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Letters to the Editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Fire chief showed real caring, professionalism in situation with virus patient

I tested positive for Covid-19 on April 15. The fire chief called me to tell me, do my contact tracing, etc. I am 65 and have five rare conditions, so this news was very concerning.

I have never been so proud of a public servant. His professionalism, empathy and kindness were off the charts. He handled this task better than when I witnessed doctors in another state giving my brother-in-law his stage four cancer news. My health care was handled ridiculously poorly in Pahrump with multiple mistakes, wasted time, errors in my chart, etc. I must be a strong advocate for myself with my rare disorders because I often know more about my rare conditions than the health providers. That sounds boastful, but truly the doctors get an hour or two training on the rare stuff … and I live with it, belong to support groups and admin Facebook groups to help others. I had to research how this virus was affecting people with my co-morbidities, to make sure doctors did not lead me down a path that was even more life-threatening. I was fearful of never coming home from the hospital so I worked hard to stay out of there. I recovered by using my own ASV (cpap/ventilator) and oxygen at home.

But truly … Fire Chief Lewis set the stage for my “health adventure” with a positive, caring attitude and professional demeanor that was stellar. Attitude is everything In healing and Fire Chief Lewis is the perfect person for this public health work and is certainly at the top of his game! To me, his caring attitude was as lifesaving as a “firefighter carry out” of a burning building. He is a hero in my eyes!

Karen Haugstad

Emergency situations can require a quick response

In Jean William Frenette’s PVT letter July 24th, a broad brush was used to paint an assumption that is in direct opposition to statistical facts of victims and perpetrators. As with all occupations, law enforcement has a small number of people that shouldn’t be entrusted with the limited power they are given (but I also feel there are a greater number of people in politics, media and education, that shouldn’t be given what could be considered much greater power in ways).

There will always be incidents where with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight could have been handled better but called for an immediate response at the time. This happens frequently in war and emergency situations. It is also true that for the most part the violent criminal element is relatively small, but they do produce the largest percentage of violent crime.

Part of the problem is identifying them in a very short time span, which would take people like psychiatrists and lawyers months to do, many times which they must do in seconds. Also in today’s world with cameras everywhere, does anyone really believe a vast number of cops want to go through being judged by their superiors as well as the public for some actions they may have taken? If we succeed in making the cops the “bad guys,” I see two possible results: first “slow walking,” calls which put victims at a much higher risk and enables perpetrators to get away. This has already happened in some places. Next, good people willing to take these sometimes dangerous and almost always stressful jobs will no longer be interested and you’ll end up with people that create a multitude of problems for the public they are supposed to “serve and protect,” including the “slow walking,” corruption and etc. When either of the first two get bad enough, a third option will likely come when the public cries loud enough for “change,” the implementation of a tyrannical, military-style police force able to squelch anything swiftly and decisively.

We can work toward eliminating undesirable people in law enforcement, give better training, but always remember, they are human, too and do a sometimes very dangerous and nearly always stressful job most others of us wouldn’t do, and they’d still like to come home to their families at the end of their work!

David Jaronik

Reader defends behavior of police under stress

I would like to comment on “Force should be the last resort police have to use,” dated July 24, written by Jean William Frenette.

I normally don’t consider writing to newspapers about opinions other people have concerning issues/events, because they’re that person’s opinion!

This time around, my gray matter could not wrap around some of comments/suggestion from this writer! I had to read it twice to make sure I read it correctly, and after I did, my first comment to myself was this person needs to do a ride-along to see what happens during a “normal” shift. This would let them see how often the officers have “de-escalate” during a shift, from traffic tickets to domestic issues.

It’s possible you might see, and hopefully realize, that most calls to an officer are not to have a nice “meet and greet” but to control a possible violent situation that was caused by someone who didn’t care about people around them, let alone law enforcement!!

I myself am grateful that the men and women who decided to become police/sheriff’s officers – voluntarily – did! I wouldn’t want the job, especially in today’s climate, but I’m glad that law enforcement is around!

Last comment – I don’t know which incident you’re commenting on about “shooting in the back,” but I’ll take a guess. If you are detained by police officer, then run with a taser, stolen from them and shoot back with said taser – you might just get shot! What would you do in a split second? I think I know- “I volunteered for this job, and I need to stop invading their personal space!”

To use an old adage, “walk a mile in their shoes.” Just a thought.

Doug Blackstock

Solve country’s issues in November says reader

Due to Covid-19, we’re living in a new, frightening reality, which the Trump administration has failed miserably to address. In Pahrump, however, Republican support for the president trumps Democratic outrage over his incompetent, unethical, narcissistic and demagogic nature. I have always believed that America needs two strong political parties. Republicans like Mitt Romney, John Kasich and the late John McCain deserve respect. Currently, however, the former Republican Party no longer exists. It has become a cult with Donald Trump as its dear leader.

Trump is an existential threat to our country. Anyone who is uniformed may think his misguided, cruel policies have had positive impact, when, in reality, they are abject failures: Pandemic Readiness (downplaying and ignoring multiple warnings); Health Care (covertly working to eliminate coverage for those with preexisting conditions while publicly touting support); Immigration (separating families and caging children at the border without adequate infrastructure to reunite them with their parents); Deregulation (eliminating many industrial related regulations that safeguard our clean air and water); and the list goes on and on.

No one needs to make America great again; it always has been. Surely, mistakes have been made in our past and slavery will always be a dark stain on our history. With that being said; the recent national protests over George Floyd’s and Rayshard Brook’s deaths at the hands of police confirm that systemic racism still exists. And many other issues persist; our health care system needs to be overhauled, income inequality prevents many families from financial security and home ownership, opiod and drug abuse continue to ravage communities across the country, just to name a few. When we exercise our right to vote Trump out of office in November and Congress embraces bi-partisanship by working together to find practical, far-reaching solutions to our problems; America can and will continue to be that shining city on the hill.

Marc Fineman

Former law enforcement family bites back after letter

I sit here every week and read the letters to the editors and bite my tongue. I will not do it this time. This is in response to Jean William Frenette in regard to police force. I assume he has no law enforcement experience and just sits in front of the television and tells everyone what he would have done. So let me explain this to you. I am a retired law enforcement officer with 23 years on the streets of Los Angeles and my husband has 27 years on the streets of Los Angeles.

No, police don’t volunteer, but they are chosen to do this job. It is not for the faint of heart. I have watched many young people come and go because they thought it was like a television show but when they realize it is not and see the heartbreak and evil dealt with on a daily basis, they leave the job.

So let me ask you this…

Do you say a prayer each time you start your work day and pray you get home uninjured and alive and thanked god when you got in your car to go home?

Have you ever held a baby or young child after their parent has nearly beat them to death and prayed?

Have you ever had to help and young mother who was beaten so badly for the 20th time that she could not see her children but was afraid to leave. Try as you did, she stayed until the day you had to call the morgue and you prayed some more.

Have you ever had to go to tell a parent that who live in gang-infested neighborhoods and were afraid to leave their homes and just gave them comfort?

Have you ever held a person who was dying, with blood all over your uniform until they finally stopped breathing and prayed with them? (Good guy or bad guy).

Have you ever given CPR to save a life and prayed?

Have you ever held your partner who had been shot with their own gun with the hope that they would survive and all you could do was pray?

How many births, baptisms, birthdays, parties, family get-together’s, barbecues, little league games, school events, parent teacher meetings, holidays have you missed?

How many times have you worked 36 hours straight, slept three hours only to have to go back to work in about five hours?

Have you sat in a police car when the person arrested kicked out the windows of the police car, stabbed you, bit you, spit on you?

Have you ever cried at the end of your work day?

How about the young kid who took some type of drug and decided to hitch a ride on the back of people’s bumpers as they were driving.

So you think we should de-escalate…NO officer, I mean no officer leaves the parking lot that day looking for a fight or hoping to shoot someone. Police do accept risk as part of the job and they will be the ones running into the gunfire as you run away from it. When you are on the ground fighting, all you can do is hold onto your gun.

Ignorance is no excuse for what you are saying and it is pure ignorance that you wrote that piece. It is people like you who think it is OK for people to spit on the police, throw things at the police, hit the police, shoot at them and come at them with a knife and then get upset when the police fight back. Yes, danger does come with this job but not where it would cost you your life. You have a right to protect yourself. Let’s see how it goes with civilians making traffic stops in Berkeley. Do you know that most officers become involved in shootings and are killed in traffic stops? Oh, yeah let’s let social workers handle family disputes and domestic violence calls. Right, do you know the City of Los Angeles social workers will not go into a call without the police?

Just so you know, when you are hired by a law enforcement agency, you must sign a contract and no place on that contract does it say that you have to stand by and get abused, injured or killed.

Pray you don’t need help because the first people you will call are the judge, jury and executioner.

Vicky McCormick

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