

Police acknowledged that the officer had left the scene. The patrol commander, who was given the license plate number of the hit-and-run driver, deduced who it was, called his cellphone and the officer “allegedly admitted that he was involved in a crash but not injured.” Thus began the investigation.

Police Chief Brian Clark, to his credit, acknowledged the incident “puts a black eye on the department” and said he had called the other driver to, as Linton put it, “offer the department’s support.” (The other driver was a 60-year-old Fairhaven woman who was treated and released from Morton Hospital in Taunton.) There was no attempt at a coverup here.

I’ve seen several examples of how enlightened local police chiefs have changed their approach to people who get in trouble, also the officers under them who get in trouble, and troubled people in general. As a result the public is ultimately better served.

In the Norton case, a court appearance is scheduled in December. The crime will be prosecuted and what happens to the officer remains to be seen. You can be sure The Sun Chronicle will follow up

Now, this is a coverup

An Attleboro woman was the victim of a fishing scheme at the Post Office on Pleasant Street (Route 123). She dropped two letters with bill payments into the outside mailbox, which were later “fished” out by a thief, altered and used to drain her bank account of $10,000. (“Mail thieves flourish in city,” Nov. 18).

The bill payments were small and her bank covered the loss because it was fraud, city reporter George W. Rhodes reported.

What bothered Brenda Haskell of Richardson Avenue is that despite repeated complaints the Attleboro postmaster had not replaced the old-fashioned drop box with a secure one that would make it virtually impossible for a thief to steal mail.

She was backed up by Police Chief Kyle Heagney who said there had been no less than 21 thefts from that very mailbox since Oct. 1.

He cautioned residents against using that drive-up mailbox.

“Drop it in the Post Office itself until an anti-fishing box is installed.” (Heagney also noted there had been thefts from the South Attleboro Post Office.)

So what was the Attleboro postmaster’s response? Zero. Reporter Rhodes said he was referred to the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office in Boston which would only say, “The local postal inspectors are aware.”

Your federal government at work.

Oooh, look at the F/A-18 fighter jets

Isn’t it time Bob Kraft dispensed with the military jet flyovers at Gillette Stadium (photo, Nov. 16)? He looks like North Korea leader Kim Jong Un showing off his missile mockups in some Cold War military parade.

Fans of the New England Patriots know that the next global war will be the absolute last war the world ever sees. This is just political saber rattling for votes.

One last thought

Hands are very useful. Today every hand carries a cellphone. That may be off-putting, but you have to admit it’s better than when every hand carried a cigarette.

NED BRISTOL is a former Sun Chronicle editor.

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