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Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 5/15/2005

Support for police use of Tasers

The use of the Taser has been called into question recently by a death of a local man shocked by the stun gun. The coroner ruled the death a homicide.

The Taser delivers a 50,000-volt shock up to five seconds to attack the nervous system and subdue a suspect. The guns are intended to keep hostile situations from escalating into fatal force. Overall, injuries to both officers and suspects have declined as a result of use of Tasers.

NAMI of Greater Toledo supports the use of the Taser, as long as the practice is moderated and regulated. A retired police officer suggests anywhere from 7 percent to 15 percent of calls to which a police officer responds in this country involve someone with a mental illness.

Based on these concerns, the CIT or Crisis Intervention Team, which is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the mental health community, came into being. It is a 40-hour course designed for officers that provides practical techniques for de-escalating crises.

Officers learn to integrate their police training with some different approaches to a person they believe may have a mental disorder. The CIT officer may help direct persons with mental illness into treatment instead of inappropriate incarceration.

The Toledo Police Department has been involved in the training for several years and now the Lucas County Sheriff's Department has agreed to join in.

The Taser has the potential to save lives and prevent injuries to the officers and suspects by proper use. Competent training with the Taser and knowledge of the policy and moderation of use as well as crisis intervention education like with the CIT officers will aid the police in preventing violence that can be avoidable.

LAWRENCE WANUCHA

Board of Directors

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

West Central Avenue

I can smell Molly Ivins' "rotten egg" math clear out here in the country. It far surpasses any odors around here. For her information, putting 4 percent of your total Social Security "donations" into a private account leaves 96 percent going toward your usual government Social Security account. Where, oh where did she get that 33 percent figure? Methinks she did a bit of quick number-shuffling. It makes me wonder where she studied math. In her own words, "It's not that hard, honey!" Maybe she should go figure again.

JOYCE DENNIS

Lemoyne, Ohio

I really need to start paying better attention to political events in the 4th Congressional District. If I had been more attentive, I probably would not have missed Ben "Carpetbagger" Konop's announcement that he was moving from the district that just last November he so fervently sought to represent. I could have sworn that he was champion of all of us in the Findlay area.

What is the value of the promises he made to those who voted for him? At least I didn't waste my vote.

I've promised myself to follow politics more closely in the future so I don't miss Mr. Konop's announcement for the political office he is pursuing in Lucas County. Then again, I really don't need to wait for his announcement; all I need do is figure out what political office is open in the area where he claims to be moving next.

At least he listened well when his mentor, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, explained to him how to move into a district to run for Congress. One has to wonder where Ms. Kaptur will live when she leaves Congress.

ROBERT BENSEN

Findlay

You alone can help defeat the spiraling costs of gasoline. When you see a reduction of gasoline prices and then the quick turnaround it can only mean one thing. The gasoline station is not making its quota and you must be under its control.

The next time you are baited with lower prices, don't fill up your tank. Only fill half your tank.

This will cause the gasoline station to reduce his price to a lower level, one that you can live with.

It's called supply and demand. With everyone's cooperation we can bring about lower gasoline prices.

RICHARD SCHIFFERLY

Waterville

Hey, America, we are allowed to laugh. We take ourselves so seriously that we are becoming a land of the uptight.

Case in point, a recent commercial by a national hamburger chain, which shows an arm next to a prosthetic device. During the commercial a larger one replaces the device because the original may not be able to handle a larger sandwich. A few chuckles because of its originality, but then someone is offended because of the perceived notion the commercial lacks sensitivity to those who use the devices.

Then we have the miniature stuffed bear, outfitted with a straitjacket, offered around Valentine's Day because the purchaser may be "crazy" about someone. Very cute and novel, except to those who can find a media outlet to complain that it demeans those with mental illness.

When did novelty become a crime? When did America lose its sense of humor?

Oh well, so I can stay a member of the politically correct party, I'd like to say now to the pathologist who may have to use his/her tools of the trade to discover the nature of my demise, have a nice autopsy.

MEL STACHURA, JR.

Rowland Road

I don't know about everyone else, but I am sick and tired of hearing about a new Sports Arena, Savage Hall being outdated, and on and on. Think back to when Rossford was going to be the entertainment and sports capital in this area.

If Toledo, Carty Finkbeiner, and The Blade had gotten behind this project, instead of sabotaging it, we would have had an AHL hockey team, big-name acts for concerts, and all the conventions they could have handled.

With Toledo thinking it is the big dog in the area and should have it all, it now has nothing, and might lose the Storm.

Just one more reason to move out of Toledo, with your tax dollars.

CARL ZELLNER

Waterville

Because the current structure of state funding for Ohio schools is not working, 203 Ohio communities again had school tax levies on their ballots. I'd like to suggest a few investment opportunities:

1. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation could invest in Ohio's future by investing some of the $21.3 billion from their reserves in Ohio schools.

2. The local boards of education could borrow money from the BWC to help fund operation of our schools.

3. The BWC could reduce premiums that Ohio companies pay for workers' compensation insurance, thereby attracting more businesses into Ohio, and in turn reducing each school district's dependence on local property taxes.

Think of the opportunities each Ohio school could experience!

JACKIE MILLER

Maumee

As a Minnesota resident temporarily in Toledo, I am simply amazed by the bind that the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation appears to have gotten into by investing in rare coins. Investments of this type, including stamps, paintings, jewelry, sports, and other types of collectibles, are highly speculative, to say the least, and are ready subjects for theft, fraud, and market fluctuation.

I cannot believe that the Ohio Legislature has failed to prescribe a list of legal investments for public funds that would include workers' comp funds and exclude risky investments such as collectibles. Offhand I know of no other state where investments of this type are permitted for public funds.

PAUL ROHDE

Woodbury, Minn.



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