Originally Published: February 16, 2001 7:15 p.m.
Reaction to deaths will erode people's safety
I strongly disagree with those who say police are at fault in the recent deaths of three young men after a high-speed chase. We are now going to tell our children and anyone who wishes to harm another that if they want to get away scot-free, they just get in their car and drive to Prescott. When they cross the line, they go free because other cities can't drive into Prescott.
Unfortunately, the three young men who died were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It happens every day somewhere, someplace. Someone crosses a street or gets hit by another car. Or someone is in a store during a robbery and gets killed or hurt.
The police are here to protect us and if they can't do their job then why bother? We might as well say forget it. Let the crooks and bad guys get away with whatever they want.
Also we are so suit-happy and can hardly wait to try to get money out of someone when things like this happen. The three people who died are gone.
Why do their families need millions of dollars? It's a big profit machine and our judges and lawyers make sure that people keep it going so that eventually this country will not be a safe place to live.
We love it here in Prescott Valley and I want to feel that I can trust and rely on the police department to do their job. They do a good job and deserve more than they are getting right now.
City should have told PV cops to stay out of city
I hope that our city officials and mayor make sure that the PV police do not race through Prescott ever again.
Their reasons are just lame excuses for a terrible tragedy that they do not seem to comprehend. This "fleeing, violent, felon" didn't kill anyone until PV chased him to Prescott streets. Three young men should die because of a stolen vehicle? Someone would have died on that street, if not the three young men then someone else. It was death waiting to happen.
Doing their job doesn't justify getting three young men destroyed on a quiet, small-town street – ever! If they notified our police department, then our police department should have informed PV that they couldn't race through Prescott. Seems like they didn't.
Mary Lou Bjornaas
Don't forget real culprit in police chase, deaths
It seems the critics of the Jan. 26 high-speed police chase have forgotten "who" caused this distressing chain of events.
The fleeing suspect chose to break the law and steal a vehicle. When approached by police, he chose to try to run down a police officer. The suspect then chose to flee from the officers at a high speed. Last but not least, the suspect chose not to stop when police pursued him.
The suspect's actions led to the fatal conclusion of this incident in downtown Prescott.
If we were discussing just a car theft or a traffic violation, I would agree with the critics. A simple property crime or minor violation does not warrant a high-speed pursuit.
However, we are dealing with a violent felon, who tried to take the life of another human being. Where do we draw the line? Should policy state "we won't chase you if you only try to kill one person"? Do we need a "magic" number of victims before we try to stop the suspect?
The outcome of this incident saddens all of us. The only possible way it could have been worse is if a police officer had died.
George M. Murphy
Police in pursuit followed training, official policy
The Jan. 26 chase and deaths of three young men was a tragedy and I am terribly sorry for the grieving families.
I think the people attacking the Prescott Valley Police Department are forgetting that the high-speed chase lasted only six and a half minutes. That is not mush time to think, prepare and plan.
I think the officer involved followed his training. He was thinking of the safety of others. The officer involved did not know at the beginning of the chase the suspect would be heading to Prescott, and, once he did, he followed proper procedures for his department. He had the dispatcher contact Prescott police.
The Prescott police did not have much time to place stop sticks to end the chase because it lasted only six and a half minutes.
What occurred at the intersection of Gurley and Montezuma was indeed a tragedy, and police definitely could have avoided it if the suspect had not fled.
But people blame the police. John Butt said we should "just get rid of them." Another resident said we should "pull in the reins of these hot-doggin' police cowboys and remind them what serving and protecting the public means."
My husband has known the officer involved for 15 years, and he is one of the most dedicated officers on the force. He lays his life on the line every day to serve and protect you. I seriously doubt anyone ever thanks him or any of the officers for a job well done. The only time you say anything is when a terrible accident occurs.
I guarantee if any of my family needed protection, I would hope the officer involved in this accident was the first on the scene!
City shouldn't take down memorial to young men
I am appalled at what the city has done. The corner of St. Michael's Hotel was a place to grieve and remember the three boys who died in the police chase.
The city took down and stripped away everything that was there: It took away all the flowers, balloons and signs, and for what?
This is how we have been honoring these three young men's lives, but the city takes it away. The city does not care that these boys are gone. The city should have a little sympathy and compassion for those of us who care.
I will continue to visit the site, to make signs and to take flowers. I can only hope and pray the rest of you who care don't give up and forget what has happened. All of us need to continue to honor Danny, Evan and Wylld's lives in our own way. Visiting the site of their death is my way. The city should respect the grieving process and let it be.
Let the memories and love not die and fade away, but let it live on in everyone's heart and lives everyday. Never forget the memories or the people who gave those memories.
Theresa K. Rollo