By Steve Leader
Full disclosure: There’s a cop in my family.
Anyone care to explain the real reason some people complained about the funeral procession for an Oregon City police officer killed in the line of duty? Officer Robert Libke was a reserve officer who served the community mostly for free. He was laid to rest Thursday.
In the days before Officer Libke’s funeral, FM News 101 aired many stories reminding the public some freeways and streets would be tied up for a time to handle the procession. Our traffic team also announced the freeway closures in advance.
The day of Officer Libke’s procession to Memorial Coliseum, a listener called to complain that traffic was stopped. She asked “why?” When I explained that the officer died protecting us, her response was “this thing is costing us millions of dollars.” Millions? I assured her that was not true.
She also said “I know people who will be late for job interviews” because of traffic standstills caused by the procession.
A few hours later, a commenter on OregonLive said tax dollars spent on officer overtime for funerals was a waste, especially with property taxes due.
How about we leave it at this. Add up the overtime cops were paid in connection with Officer Libke’s Celebration of Life. Then figure the amount of money officer Libke saved us by being a volunteer cop. How about we call it even?