2/26 Letters to the editor

Citizen safety on sheriff’s priority list
Regarding Glenda Bly’s letter criticizing our sheriff (“Sheriff needs to rearrange his priorities”) in Wednesday’s CNJ:

Let me see if I understand the point. Laws regarding seat belts, baby car seats, drunk drivers, and methamphetamine should not be enforced, although violations of each of those laws maim and kill people. Why? Because the theft of our material possessions exceeds these preventative measures in importance.

Have we sunk so far in the morality of our culture and into our selfish desires that we really think what we own is that important?

Thanks to Sheriff Roger Hatcher for having the proper priorities.

William A. Moore

Law enforcement’s priorities skewed
Sheriff Hatcher’s explanation of his department’s inability to respond to reported lawlessness between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. reminded me of a similar discussion I followed in an out-of-town newspaper.

It seemed that communities’ law enforcement was also too busy with their “duties” to respond to requests to enforce the law. To that regard one discussion participant offered this anecdote:

He related that he called local law enforcement to report a burglary in progress in his tool shed in his back yard. The dispatcher told him no one was available. So, pondering his dilemma for a few minutes, he responded by calling the dispatcher back. He identified himself as the man who had just called about a burglary in progress, repeated his address again and informed the dispatcher that there was no rush as he had just shot the two would-be burglars.

Within minutes, his place was surrounded by police cars, a SWAT team and a giant search light. The thieves were caught red handed and surrendered without incident. The officer in charge rang the man’s doorbell and asked if he was the man who had called law enforcement. He answered in the affirmative, to which the officer said, “I thought you said you had shot the burglars.” To which the man replied, “I thought you said you had no officers available.”

It seems that in this case the priorities seen by the citizen and law enforcement were very different. Maybe the people we have hired should re-think their priorities and, if necessary, might get out of bed at 3 a.m., pull on their pants, and get the job done.

Many of us civilians have chosen careers that require us to do that very thing and, for the most part, we are better people for having responded.

Vic Anspaugh

Free press means right to state opinions
I agree with Mona Charen (“Press needs to get priorities straight,” Tuesday’s CNJ) about the press overdoing coverage of the Cheney shooting incident. However, Charen is part of the press as well and she feels it is OK for her to state that it would be a “pleasing” sight to see Al Gore in Leavenworth.

I am so glad we have a free press in which she is able to make those kinds of comments. I would hate to live in a fascist country where such freedoms are not allowed.

She also states that “the Iranians are working on a nuclear bomb.” Perhaps she knows more than our own State Department, which, as far as I know, has not made those accusations.

Carolyn R. Stag