Without any personal knowledge concerning the incidences Cindy Cashen mentioned in Friday's My Turn column, and having never lived in Haines or Yakutat, and with sympathy for MADD members' abhorrence at the damage, injury and death resulting from people driving when they are partly incapacitated by choice, a couple of things concern me.
Many small towns have systems and procedures for dealing with people who are causing problems or dangerous situations, which are at least as effective as the legal system. This is difficult for an outsider to perceive, let alone understand. Police officers need and deserve the respect and support of the community they serve and protect; they must also try to understand and be a part of that community. A small-town cop may not see as much murder and mayhem as a city cop but in some ways must be more wise.
Arrest and incarceration should be a last resort and not a remedy of choice.
Let's not be too harsh on communities where people have the blessing and the burden of knowing each other well.
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