I was not surprised by the article, “Spate of officers leaving Whidbey,” and the following letter indicates why I was not surprised.
First of all, there has been much talk about de-funding police departments. This leaves the majority of good officers concerned about keeping their jobs. Not once have I heard “re-funding” the departments so that officers can be trained in how to diffuse a potentially violent situation. Those are the situations that where you need a level-headed officer who can try to reason with the perpetrator instead of having a shootout.
This takes retraining and lessens the chance that the officer might lose his or her life.
Secondly, there was an article in the Aug. 4 edition of the Whidbey News-Times about a man who stole a weapon from someone and threatened his ex wife and ex mother-in-law by firing at the floor in front of them.
I’m not a gun person, have never owned a gun, and still don’t own one, but my friends who have guns and I agree on one thing — enforce the laws that exist and this will deter gun violence.
The laws in the state of Washington are very clear: “For the first offense, the offender shall be guilty of a felony and the court shall impose a sentence of not less than five years, which sentence shall not be suspended or deferred.”
In this case, the offender was given a three-and-a-half year sentence for threatening and no charge for an illegal weapon.
No wonder some officers are leaving law enforcement. They are just not being supported. Period.