foxpolitics.comwhats really going on in the fox cities
6/25/2009
Do police escorts constitute economic development?

Interesting. Two different takes on the Assembly’s passage of AB 308 earlier this week. From the Press Gazette came this headline:
Lawmakers Pass Funeral Processions Bill
The short AP story commented:
Current state law allows funeral processions to go through red lights as long as the lead vehicle stops first. The bill would permit police to escort any processions through red lights.
Compare the Press Gazette’s headline with this one from the Journal Sentinel:
Packers Opponents’ Motorcades to Get Escorts Through Red Lights.
Or a couple of others from the Press Gazette:
State Bill Allows Police To Escort Visiting Teams To Lambeau or
Wisconsin lawmakers pass traffic procession bill
And the AP story
MADISON — The state Assembly has approved a bill that would allow processions to roll through red lights with a police escort.

Among others, the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, where Green Bay Packers opponents stay, asked for the bill to ensure a smoother ride to Lambeau Field for those teams, in turn keeping their business.

Current state law allows funeral processions to go through red lights as long as the lead vehicle stops first. The bill would permit police to escort any processions through red lights.

Stephanie Wilson is a spokeswoman for the bill’s author, Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber, D-Appleton. She says police asked for the measure to clarify whether they could escort processions through stoplights.
A look at the bill’s co-sponsors might give us a clue as to which headline is more accurate.

10 of 20 sponsors of
the bill are within an hour or two’s drive of Green Bay. What do you think the chances are that a majority of the others bleed green and gold as well?

Going back a couple of years… excerpts from the Post-Crescent
October 11, 2006
Brown County sheriff's Capt. Randy Schultz said the long-standing practice of escorting visiting NFL teams from downtown Appleton's Radisson Paper Valley Hotel to Lambeau Field violates state law.

"By next year, we would hope to start bringing the visiting teams into the Green Bay area, and obviously that would cut down the threat assessment issues, distance, safety and security issues," Schultz said.

That is no solution to Jay Schumerth, general manager of the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, who notes all visiting NFL teams contract to stay at the hotel and have done so since it opened in 1982.
March 10, 2008, Police Escort Problem Needs Solution
This is a problem that shouldn't have to be fixed by legislation, but since two attorneys general punted on it, legislation is the only alternative.

The problem comes from a question about whether it's legal for law-enforcement agencies to use police cars to stop traffic for the buses of the Green Bay Packers ' opponents when they're traveling from the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, where they stay, to Green Bay.

The question was raised in the fall of 2006 and the Outagamie County Sheriff's Department had hoped either former Atty. Gen. Peg Lautenschlager or current Atty. Gen. J.B. Van Hollen would instruct the Department of Justice to issue an opinion. But neither would.
I love the Packers as much as the next guy. And I love the Radisson Paper Valley - a high quality service provider to NFL teams for years. But all that being said, in this age of severely restricted city and county budgets, is this the time to be providing police escorts for team buses so they can go through red lights? I know I must be in some tiny minority, but tell me, what am I missing here?

Jo Egelhoff, FoxPolitics.net