EDITOR: Today, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office will request that the Board of Supervisors authorize more than $1.1 million for the purchase and operation of body-worn cameras. With proper policies, these cameras would be a benefit to law enforcement and the community. Sadly, the most recent policies, as presented to the county’s law enforcement task force, are deficient.
Current policies allow deputies to deactivate their cameras anytime they believe its use is no longer necessary. If deputies are free to turn them off as they please, then a body camera’s role in providing a check against law enforcement misbehavior is destroyed.
This is just one of several concerns associated with the policy. When the Sheriff’s Office made presentations to the task force on the body camera program, it was clear that it was only seeking input on the model to be purchased, not the policies that would guide their use. Until there is a public process to guarantee that we have proper policies in place, the supervisors should delay making such a large expenditure. Otherwise body cameras will be a farce that will ultimately do more harm than good.
The real agenda
EDITOR: A question for Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, who was quoted in the Dec. 2 article about fluoridation (“Making a Case For Fluoridation”): If her “first and foremost concern that this would impose something on people with-out their choice,” then why isn’t she honoring the choice made by the people of Healdsburg by a large margin in the recent election to continue adding fluoride to our water?
Clearly, giving people a choice isn’t her first and foremost concern. Rather, it is her agenda, which is to try again to have fluoride removed from Healdsburg’s water and to prevent it from being added to Sonoma County water. This is more honestly stated in the final paragraphs of the article, which mention her plans to introduce a fluoride-removal measure in Healdsburg in 2016 and to “start working on stopping this countywide.”
Let’s at least be honest about agendas on both sides instead of using campaign buzzwords that don’t really apply to the issue at hand.
EDITOR: In light of the recent revelations of high-profile individuals accused of domestic violence and rape, respectively, and for all of the victims of these insidious actions that don’t get reported, I would like to resubmit a letter I wrote to the paper on March 15, 2004:
As men and fathers, when will we teach ours sons, and the next generation of men, that sex is not a pleasure, when at a women’s expense? That smooth talk and stealth walk, drinks and such, are no different than imposing oneself, physically on another. One is violent and visible, the other subtle and invisible. Both means, however, are to the same end.
As men and fathers, when will we learn to teach our daughters, and the next generation of women, that they need to understand how men think and act at times, and they should be never, ever be afraid to question motives.
It is our responsibility, and ours alone, as men and fathers, to make every effort for a generational change, for our daughters and our sons. It is easy to blame outside influences, it is harder to look within.