Myerson: Police road block not the way to treat visitors

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Police road block not the way to treat visitors

To the Editor:

Manchester and the surrounding Mountain Areas spend lots of energy and money promoting our region as a tourist friendly destination. That includes the Manchester Business Association receiving $100,000 of taxpayer funds over the past two years to promote our "brand" as a fun and lively place to visit.

Yet on the weekend before Christmas, state and local police thought it was a great idea to stage a DWI roadblock right in the middle of Manchester. What better way to welcome tourists than to have hundreds of cars be stopped without any suspicion of wrongdoing by a horde of armed police ordering drivers to roll down their windows, shine flashlights on them and their passengers, and ask "have you been drinking, where are you going, where are you coming from," and so forth.

Certainly, going through a roadblock can be an unsettling experience, particularly with young children in the car. Some parents undoubtedly had to answer the question, "why did the police stop us if we didn't do anything wrong?"

What a terrific way to promote our "brand!" Have we forgotten that we are fiercely competing with other places for visitors? If you were visiting and had been forced to endure the indignity and nervousness of being stopped for no reason and having a flashlight shined in your face while being questioned by a police officer, would you want to return, or choose a more welcoming destination to visit? We used to be known as the "Green Mountain State," but we have instead become the "Blue Light State."

As long as there is no taxi service or public transportation, drivers will face punishment for the simple pleasure of going out to dinner and having a glass or two of wine. A suggestion: instead of throwing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars at the Manchester Business Association, why not instead invest in a publicly owned taxi service or Uber program?

Bradley D. Myerson,

East Dorset

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