Troopers, not airplanes

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2004

I just had another wonderful visit to Juneau and I check in almost daily with you on the Web.

I have read the heated debates about free-speech rights and reactions of some to a parade entry on the 4th of July. As a Marine veteran of the first Gulf War, I personally found no offensive displays at your "hometown" parade. It looked like patriotic citizens exercising their right to display their feelings. Seems to me that anyone has this right in an "open" public forum. I remember Kuwaitis doing the same (both pro and con) after our liberation "action." That's my "two cents worth" added to your sufficient editorial coverage.

Onto the topic that deserves another look, (I have seen no response to your original article) "Adjusting to loss of village policeman." In Virginia, I work as a detective for a city of 200,000 citizens and I am tasked with many different assignments.

While in Juneau, I was asked how I would spend available federal funds for local Homeland Security. My response was typical - augment the ranks of troopers, acquire training and equipment for special response teams (fire, police and EMS) and fund programs to educate (not investigate) the public in order to reduce fear and anxiety while increasing awareness.

What I heard next floored me. The current administration is buying an aircraft for prisoner transport. What? Don't you currently have any? Yes. Well then? Shortly after that discussion, the Empire wrote the article on the village of Angoon not having a peace officer and that a trooper from Juneau visits a couple of times a month, or responds to incidents when he can get there.

Well, I know what disorderly calls can be like. I know the feeling of fighting an entire family while trying to subdue the son. I would hate to be a trooper in that situation. Why is it that Alaska looks at new aircraft when villages and towns cannot make their citizens feel safe? Isn't it the very first principle of Homeland Security to make the citizens safe or at least feel safe? Your governor wants to add 20 more troopers to the budget, I hope those troopers don't have to respond to a call of a violent domestic dispute by themselves, while overhead a jet streaks prisoners to the Lower 48.

Looking forward to next year's visit to my "favorite place."

David Naoroz

Richmond, Va.

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