For a slick public-relations type, Mayor Jim Watson can certainly stick his foot in it now and then.
Imagine today all the OC Transpo bus drivers and management grinding their teeth at this example of graciousness by an Ottawa Police Service officer (and well-deserved) but at whose expense?
The people behind the Ottawa transit system.
This is from Wednesday’s State of the City address by Watson to Ottawa City Council:
I would like to read you a recent e-mail I received from a resident.
This is just one simple example of an Ottawa constable that went beyond the call of duty to serve residents.
“My name is Heather and last night I was waiting for the bus across from Tunney’s Pasture. Although I was bundled against the cold, I became hypothermic.
“I had been waiting for the bus for half an hour, and was getting cramps in my legs because of the cold, and my feet felt like they were becoming frostbitten. I couldn’t stop shaking.
“One of your officers watched me and realized I was in trouble. He parked his marked SUV and approached me and asked where I was going. When I told him he said he would take me home. He loaded the walker I use because of some of my disabilities into the SUV and drove me home.
“I would very much like to thank my hero… for what he did. In all the circumstances, I neglected to ask his name.
“Please, if you could supply his name, I would be truly grateful… He truly saved my life by going above and beyond the call of duty.”
The woman is waiting so long for an OC Transpo bus that she is developing hypothermia. A half-hour.
So how do feel as someone associated with the bus service being linked to a case of hypothermia in an effort to show the good works of a police officer?
How much do you want to bet that bus was on-time and the driver was at no fault at all?
And how do you feel being embarrassed in front of the whole city leaving a woman in a dangerous state when the driver most likely has done nothing bad at all.
Just to take this one step further, how many people are going to get very cold waiting for a bus or train at Tunney’s Pasture as most of the buses in the west end of the city create an extra transfer, and enormous passenger congestion, at the end of the light-rail line.
Let’s hope the police service is happy. The shout-out came at the expense of OC Transpo and its drivers.