March 2k10 issue letters to editor E-mail

High praise from youngster

My name is Thomas Vaziri, and I am seven years old. Me and my mom liked the advertisement about the policeman's pants falling down on page 11. Please keep writing funny advertisements and I will read them. I also liked the serious article about the car falling in the sinkhole. I want to be in a SWAT team when I grow up. I really like your magazine and hope you publish my letter. - Sincerely, Thomas Vaziri Jamaica Plain, MA The tutor I am Thomas Vaziri's reading tutor, and I just wanted to thank you for increasing Thomas' enthusiasm about reading. I clip the child-friendly articles and ads for him out of American Police Beat and Thomas reads them with great interest. This newspaper has helped him realize that learning to read better will help him in his future career as a police officer. - Christine Mandell


Laugh to keep from crying

I received this amusing list from a friend and thought I would pass it on to APB readers. Not sure who is the author. - Chet Broderick, Boston Police Department (Ret.)

Editor's note: Chet is the former president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association.

The economy is so bad that . . . I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. I ordered a burger at McDonald's and the kid behind Police Organizations

We will never forget

Even if you haven't heard the name Gregory Powell, you have probably heard of the infamous "Onion Field" case. It was a best-selling book by Joseph Wambaugh and later a movie starring James Woods - but the most important thing to remember is that these depictions were based on a true story and a real tragedy. As we know from accounts of that night from Officer Hettinger, who survived the incident, Campbell felt uneasy as he stepped out of the car and told Hettinger to be careful.

Campbell approached the driver's side and asked Powell for his license and registration, then ordered the two men out of the car. Smith stepped out quickly with his arms in the air. But Powell turned and stuck a gun in Campbell's back. Powell then ordered both officers into the car. Officer Campbell was forced to drive with a gun in his ribs, while Officer Hettinger rode in back with another gun pointed at him.

Powell instructed Campbell to drive north on the Hollywood Freeway. Near Bakersfield, Powell spotted a gravel road and ordered Campbell to pull off the freeway. After crossing a series of dirt roads, Officers Campbell and Hettinger were ordered out of the car into a vast field, where they stood still with their arms in the air. Then Powell asked Campbell, "Have you ever heard of The Little Lindbergh Law?" and shot him.

Helpless to save his partner, Officer Hettinger was able to elude his captors and escape with his life - but he did not avoid the emotional injury of seeing his partner murdered in cold blood. The incident haunted him the rest of his life. Powell was convicted of abducting LAPD Officer Ian Campbell and his partner, Officer Karl Hettinger, on March 6, 1963. For the killing, Smith and Powell both were originally sentenced to death, but the sentences were reduced to life after court decisions that temporarily stopped executions in the 1970s.

Powell had a parole hearing on January 27. As we have at every parole hearing, the League implored the Parole Board to deny Powell's application and we are asking the law enforcement community to do the same.

Even though the hearing date has passed we would appreciate it if you could send a letter requesting denial of parole in the future for inmate Gregory Powell, CDC# A-57622, to: Parole Board California Board of Prison Terms c/o California Men's Colony P.O. Box 8101 San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101

This vicious murderer has not yet paid his debt to society and should be forced to serve the maximum term ohis sentence. We will never show any tolerance for the killing of police officers. Law enforcement and the community at large must send a clear message that in a civilized society, the murder of police officers is unacceptable - and those who undermine the very fiber of public safety must expect the harshest possible treatment available under the law. - -Paul M. Weber President, Los Angeles Police Protective League

Budget issues about to explode

Here at ALADS, the union representing deputies in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, we are concerned about next year's budget, especially since the state has a two-year deficit in excess of $40 billion. The continuous expansion of state administrative programs and social services during the boom years, along with voter-approved special interest ballot box budgeting, have tied our state budget to so many obligations that we will never catch up.

The responsible next  step for our state leaders is to closely examine all of the programs and services that have been added in the last 20 years, decide which of them are absolutely necessary, and scrap the rest. Sticky hands on our budget resources can come from just about anywhere. State politicians have routinely taken our primary sources of revenue - local shares of sales and property taxes.

Only weeks ago, the state agency that controls all of California's Superior Courts floated a proposal to overturn the current system of using sheriff's deputies for court security. Court officials were publicly discussing an idea to replace deputies with a new statewide law enforcement agency for court security. They dropped the idea, but only for this year. That's how it goes.

State leaders put their sticky fingers in our coffers and raid our funding sources. Responsible leadership at the state level in California is desperately needed and a reform for term limits might pave the way. - Steve Remige, President Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs Inc. Tribute I am writing to solicit some help from my fellow officers. I have an idea for how to properly pay tribute to the officers, firefighters and civilians who perished in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. I have written to my congressman, governor, senator and the President.

I have had zero response, not even a note to tell me no, so I thought I'd try to push my idea with other officers and see if we can collectively come up with a fitting tribute. My idea comes from my recollections of that day and the days that followed. 9/11 is not something that happened to New York, Pennsylvania & Washington, DC. 9/11 happened to all of us in the United States; not just law enforcement and firefighters, but ALL U.S. citizens around the globe felt 9/11. The one thing that stands out for me was the grounding of ALL air travel for the next several days. It was a deafening silence in the skies.

My proposal is that on the 10th anniversary, 9/11/11, ALL air travel be suspended from 0846 hours (when the first plane hit) until sundown that day. All planes over U.S. territory must land by that time and NO plane may take off from sunrise to sundown. The ceremonies held at the three sites are great but to cause the world to stop and remember it will take an enormous event. Grounding planes affects every country around the world.

Shifting airline schedules is a small price to pay compared to the sacrifice many made on that date and the days that followed. For the airlines who will complain about lost revenue, I think if we can bail out insurance companies, banks, and the auto industry we ought to be able to pay them NOT to fly for a 12-hour period. If you agree with me that we need a more global remembrance of 9/11 please write to your congressman, senator, governor, and the President and maybe together we can get them to act.

- Officer Ken Delfing Westlake, Ohio Police Dept.


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