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Questioning Actions in Deputy's Death

January 02, 1994

* Why the Bozo bashing of Brad (Gates) and the Orange County Sheriff's Department?

I head a small state investigative unit office in Orange County. We utilize the technical and support services of the OCSD to assist in our investigations and can personally attest that the OCSD is a "can do" organization. From the booking deputy to the warrant clerk to the criminalist, they are arguably the best Sheriff's Department in the state.

The comments on deputy training displays blatant ignorance. Training is a state of mind. Training is ongoing at the office, in the patrol car, at the academy and yes, even at home. Training is not limited to specific set times and locations.

A field deputy places his personal safety in the hands of his fellow officers. The level of training and the adequacy of the training that his comrades possess can have a life or death impact on him personally. The deputies had identified a shortcoming in the training of a fellow officer and were taking immediate corrective action. This is to be commended, not criticized.

Let this tragic accident be a positive lesson plan for further training. Keep the faith, OCSD, we support your superior efforts on our behalf.

JOHN L. WIGGINS

Huntington Beach

* Does the "code of silence" among police officers still apply when a good officer is shot in the face and killed by a bad officer? So far this seems to be the case.

Certain aspects of the limited information being fed to the public have made me more suspicious than I was when the story first broke.

As this surreptitious event unfolds, the stink of a cover-up becomes more noticeable.

I strongly recommend that someone in the department who knows the truth come clean and not burden their fellow officers and their entire department with this scandal.

G. FRED LOGAN

Laguna Niguel

* Police officers are thoroughly trained in the use of guns. They carry them daily, load and unload them daily, and take regular target practice.

Yet, on Christmas Day, an Orange County sheriff's deputy was accidentally killed by a gun while role-playing on duty. How then can the average citizen, less familiar with firearms, be expected to safely possess and use guns?

Notwithstanding the media's preoccupation with violent crime, the chief danger from guns comes not from their use by "criminals" but by the hands of careless or hot-tempered average people.

Guns kill people.

PETER A. ALIX

Yorba Linda

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