Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender had a rough weekend. Coordinating 1,100 storm-related calls within city limits during last weekend's blizzard and trying to provide vital services on streets blocked not just with snow but with vehicles stranded by people who were surprised they got stuck after the city advised no travel will wear on any guy.
Chief Allender thus deserves to lower the verbal boom on the malcontents grousing about government and criticizing city workers (many of whom couldn't get home during the storm and thus stayed at their posts to serve the public):
To the handful of citizens criticizing the work of these dedicated servants – it’s hard to make you understand what an intense situation this was, because you weren’t out on a snowmobile delivering oxygen as the wind and snow pummeled you at 70 miles per hour. You didn’t shelter a stranded citizen in a patrol car for 14 hours while waiting to be rescued. You didn’t trudge though waist-high snow drifts for blocks to answer a medical call when the plow couldn’t get through to the victim’s street. You weren’t working a 24-hour shift at the hospital or fire department or police department because reinforcements couldn’t get in to relieve you. You weren’t the dispatcher trying to explain to irate citizens why first responders couldn’t go check on someone without a medical emergency – or why we couldn’t come knock the snow off a satellite dish for you [Steve Allender, "The Ungratitude of the Normally Apathetic," chiefsview, 2013.10.09].
Chief Allender captures perfectly with his post title the mindset of the complainers. They don't pay attention to what government does until they face an emergency... and then they feel entitled to complain.
Let 'em gripe, Chief. You understand, as should the rest of us, the vital role government plays in doing the hard, dangerous, life-saving work that no one else can. Thank you, Chief. Carry on.