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Safety at risk when police officers talk on cell phone

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Many times while driving throughout Minnesota I have observed our officers of the law driving while holding a cell phone and talking.

Today, I was faced at an intersection with such a situation. I was exiting the Paul Bunyan waterfront with a green light, as a vehicle was coming from the east and not slowing down in any way to observe the red light in that direction. I had to look again to see that my light was green, as the vehicle continued through, obviously not stopping for the red light, and did not attempt to brake until under the light. There I could see in front of me that it was a police vehicle. As I was a bit bothered by this, I pulled up beside the police vehicle in the accompanying lane at the next light by the Bemidji Community Arts Center. I looked directly at the officer and he was still conversing on the phone and he shrugged his shoulders at me.

Another note, in the facing traffic, coming from Third Street was the police vehicle that distributes parking tickets. This must have been observed by the driver of that vehicle as well. Will this be discussed among staff or overlooked?

Shouldn't our police force be equipped with a headset to speak on the phone, and if not, be driving without the distraction of a conversation as well as only one hand on the steering wheel? Safety is my concern here.

Thankfully, no accident happened.

Karen L. Ryan

Bemidji

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