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Everybody's Column

Don't waste officers' time; let technicians file reports

The Buffalo Police Department has announced that, as is done in some suburbs, officers will be entering crime reports into the computers that are mounted in patrol vehicles. This is to be done at the crime scene and will eliminate the need for hand-written reports that are presently brought back to the station house and entered into the computer by civilian report technicians. This will no doubt save time and money, right? Wrong!

Hand-written reports will not be eliminated. Unless, of course, every victim dictates his report while standing next to a patrol vehicle. Obviously, reports will be hand-written and then brought to the vehicle for computer entry. Additionally, no offense intended, this is not the suburbs where there is adequate down-time to perform this task. There are over 1,000 911 calls in the city daily. Buffalo police officers, with one-man patrol cars, are doing their best to answer these calls. But ask anyone who has waited over an hour for a response to a low-priority call how things are going. The department is already doing more with less.

Keeping an officer out-of-service to type a report and, therefore, delaying response time to 911 calls is a public safety issue. It is also a bad financial move. Why would you pay an officer over twice the salary of a report technician to perform the same task? This idea will waste taxpayers dollars and put the public at risk.

Chuck Carier

Report Technician, B District

Buffalo Police Department

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'Historic' neighborhood is old and crime-ridden

I have heard many alternative plans for the Peace Bridge expansion but the suggestion to build a bridge from Youngstown to Toronto is the most absurd. Not only would it be the most expensive, but it just doesn't make any sense. Is that what is needed in the middle of our economic crisis today -- to spend more money? This suggestion would result in costly improvements. The Peace Bridge Authority has already built a dramatic gateway on the Fort Erie side and Buffalo is expected to do the same. This plan would be the most practical and would truly benefit the West Side of Buffalo.

In regard to the negative impact on the West Side, I invite this Amherst writer to spend one week or more in our so-called historic neighborhood. He could experience the crime and deterioration that is plaguing this area. I guarantee that the writer wouldn't be so concerned about saving the area then.

Let's get on with the project as is and stop this hopeless denial of a plan that will eventually succeed. I urge our local, state and federal lawmakers to rid us of a neighborhood that is not worth saving. We need to go forward not backward.

Barbara L. Battista

Buffalo

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'Doonesbury' cartoon has stooped to new low

Garry Trudeau's character assassination of a 17-year-old pregnant girl from Alaska was truly magnificent. He left no stone unturned in his Oct. 12 strip.

The use of this girl in a political statement is in character of his never-ending torrent of swill. It is truly the product of a mind whose owner is fond of slumbering with other sty-dwelling elitists.

Perhaps Trudeau should consider penning his poison on 1,000 sheets to the roll. It would make his work infinitely more useful than it is now.

Robert J. Lucas Sr.

Marilla

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Author of 'Kite Runner' wasn't defending Taliban

A headline in the Oct. 17 News read: " 'Kite Runner' author defends Taliban." What a skewed statement, taking what a brilliant author said, and taken totally out of context. If that is what was gleaned from Khaled Hosseini's enlightening program, it is a sad reflection on the mind-set of our society.

Could it be the same mentality that labels a man a terrorist because of his given name? Given the question "is the Taliban evil," the writer attempted to give insight into the history of this group and describe how the Taliban slowly morphed into a totally different entity, one that has very disparate goals.

Hosseini did not defend the current Taliban and its actions, he merely tried to educate the audience with a historical perspective. This introspective speaker gave us a much needed window into the plight of the Afghan people. It came from a man who remembers a life in his country free from real fear. Sadly, we all can identify with those times.

Amy A. Brinkworth

Town of Tonawanda

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So, how does McCain define victory in Iraq?

I just listened to Gov. Sarah Palin deliver the same old Republican battle challenge of "just once I would like to hear Sen. Barack Obama say we must not leave Iraq until we have won the war." OK, fair political rhetoric.

On the other hand, I would like to hear Sen. John McCain define exactly what he means by "win" or "victory." When does he think our adversaries are going to come out on a field of battle in full uniform and behind their ordnance? And where is this decisive modern-day Waterloo? Does he really expect a 21st century Yorktown or Appomattox?

If he thinks we can achieve a lasting peace between the Sunnis and Shiites, all I can say is "get real." I thought we won the war, as it is usually defined, six years ago when we defeated Saddam Hussein's army and took him down. The problem since that time has been our failing plans for the peace.

Fenton Harrison

Clarence Center

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Enough mud-slinging, let's stick to the issues

I urge voters in the upcoming election to please focus on the issues. This election season, both nationally and locally, character assassinations are driving and issues are taking a back seat on a turbulent ride.

In an election that could shift power in both Albany and Washington, having candidates attack others based on character is irresponsible and wrong. We need to hear how candidates are going to deal with a struggling economy, a botched war and a bad global image.

We do not need to hear repeated slurs about previous alliances or voting records in other states. The American people, particularly Western New Yorkers, need to know where those we are going to elect stand on the issues.

It is tactics such as these that have allowed us to get into this mess. It is of utter importance to the future of the state and the nation that those who are going to elect our future leaders turn a deaf ear to the mud and tune in the candidates' stances on the issues. Do not allow fear and anger to overpower the messages and ideas that candidates are spelling out. This is my plea, I hope someone is listening.

Kevin M. Lafferty

Buffalo

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