Letters July 3: Appreciating the police; support for mentally ill; American travellers

Police officers deserve our appreciation

Re: “Police officers serve for all the right reasons,” commentary, July 2.

West Shore RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar wrote an excellent commentary. She spoke to us from the heart, both professionally and personally; openly sharing her trauma and fears, and her fierce commitment to serving our community.

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As she says, criticisms are required and and necessary to maintain the excellent standards that Canadians expect. I believe that this applies to all of us who serve in any capacity in our community. Saggar is right, that independent oversight is necessary and welcomed, but the ugliness of hate is not.

How courageous of her to let readers see and hear her own vulnerable humanity, both with her words and her smiling face.

Saggar reminds us that being there for our country and our community means respecting one another’s dignity, “being good, kind and caring.”

I deeply regret the personal criticism and hate that she has had hurled at her while on duty. Let’s thank her and her colleagues in uniform, for showing up to work and answering our 911 calls regardless of who we are, so that we all can be safe and secure.

Lillian Szpak
Councillor
City of Langford

Let’s assume that cops are doing a good job

The article by RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar was a wake-up call.

Our police officers have a very difficult job. We should never assume that a police officer is not doing a good job.

In my experience the majority do an excellent job, especially in Saanich. Many people thank persons serving in the military for their service.

Police serve under worse conditions in many cases.

We should all be thanking police for their service.

They keep us safe under very trying conditions and often suffer greatly for their service.

I intend to thank police for their service whenever I see them.

Fred Trudell
Retired Air Force
Victoria

Thanks to those who ensure our safety

Re: “Police officers serve for all the right reasons,” commentary, July 2.

It was so heartening to finally see a positive narrative on the fine folk in uniform who selflessly protect us every day and every night.

With all the negative narrative that has come their way we quickly forget the massive contribution they make to our safety and the sustaining of our daily lives.

Remember this is not Minneapolis and the next time you hear some self-righteous trendy politician use the word “defund,” remind yourself who they are gonna call when there is trouble in Beacon Hill Park.

Bruce Fraser
Victoria

They show courage and compassion

Re: “Police officers serve for all the right reasons,” commentary, July 2.

With all the police bashing these days, people tend to forget that the RCMP has long been one of the best police forces in the world. Over the past 20 years more and more responsibility has been placed upon them and they have fought to maintain their standards in the face of constant budget cuts and increasing duties.

Everyone loves the Mounties when they need them but memories are short and it’s easy to criticize. There are a few bad apples in every organization that exists. Let’s not let that blind us to fact that the majority of officers, like Const. Nancy Saggar, approach their job with courage and compassion.

They deserve our respect and support.

Scott Lyle
Courtenay

Where is support for mentally ill?

Re: “Defunding is wrong approach: we need to re-think policing,” commentary, June 26.

Thanks to Bob Plecas for his articulate and timely article regarding this sensitive issue. We continually look to our police community to provide answers and solutions to numerous social issues while also expecting them to protect our lives and property.

One or the other, or both, will suffer as a result. It is difficult to see how defunding the police would improve this reality.

Many years ago the government of the day decided to close mental-health facilities such as Riverview Hospital with the stated view of improving the situation by providing support at the community level for those suffering from mental illness.

One half of the equation was carried out with dispatch while the promised community support has never materialized.

This is shameful and much of the blame for the circumstances which see so much suffering on the streets due to mental illness rests with our elected representatives.

Tony Southwell
Victoria

Clarification on dental college role

Re: “Dentists work to clear backlog after months-long closures,” June 27.

I was asked about the challenges facing dentists and patients as a result of the office closures from the COVID-19 pandemic. I also provided comments about the current funding model for dentistry as I understand it.

In naming my board affiliation with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C., the story infers an association to professional advocacy that does not exist.

CDSBC's role is to regulate B.C.’s certified dental assistants, dental therapists and dentists. It does not advocate or lobby the government on any matter at any time, its purpose being to protect patients and the public.

As a board member, I am required to perform my duties free from professional interest.

It was not my intention to suggest or infer that CDBSC would advocate a platform of increased government spending.

Finally, I would like to clarify that I served as the President of the Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in 2016, and this commitment predated my appointment to the CDSBC board.

Dr. Maico D. Melo
Victoria

Stop letting Americans into Canada

This crisis a long, long way from over.

Two weeks ago I watched an American news program featuring a well-known doctor who said at that time five per cent of the population of the United States had COVID-19 and it will not have run its course until it has infected 65 per cent of the population.

Since his comments, the cases have soared as he predicted.

With about 335 million people in the U.S., you can do the math. We have to keep our border closed for many more months and do something smart about letting Americans into Canada who pretend to be going to Alaska.

If the shoe was on the other foot, we would not be allowed into their country with a similar story.

Jim Laing
Victoria

Those cars will carry the virus to us

Why is the government allowing vehicles with United States licence plates on the ferries to Vancouver island?

We have been fairly free from COVID-19 but now lots of vehicles with U.S. plates are on our roads so COVID-19 is going to spread to the island. This is a disgrace.

Kathryn Heis
Nanaimo

Concerned about U.S. plates on Island

Many of us living virtually COVID-free on Vancouver Island are concerned about the number of U.S. licence plates seen in campgrounds here.

My question is: are these Americans being screened at the border and being followed up with to ensure they are self-isolating for two weeks before travelling any distance from the border?

The strategies in place at Vancouver International Airport have worked well. What is happening at land crossings?

Jennifer Sutton
Victoria

Putting your money where it matters

While we’re all busy boycotting companies that advertise on Facebook, why don’t we also purchase goods and services from businesses who advertise in our local newspapers and locally-owned TV stations.

Jamie Alley
Saanich

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