Sunday, July 19, 2015

Event Matrix for St. Augustine Needs One More Factor: Police Overtime -- Move Easter Parade to Easter Saturday Please!

City Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson has sparked a debate about large crowds attending special events, and how to weigh them.
Using data analysis techniques -- which would have been unheard of before Experian data analysis expert Nancy Shaver was elected Mayor -- Mr. Williamson wowed us all at the July 13, 2015 City Commission meeting.
I actually applauded.
But at least one more factor needs to be weighed: Police Overtime.
The annual Easter Parade necessitates every single police officer serving at least four hours in the midst of the most holy holiday for Christians.
That's right.
We're a small town.
Every single St. Augustine Police Department officer is required to take time away from their families and loved ones to provide security for the Easter Parade.
Perhaps this fact is unknown to the organizers of the Easter Parade.
Let's appeal to the better angels of their nature. (That beats filing a union grievance or theoretical possible First Amendment or Religious Freedom Restoration lawsuit).
Could the Easter parade organizers please hold the Easter Parade on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?
That would be a reasonable accommodation for our Police Officers' First Amendment and RFRA right to be at home with their families on Easter Sunday.
This will allow our LEOs, or most of them, Easter Sunday uninterrupted by the call of duty.
Is that too much to ask?

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