Sunday, August 23, 2015

There's A Reason They Call Them Massholes

So, it appears as if the Westwood Police Department in Westwood, Massachusetts, would rather waste their time posting videos to YouTube than do something about the accidents that continue to happen at this bridge.

Even though their Mission Statement declares that their mission is to "protect life and property by engaging in proactive problem solving partnerships with our community".  

Seriously??  They consider posting videos on YouTube to be proactive problem solving?? 

How about instead of using money to put up cameras to catch the action for your YouTube channel, they put that money towards installing a more effective warning system?  The bridge may not be owned by the town of Westwood, but the road and the signage is in their township and likely funded and maintained by them. 

And the videos are posted by Lt. Leo Hoban!  Third in charge.  What the fuck??

Perhaps if they received a few emails or phone calls telling them how absolutely inappropriate it is to post videos about serious traffic accidents, they'll give some thought to actual problem solving. 

Maybe it's the 
Chief of Police who needs a reminder of how law enforcement is supposed to act, and that leadership trickles down. That what a leader does and how they behave directly influences how others beneath them act.  Is Chief Silva yukkin' it up with his officers, pointing out to them over morning coffee and donuts, how hilarious it is to watch motorists traveling through their town wreck their vehicles?  Do they lay bets on how many trucks a week will hit the bridge, or how many cars a week will hit the crooked curb and veer into the stone wall, or other motorists passing through the structure? Are they going to wait until someone gets seriously hurts or dies before they do something?

It's one thing to find funny videos online of traffic related mishaps taken unintentionally by surveillance cameras, or even intentionally recorded by whoever happens to have their iPhone video rolling when it happens, but it's quite another thing to create your own Twitter and YouTube page, as a police department, and then send out video clips with sarcastic Tweets like, "The East St Bridge doesn't get taller at night.  Still 10'6".

It sounds like Lt. Hoban thinks it's a joke. He's getting quite a bit of press about it and has his responses ready for the next media inquiry. His ego must be enormous. It certainly overshadows his intellect.

We may not live in this community, but we are part of the motoring public and although the bridge is too low for any big trucks like us to fit under, the fact that the police department shows an utter disregard for the people who actually do live there, speaks volumes. And as a person who travels through countless small communities all over the country on a daily basis, it concerns me.

If it concerns you, make your voice heard by contacting someone at the Westwood Police Department.

Chief Jeffrey P. Silva can be emailed at

Lieutenant Leo Hoban can be reached at

You can call either of them at 781.320.1000

And if you're into Tweeting, you can send them one at @WestwoodPD

** UPDATE ** Apparently, there are 14 signs warning of this low clearance. What's also apparent is that they're not working.  Still, my beef isn't with the signage as much as it is with a police department seemingly making light of the situation by posting videos on YouTube accompanied by sarcastic comments. That doesn't help anyone.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Delicious Assembly Line
2013: The Greatest Invention Of Human Kind
2012: I Can Haul Yer Explosives And Stuff
2011: That Bitch Irene Is Trying To Ruin My Vacation
2010: Licking Our Chops
2009: I’ll Start Working On That Sarcasm Font Right Away
2008: False Security
2007: Protecting The Posies
2006: Asking Too Much
2005: Slotsa Money


Anonymous said...

The problem is that all these truckers/companies take the cheap route and don't buy the commercial GPS units that warn them of low bridges. Instead the follow their GPS made for a car and don't read the 14 signs posted which causes them to hit the bridge. If you dig the street it out and make it lower then it will flood because it is already too low. To build the bridge up it will cost millions of dollars because you have a train station less than a 1/4 mile away and you need to build the new gradient up many many feet away. I am pretty sure they have tried to come up with almost every option possible.

You are a "pro" trucker, what is your suggestion to get trucks to stop hitting the bridge?!? It has to be affordable dont forget...

The Daily Rant said...

ANONYMOUS: As a truck driver, you should NEVER rely on a GPS unit for your directions. You should plan your route and check your trucker atlas for low clearances and truck restricted routes. And I don't know what the situation is here, but often signage for low clearances come too late and there's no chance to turn around. That said, I'd say they should have been able to see 14 signs, but it's quite apparent the 14 signs aren't working.

Regarding reconstructing the bridge - I'd say that's up to the railroad to do it and it's obviously not a priority. I am a "pro" trucker, which is why I wouldn't wind up on that road, but I can tell you that there are often situations that put us in positions we wouldn't choose - like the time the police in New Jersey directed us down a road that wasn't suitable for a big rig. We didn't WANT to turn where they were telling us to turn, but they MADE us. It put us in a situation that was not ideal. Sure, we managed, but that's not the point.

My post wasn't written so much to offer a solution - this is The Daily Rant, not the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. My post was written to point out that a police department Lieutenant shouldn't be posting videos of people hitting a bridge - one of the trucks actually caught fire - with such glee. It makes him look like an asshole. And it doesn't reflect well on the department either. As if watching a video is going to stop people from hitting the bridge. Clearly that plan hasn't worked.

Yes, posting videos on YouTube is more affordable than countless other options, but I'd say it would be even less affordable for the township to be slapped with a lawsuit when someone dies or gets seriously hurt for not fixing a problem they were WELL aware of.