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Jaws

March 15, 1992

I would be less than honest if I did not say I was underwhelmed with Beers' article. My staff and I had worked with him for more than three months, and he had seemed interested in telling, as he said, "a balanced story."

Lengthy responses to Beers' questions seem to have been rendered to no more than cutesy quips attributed to me and my staff. Was it the intention to inform Times readers here, or simply provide light entertainment?

An example of the tinniness of the article can be found in the inclusion of the absurd observation by a questionable police expert that police dog bites, at some 1,000 pounds-per-square-inch pressure, are more serious than 9-millimeter bullets with about 300 pounds' pressure. Since when do police dogs travel at more than 1 1/2 times the speed of sound, as bullets do?

CAPT. DAN BURT

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

The writer responds: The police expert that Capt. Burt finds questionable, Van Bogardus, graduated first in his class at the Sheriff's Academy and was a regional president of the U.S. Police Canine Assn. Bogardus wasn't quoted as saying a bite is worse than a bullet, but he did emphasize that both may do serious damage, as a police dog's jaws are forceful enough to tear muscles and tendons, compress vital veins and break bones .

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