Comment of the Day: Ethics Hero Alan Ehrlich Responds

"citation..for..making...the...police...look...bad.."

Ethics Hero Alan Ehrlich, the South Pasadena citizen ticketed for directing traffic at a busy intersection when the lights failed and no police responded, has provided some valuable insight and additional details in his comments to my post about his conduct and subsequent treatment, “When Ethics Hero Meets Ethics Dunce: Alan Ehrlich and the Spirit of Citizenship vs. South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne and Official Arrogance.” It is collected and posted below. Thanks, Alan. Continue reading

When Ethics Hero Meets Ethics Dunce: Alan Ehrlich and the Spirit of Citizenship vs. South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne and Official Arrogance

"Step away from the intersection, sir! You are not permitted to make my officers look bad by doing the essential jobs they cannot."

When a traffic light in South Pasadena went out during the morning rush hour, citizen Alan Ehrlich stepped into the breach and began directing traffic at the major intersection.

“I grabbed a bright orange shirt that I have and a couple of orange safety flags. I took it upon myself to help get motorists through that intersection faster,” said Ehrlich. Before he took action, traffic was backed up for more than a mile, as vehicles took more than a half hour to maneuver through the intersection.

“It was just kind of chaos of cars . . . there were stop signs up. But people were challenging each other to get through the intersection,” said a witness  who works at an office nearby. He reported that Ehrlich’s stint as volunteer traffic cop had traffic flowing within ten minutes.

South Pasadena police then responded to the scene, ordered Ehrlich to stop, and issued him a ticket, but refused to direct traffic at the intersection themselves. South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne explained that he did not have the man power needed to staff officers when lights fail, and that Ehrlich should have just allowed traffic to back up. Continue reading