Originally Published: February 12, 2001 7:15 p.m.
Monday, February 12
PV Police were doing jobs
when crash happened
Many recent letters about the Prescott Valley police pursuit blame the related deaths on the police. As a retired police officer, I want to lend some insight to the situation.
The Prescott tri-city area has limited police resources. In large metropolitan areas, most law enforcement agencies have ways to communicate among themselves. Neighboring jurisdictions can alert one another whenever significant events occur. Apparently the tri-city area lacks this ability and should make it a top priority to improve public safety.
Large metropolitan areas also have helicopters that can take over a pursuit from ground units and help catch violators. The expense involved in deploying helicopters may be out of reach unless all area agencies can go in together.
The PVPD is a small agency and I do not know what their pursuit policy is. I also do not know what, if any, tactical mistakes officers may have made before the pursuit began. I do know the suspect precipitated an officer-involved shooting and the pursuit that ensued.
During the six-and-a-half-minute pursuit there was clearly not enough time or resources to set up roadblocks and spike strips that the public thinks are so easy to do. Even in large metropolitan areas, six minutes is barely enough time to marshal the necessary troops and implement effective communications between agencies.
I sympathize with the families of the young men who died, but to solely blame the police seems like a mistake. The blame, as in all such cases, rests squarely on the person who elects to disobey the law. When the suspect fled from the police, he, and he alone, created the situation that led to the eventual tragedy.
Robert G. Warren
Many questions linger
about chase, fatalities
The Jan. 31 Prescott Valley Tribune mentions "armchair quarterbacks" about the Jan. 25 chase and triple fatality, and counsels people to let the investigations take their course. Locals are entitled to speak out.
Opinions from locals directed to the newspapers or directly to the Prescott Valley Police Department can be very helpful. As of Feb. 2 two writeups have appeared in the Courier, "Local agencies should look again at policies on pursuit" on Feb. 1 and "Gung-ho police officers shouldn't have pursued" on Feb. 2. Good opinions.
When officers spotted the stolen SUV on Robert Road and Highway 69, why didn't they block in the SUV so it could not leave the lot?
Why didn't PVPD overtake the felon and force him to the side of the highway? Newspapers claim the chase speed was more than 80 miles per hour: why couldn't PVPD overtake the SUV? Is it possible patrol cars are not capable of speeds greater than 80 or 90 miles per hour?
Why didn't the PVPD rear-end the SUV, even though it would be the fatality of a felon, rather than three young men with a great future?
Thom Strawn seems to
know Clinton's movements
It pleasing to know we have such a worldly, upstanding citizen as Thom Strawn right in our city.
He obviously has first-hand knowledge of all Clinton's misdeeds, and he is so generous in sharing his insight with us. I'm sure Thom was on board Air Force One when Bill and Hillary personally looted the taxpayers' towels and knick-knacks, and it couldn't possibly have been the press members who did the looting.
Does anyone in the Christian right ever stop to think about these stories for even one millisecond before they repeat this drivel as fact? I had a friend tell me the other day that Bill Clinton is personally responsible for 52 murders of people around him. Now, I'm sure Thom will have a column out claiming just exactly that.
I'm afraid that the half truth and just plain purposeful misstatements of facts from the right strips them of any credibility they may have had, which is very little to begin with.
I'm tired of so-called conservative Christians proclaiming from the mountaintop that because I'm liberal that I'm also godless. Nonsense. I'm liberal because I am a Christian and proud of it. Did you ever hear of forgiveness, Thom? Where is yours? Did you ever hear that judgment is not your right? They call the Christian right intolerant because of people exactly like you, who don't understand the basic precepts of Christianity. Yet you feel it necessary to judge everyone by your own narrow agenda.
I do believe that Bill Clinton, the man, has a great deal of work to do personally to right the lies he told. I also know that I wasn't in the White House, so I refuse to judge the man. I suspect Thom Strawn wasn't there either.
Social drinkers can hurt,
kill just like big drinkers
Ron Anderson (Jan. 30) and other "social drinkers" are opposed to lowering the legal blood alcohol driving limit to .08.
My oldest son, at age 23, died in a car wreck where the driver was .08. That driver was his friend, influenced by a society that said, through its laws, that driving was okay if you were under .10.
I had been active in highway safety volunteerism, so my son grew up knowing the dangers of impaired driving, but the .10 limit law was the strongest message he received in a society where drinking is the norm. In fact, he carried a small card, issued by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, that charted blood alcohol content based on weight and number of drinks. Yet alcohol impaired my son's friend's judgment. He drove too fast, when he was too tired, and lost control on a curve. My son got in the car believing his friend was within the guidelines of the law. That friend now feels the pain of having killed his good friend and will for the rest of his life.
His pain joins the pain of my son's brother and sister, his father and me, and many other family members and friends.
When I was 19, I was hit by a car as I was walking across a street. The driver had been drinking and was severely impaired when the law had not clearly determined or defined blood alcohol limits. He drove 45 in a 25 mph zone and pulled out to pass other cars. My injuries included a smashed pelvis and badly broken left knee. I almost died when thrombophlebitis set in.
I hope and pray that Ron Anderson and others will reconsider their need to drink socially and then drive.
Rev. Carol Mumford