Sunday, September 14, 2008

Public Safety OR Police Safety?

This is part of the front page of the Eureka Reporter Sunday, September 13, 2008, edition that greats you. Handsome devil, isn't he?

The picture is captioned: Public Safety. The notation under the picture reads: "Sgt. Ron Sligh of the Arcata Police Department and his police service K-9, "Zari," have been working together since his first day on duty, Aug. 3. Zari is trained and certified in searching for subjects, both indoors and outdoors, and handler protection and suspect apprehension. Daniel Solomon/The Eureka Reporter

Read what Karen Wilkinson says in "Pooch On Patrol" below and you will readily see that Zari's primary purpose is to protect officer Sligh. There's nothing wrong with the police protecting themselves as they "serve" the community. Let's keep the facts straight and the "BS" to a minimum. I realize that's a big stretch for the folks at The Eureka Reporter. What Ginger Campbell is quoted to say, "For Arcata resident and APD volunteer Ginger Campbell, helping the department finance such costly dogs is a quest that benefits the community at large" is completely contradicted in the rest of the article. Unfortunately, there is a more insidious aspect of using dogs the same as there is in using a tazer. Notice: "They keep the violence level way down." "People are more likely to come out of a dark building if they know a dog will be let loose." "Zari just had to bark and the man gave up."

Public Safety is all about getting the "suspect" to validate or legitimize the police action thereby justify the use of such instruments of coercion. Who are these "suspect criminals" whose lives and persons are of so little value?

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