Saturday's letters: Tragedy renews gratitude toward police

saturday's letters: tragedy renews gratitude toward police

Police officers honoured their fallen colleagues as they were transported to the medical examiner’s office by an escort of police, fire and EMS on March 16, 2023 in Edmonton. Two EPS members were killed in the line of duty after responding to a domestic call earlier in the day.

I suspect that most people have at some time had negative feelings toward the police as they carry out their duties. I know I have. But then, the recent tragedy of the two fallen officers points out how dangerous their work can be and highlights their importance.

The term “thin blue line” has been used to describe the importance of the police to you and me. What a disaster it would be for our society if we did not have police on duty 24 hours a day to carry out the absolutely crucial role they have. Yes, the police sometimes make mistakes.

But I, for one, realize how petty some of my concerns have been when a tragedy like this, where two young men lose their life trying to restore order in a domestic dispute so senselessly die. The heartbreak of their loved ones and their fellow officers must be unbelievable. Sorrow and heartbreak probably does not come close to describing their feelings. I just can’t imagine how their families and loved ones can cope with this disaster.

What I can describe though is my gratitude to all police, and especially to those who have died in the line of duty, for the crucial role they play in our society. Thanks to all of you.

Gordon Mcleod, Edmonton

Honour fallen officers by supporting police

March 16 was a sad day for Edmonton and Canada with the tragic loss of Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan.

Tributes from leaders of all political stripes and the public poured in for the fallen officers. Ryan and Jordan‘s commitment to duty was also matched by their commitment to their families and the extra mile they went for their community. In a decade where we have faced COVID, isolation and inflation, Edmonton and other Canadian cities have the added challenge of dealing with addictions and mental health challenges. In many cases, our police have provided assistance and faced related dangers.

The loss of our officers is sad, even devastating. At the same time, it has brought Edmonton together and given us an opportunity for a potential call to action. We can honour the legacies of the constables by showing leadership and supporting their needs and encouraging our elected leaders to do the same.

Rhys Davies, Sherwood Park

Think again about defunding police

It’s with a heavy heart, I think about these two men, ambushed so they didn’t stand a chance. I’m glad they didn’t have a mental health worker with them, because he or she would have also been killed.

Those that call for defunding the police need a sober second thought on that ridiculous call. If Edmonton’s last mayor, and now this one, think the importance of Edmonton lies with a vibrant downtown, complete with bike lanes and LRT, they should think again. They have forgotten that the whole of Edmonton is where the importance is. Police can’t be everywhere, on transit, in transit stations, Chinatown, Jasper Avenue. There aren’t enough officers to go around.

There’s a bigger issue in Edmonton; stop wasting billions on pet projects, get back to the basics. We aren’t Vancouver; we’re a northern city that has an abundance of homeless individuals and people that can no longer afford life in general. Ottawa  doesn’t care, so the city council and Mayor Sohi need to. We moved from Edmonton, for reasons I stated.

W.I. Kostyniuk, St. Albert

Learn about transit safety from other cities

I recently spent a week in Washington, D.C. as a tourist. We took the subway every day downtown. It was clean and always felt safe, perhaps because they had a full-time uniformed station manager in a secure booth with security monitors at every station. The manager taught us how to buy and update fare cards and gave information about how to get to where we were going.

We noticed a big difference from Edmonton, where the platforms are somewhat unkempt and I always feel a bit insecure especially when no one else is around. Edmonton could learn from how other systems treat security, since I expect the issues are similar in every city that has a subway/LRT system.

Rick Garvin, Edmonton

Letters welcome

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