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Is Police Department the Victim or Villain?

October 22, 2004

Re "Ex-Officer Admits to Robberies," Oct. 20: I just need to know what the point is of your latest police-bashing. Ruben Palomares is in prison. Only one other LAPD officer was involved and has resigned. The incident is now 3 years old. Of course the buzzword "Rampart" is important in selling newspapers.

Are there that many police-bashing people out there? Is this an attempt to erode the shaky confidence citizens have in the Police Department? This follows the articles on suspect police shootings (Oct. 17-18). I worked for the Los Angeles Police Department for some 31 years and admit we have our bad eggs. We usually find them and fire them, as we did with Rafael Perez.

Robert G. Rose

Northridge

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I am ashamed to have been with LAPD for 20 years. God help L.A.

Don Schweitzer

Ventura

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Re "Frequent Fire," Oct. 18: I'm a 27-year law enforcement veteran with a large Southern California department. I read with interest your article about the high number of shootings some LAPD officers have had. You missed one important item that I learned a long time ago: If all police officers fired their weapons at suspects every time they were legally and morally justified in doing so, the streets would run red with blood.

In my career I've shot one person because he tried to kill me with a roofing hatchet. There have been at least five other times I could have pulled the trigger but opted not to for a variety of reasons.

It is important to remember that police officers are faced many times with deadly force incidents. Sometimes it's luck, sometimes it's good tactics and sometimes it's just plain endangering your life rather than defending yourself that enables cops to opt for not pulling the trigger.

Richard Lichten

Castaic

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