Fire Department Good; Police Not So Good

RECEIVED Sun., April 27, 2008

Dear Editor,
    It was the time when I called the police, and they came two hours and 15 minutes later, and I rubbed it in on those two poor cops who showed up. Or maybe it was the numerous times that I complained about their poor training with Ms. Futrell, trying to show their ineptitude and inability to handle anything other than traffic tickets. But today [April 27], it was the climax:
    There was a fire on South Lakeshore today, and it was pretty serious considering the wind conditions and the crowdedness of these complexes; I counted about 16 fire trucks, an ambulance, and one emergency medical services truck, etc. It was a clean, very nicely organized effort by the fire people from my humble point of view. Forty minutes into the event, drivers were still coming through from all directions, pulling around fire trucks and generally lost on all three access streets. Not one single policeman was present. By comparison, when police set up a checkpoint in the same neighborhood recently, it was as strategic as you can imagine: Streets blocked off, an extra police car a block away in case one of these poor saps tried to flee, three cars just to write tickets, the works. All for the purpose of gathering funds. How can you avoid the criticism?
    Please, give full recognition to the fire commander in charge; he doesn't need it, but it was a superb job managing personnel and equipment placement and use.
Paul Aviña
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