Train kids as well as cops to avoid tragedy

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - News -

Cal­i­for­nia now has new “guide­lines” for how peace of­fi­cers must be­have when con­fronted with peo­ple they fear are try­ing to kill them.

That’s great, I guess, even though cops in this state have been train­ing for these sit­u­a­tions us­ing in­creas­ingly re­al­is­tic sim­u­la­tors and other tech­niques since be­fore I was con­sta­ble in the early 1970s.

What I didn’t see or hear from Gov. Gavin New­som was any sug­ges­tion aimed at the pri­mary rea­son these tragedies oc­cur.

Which, as I have noted be­fore in this space, is how peo­ple should con­duct them­selves to avoid these dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions.

That would in­volve us­ing com­mon sense, which seems to have all but dis­ap­peared in this world.

I had a friend years ago who had a de­gree in psy­chol­ogy from UCLA who told me that com­mon sense was bunk.

He later shot him­self af­ter be­ing caught by his wife af­ter she caught him shar­ing his phi­los­o­phy, com­plete with demon­stra­tions ( home­work?), with an­other woman.

Dan­ger­ous pro­fes­sion

What many peo­ple who have not been in law en­force­ment do not seem to un­der­stand is that it is a very dan­ger­ous pro­fes­sion. It’s that way to keep dan­ger away from the rest of us.

Of­fi­cers are more con­cerned for their safety as are many of the peo­ple they en­counter based on their train­ing and re­al­ity.

What may seem to a civil­ian like in­no­cent be­hav­ior in a dark al­ley at 3 a.m. can be con­strued as a life-and-death sit­u­a­tion to a cop. And vice-versa.

Which is why, WHY, the civil­ian should not do any thing stupid and should obey the of­fi­cer’s re­quests, no mat­ter how im­por­tant you may think you are and what you may think of the whole con­cept of armed peace of­fi­cers.

With an open mind, look at most of the in­ci­dents that brought about this new law, be­gin­ning with the one in Mis­souri, and you will see that the per­son who lost his life could have pre­vented that hap­pen­ing by just drop­ping an at­ti­tude and be­hav­ing with some good sense.

In­stead of stick­ing a gun in a po­lice of­fi­cer’s car.

Gimme a break. Yes, there are cops who do dumb things, like the Los An­ge­les County deputy who faked be­ing shot last week.

He should be sent the bill for that fi­asco.

One of our of­fi­cers back in the old days, a per­son who never should have been hired in the first place, took his own life af­ter he was fired.

Ed­u­ca­tion needed

I am a mem­ber of a gen­er­a­tion that was the first to re­ceive class­room and prac­ti­cal train­ing in how to drive safely, at An­te­lope Valley High in about 1952.

In those days com­plet­ing such a class was re­quired to earn a Cal­i­for­nia driver’s li­cense.

Now it seems that prac­ti­cal train­ing is be­gin­ning to take over ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion.

Stu­dents will face a new class in “eth­nic stud­ies” if Cal­i­for­nia politi­cians ever de­cide how that can be done with­out hurt­ing any­one’s feel­ings — which is the rea­son for the class in the first place.

Years ago my sis­ter taught “par­ent­ing” classes, which was right up her street af­ter rais­ing a daugh­ter and two sons af­ter her hus­band left her. All three of the kids are suc­cess­ful adults who con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety as a nurse, school vice-prin­ci­pal, and a su­per­vis­ing park ranger.

She raised them while work­ing full-time and earn­ing a col­lege de­gree in her “spare” time.

Back in the ’50s we had a class at AV called “se­nior so­cial prob­lems,” ap­par­ently a fol­low-on to the new sex ed­u­ca­tion classes.

The high­light of our class was when a girl from Mo­jave named Donna and I par­tic­i­pated in a mock mar­riage cer­e­mony one af­ter­noon.

I have no idea where she is these days — we haven’t kept in touch.

I am se­ri­ous about bring­ing cops who can re­late to teenagers into class­rooms to try to make them think twice so that their par­ents will not have to tell a TV re­porter that lit­tle Terry was a per­fect boy who never did any­thing to make a cop shoot him be­cause the ob­ject he pointed at the of­fi­cer in that dark al­ley was a toy or a cell­phone or a screw­driver, and won­der why that un­car­ing of­fi­cer, who will never get over what he or she did, couldn’t tell the dif­fer­ence from a real gun.

No can­cel­la­tions?

On an­other topic, I love com­put­ers and was an early adopter.

But some busi­nesses drive me nuts with their crappy and un­help­ful web­sites.

Like UPS. I bought some­thing from Ama­zon last week and, af­ter or­der­ing it, learned that I would not need the item any­more.

I in­formed Ama­zon im­me­di­ately and my re­quest was han­dled with their usual dig­i­tal aplomb.

Get­ting UPS to can­cel the ship­ment was some­thing else.

De­spite go­ing through a whole bunch of poorly de­signed web­pages, none of which an­swered the sim­ple ques­tion of “how do I can­cel a de­liv­ery?”

I fi­nally typed a no­tice to the driver along with my Ama­zon re­turn la­bel and taped it to the area on our porch where they leave our pack­ages. That worked.

Thanks, An­te­lope Valley Hos­pi­tal

My wife re­cently spent a week in An­te­lope Valley Hos­pi­tal, and we want to ex­press our ap­pre­ci­a­tion to ev­ery­one who helped make her stay com­fort­able.

From the folks in the ER to ev­ery­one else, in­clud­ing the vol­un­teers and main­te­nance folks, who helped make our stay there as pleas­ant as such an ex­pe­ri­ence can be, we say thanks.

We also want to com­mend the kitchen for pre­par­ing and serv­ing some of the best food we have ever en­joyed, es­pe­cially the Mex­i­can food.

It was a de­light­ful change from my ex­pe­ri­ence there sev­eral years ago when I got one meal whose con­tents I have still been un­able to iden­tify. And didn’t eat.

If I had one com­pli­ant it would be the WiFi — even the nurses were search­ing for a de­cent sig­nal for their re­ally cool rolling work sta­tions.

Again, to ev­ery­one, a sin­cere and sat­is­fied thank you.

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