2017-06-29 / Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

We should be proud of our school system

To the editor:

Recently, at the Will Reynolds essay and poster contest dinner sponsored by the Jamestown Rotary Club, my daughter and I had an opportunity to visit several of her former teachers from Melrose and Lawn schools.

As a recent graduate of North Kingstown High School, my daughter thanked her Jamestown teachers for what they had given her over the years. The encounter made me realize what a treasure Jamestown has with its education system and the dedicated teachers, administrators and staff who run this system.

From my perspective as a parent, I have come to realize that teachers, and especially those here in Jamestown, are the most powerful agents of change in our society. Even the smallest intervention in a child’s life — words of encouragement, assistance with a math problem, helpful advice etc. — can have profound effects on that child’s ultimate educational trajectory and life path.

As a community, we are blessed to have a great school system. Our family has been a beneficiary of this system and for this we will always be grateful.

Paul J. Smith
Schooner Avenue

Police program well worth the experience

To the editor:

In the past, some articles about the Jamestown Police Department published in The Jamestown Press reported incidents of confrontation between police and residents. By far, the most frequent offenses are traffic stops, which seldom leave the offender with a warm fuzzy feeling about the experience. Hence, those Jamestowners don’t often have a positive image of the fine men and women who protect them.

In an effort to share with the community the work our police officers do, the first police academy was instituted by Chief Tom Tighe in 1998. Chief Ed Mello introduced the Citizen’s Police Academy Program in 2014.

This letter is to praise the success of the 2017 Police Immersion Program and encourage others to take advantage of future programs.

The six-week program covered patrol and arrest procedures, use of force, traffic stops, active shooter, use of the Firearm Training Simulator and firearm use with live ammunition.

Emphasis was placed on the judgment required to control situations with a minimum of force. Starting with verbal commands and moving up using increasingly powerful tools — the baton, pepper spray, taser and lastly a firearm.

We were not merely watching and listening to the very enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructors, we were role playing — some simulated — with each of these tools. The simulator challenged us with realistic life size videos and laser weapons to distinguish between good guys and bad.

The final day had us reversing roles with the officers at Fort Getty. Driving their cruisers to an unseen location had each of us face “live criminals” in a variety of roles

During the program, we gained an appreciation for the rigorous training, professionalism and dedication of our police department. Beneath those crisp uniforms. we also found warm, humorous and genuinely fine people we wished could call our island their home.

Mike Abbood Sam Pease
Teresa Abbood Steve Baker
Dimitrius Raterron Win Reed
Prim Bullock Bill Reppe
Joan Faella Jerry Scott
Lynn Hall Rod Smith

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