THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Poem was touching
The portion of President Obama's inaugural ceremonies that touched me the deepest, and nearly brought me to tears, was the poem read by inaugural poet Richard Blanco, "One Today."
In its simple narrative, it portrayed more meaningfully than I have ever heard before how we are one in humankind, but amazingly diverse in our individuality. Let us strive to respect our differences and keep an open mind to the wonders of our diversity, which make up a glorious whole as we "face the stars."
Fund public safety
Eugene is fortunate to have an outstanding chief of police. Lane County has had four excellent sheriffs. State troopers do an excellent job. All three of these agencies have one thing in common: They lack numbers.
Imagine yourself out in rural areas; you are making a car stop and walking up to a darkened vehicle. You do not know what is waiting for you in that vehicle.
If you are Eugene officers, the backup time could be 10 minutes. If you are a deputy, your backup could be more than 40 minutes. A trooper's backup time would be approximately 40 minutes. Their lives depend on their training, equipment, common sense and backup. Your life could depend on law enforcement arrival.
Police do not establish their budgets. City, county and state officials give them "X" amount to run their organizations. I would enjoy putting these "officials" through what law enforcement agents go through every day.
We citizens pay hundreds of billions of dollars every year to rehabilitate violent people, users of drugs, incarcerated people who get all medical treatments for free, and people who can't seem to follow vehicle laws. I firmly believe these people should pay, at least in part, for their behaviors. It's called accountability.
Fines for vehicular traffic infractions should go directly to the agency that enforces those laws. This would pay for wages, insurance, training and the law enforcement vehicles. Vehicle accidents cost over $6 billion a year, according to CNN. No "commissioners" would be allowed access to that money.