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Voice: Reader might have missed point on Imperial stabbing letter

June 06, 2001

I am responding to young Mr. Anderson, who felt the need to respond to my letter regarding the Imperial Police Department's handling of the stabbing incident in Imperial.

I would like to take this opportunity to enlighten you and educate you a little in the hope you might gain some further understanding of what it is I wrote about.

First, I would like to congratulate you on your English writing skills. Apparently you are paying attention in class. I would like you to concentrate on your reading comprehension, though. I think you missed my entire point.

The foolish and unneeded comments you suggest I made are referring to the horrible stabbing incident in Imperial. I would like to clarify to you that I was only attempting to show the positive side of this traumatic incident as opposed to dwelling on the negatives that so often lead to bitterness and resentment within a community.

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The fact the Imperial police found the baby has everything to do with everything. I in no way meant to suggest some neighbor, grandmother or other passerby could not have found that child, but they did not. The Imperial police did. Does that make them heroes? Perhaps. Perhaps it also makes them very lucky, as I pointed out in my first letter. Regardless, it ended on a positive note and that was my point.

Also, you suggest that no ambulance was at the scene was disturbing to you. I do not disagree with you but I fall short of second-guessing the trained officers on the scene. I have been in law enforcement for nearly 14 years. I have seen a lot that in retrospect makes me question my career choice. I do believe, however, in most of the fine men and women in my career field and I have the utmost respect for them, regardless of mistakes they may make.

With that said, I must tell you in the 14 years of law enforcement in which I have responded to well over 100 missing persons calls, I have never seen an ambulance or medical crew called to the scene prior to that missing somebody being located. Perhaps it is not a bad idea, but the reality of our job is medical crews are often very busy responding to other emergencies and it is standard to call them when it it's known that they are needed.

The fact the paramedics were at the scene due to them residing in the area was a godsend. Your comments that this child would have died had they not been is arguable. Police officers are all trained in lifesaving techniques, some with advanced lifesaving such as EMT certifications. We do like to turn those duties over to the full-time lifesaving professionals such as the paramedics you praise whenever possible. They are true professionals deserving of all of our praise.

In summary, I would like to thank you for your passion and drive. You will surely make this world a safer and better place if you continue to get involved. I have reevaluated my first letter and stand by everything I said. I was clearly pointing out it was unnecessary to dwell on what might be construed as a negative ending that was ultimately a positive outcome.

Out of respect to the family of this child, I apologize if my writing this newspaper has brought unto you additional grief. You will not hear from me again in regard to this incident.

CHRIS EATON

Brawley

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