Train­ing deputies

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Short­age of deputies in L.A. County,” May 31

The pic­ture of a Los An­ge­les County sher­iff ’s deputy yelling in the face of a re­cruit on the first day of train­ing might well fit what you would ex­pect for a Marine be­ing pre­pared for war. Po­lice of­fi­cers are to serve and pro­tect civil­ians. Why have we mil­i­ta­rized them?

The dual-track sys­tem — with sep­a­rate ca­reer paths for jail duty and street pa­trol — is sen­si­ble. Trainee Ni­co­lette Barfield, quoted in the ar­ti­cle, says she wants to men­tor ar­restees and in­mates and to help them “un­der­stand why they made a mis­take.” She is just the per­son to be in the jail cus­tody corps, which should re­ceive more train­ing in men­tal ill­ness and ad­dic­tion as a way to stop re­cy­cling the same pop­u­la­tion in and out of our jails.

Those who re­ceive bru­tal­ity are more likely to in­flict bru­tal­ity. Those treated with re­spect are more likely to re­spect oth­ers.

Louise Bianco


Mark Boster Los An­ge­les Times

SHER­IFF’S DEPUTY Guillermo Garcia gets in the face of a re­cruit on the first day of train­ing.

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