Opinion: Standing by the original thesis on motorcycle patrols

Donald Yeckel

La Jolla resident

The Oct. 14 issue of the La Jolla Light had a strongly worded and rather emotional letter, signed by six community leaders, that condemned a cartoon in the Oct. 7 Light. The cartoon depicted two motorcycle police officers chortling over their bag of traffic citations at the intersection of Fay and Genter and on La Jolla Scenic Drive.

I had no involvement whatever with the cartoon, but it seems to have been inspired by my letter in the Sep. 22 Light, which specifically referred to traffic enforcement at those locations. I agree that the cartoon was heavy-handed, but the signers of the letter greatly over-reacted. Somehow they extrapolated from the one to two Traffic Division motorcycle police who cover La Jolla, whose job is enforcing traffic laws, to the entire 2,000-plus sworn personnel San Diego Police Department.

I believe the facts speak for themselves. Based on the San Diego Police Department’s “Neighborhood eWatch Notification” reports I receive listing police reports issued within a one-mile radius of my house, during the three months from July through September the SDPD issued 88 citations at the intersection of Fay and Genter and 56 citations in the 6300-6400 blocks of La Jolla Scenic Drive.

There is no long-term history of traffic accidents at or near those locations, and only one during that three-month period. In contrast, they issued only five citations on Nautilus Street between La Jolla Boulevard and La Jolla Scenic Drive South, where there are a middle school, a high school and a long history of serious traffic accidents (including two accidents during that three-month period). The 6900 block of La Jolla Boulevard had only three citations despite three accidents during that period.

The title that the Light assigned to my letter continues to be appropriate: “Steer motorcycle officers to better La Jolla locations.”