Glendale Police Pack Away the Bunny Suit

A council member doesn't care why the bunny crossed the road. He just wants it to stop

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The bunny suit -- it's perfect for Halloween, Easter egg hunts, parties at Mr. Hefner's and shuffling to techno music.

    But they are not for crosswalk stings.

    An officer wore the festive get-up for a crosswalk operation earlier this week, but a council member complained about use of the costume. On Thursday, an officer in shorts and a t-shirt strolled into the intersection -- a sad and less noticeable sight compared to the furry brown rabbit.

    "I am happy to hear that they modified the sting and agreed that the idea of a giant rabbit -- a total anomaly out in the roadway -- is not exactly training our drivers to learn really anything," Councilman John Drayman told the Glendale News Press.

    Drayman called the operation "breathtakingly dangerous" and a poor use of city resources.

    Other police departments call on their wardrobe department for such stings, which usually involve a "decoy," who enters the intersection, and another officer, who cites motorists if they violate motor vehicle law. For example, an officer in a leprechaun suit stopped traffic -- but not everyone -- in March at a Moreno Valley intersection. Twenty-two motorists received citations for failing to yield to one of Santa's elves in a crosswalk during a December sting.

    The argument for using the costumes: If motorists blow through a crosswalk occupied by the Easter Bunny/Santa elves/a jolly leprechaun, what chance do the tradionally clothed among us have of safely crossing the road?

    Judging by Thursday's operation involving the plainclothes office, not much. The New Press reported that 36 motorists were cited for failing to yield -- nine more than the day before when an officer wore the bunny costume.

    If you want to see the bunny cross the road, the city's public access channel plans to air the sting in May.

    The sting was at two intersections -- Glendale Avenue at Raleigh Street and Pacific Avenue at Hawthorne Street. As you can see in the KCRA video below, the assignment requires rabbit-like reflexes.