Two of my favorite "Odd Fellows"! (From Street Fair 2005)
Dear People: It was good to see so many of you at the Street Fair yesterday. I helped set up and take down the Tecumseh Land Trust booth and attended more of the fair than usual (often I just hide in my house on Street Fair day). I thought it was especially well organized and fun this year, great music!, so kudos to the Chamber of Commerce.
1) We have several fairly straightforward resolutions to consider during the "public hearings/legislation" portion of our meeting, 7 pm Monday night, Bryan Ctr:
- Approval of the 2009 Tax Budget
- Purchase of a used street sweeper
- Designating our official agent for the receipt of FEMA money from last winter's storms
- Installing a new HVAC system in the Bryan Center.
- Run for Life
- Records Commission--regarding the posting of official public documents on our website
4) ... we retire into Executive Session
We are still hoping that John Weithofer will agree to be our interim manager. He is currently acting as a manager-consultant for the village on an hourly basis and helping us to assess our current situation and the challenges we face.
FINALLY: High Speed Chase Concerns: I want to also share with you all a corrected copy of a letter that I drafted for the whole Council, which has been forwarded to the Dayton City Manager, regarding the high-speed chase through town, and the public safety issue as I see it, which is an issue that the media nor the Dayton Police have addressed. If any of you feel strongly, please consider writing a letter to the DDN or other media outlets to express your concerns:
---MY LETTER to COUNCIL/VILLAGE MGR/SOLICITOR/VILLAGE POLICE CHIEF---
Dear Colleagues: From what I can tell from these emails and the report in the Dayton Daily News, [edited to add: after the perpetrator deliberately backed into an arresting officer's vehicle (6/17/2008)] the [Dayton] police chose to continue this high-speed pursuit:
- on a simple drug offense
- by an unarmed fugitive who the paper was able to describe in some detail (i.e., they had a good physical description and, I understand, actual films of his initial apprehension),
- of an already identified vehicle
- in the middle of the day
- through a busy business district of a small town
- into the the parking lot of a public building with a significant teen recreation facility
- when there were almost certainly alternative means of capturing the criminal available through better use of modern telecommunications systems, etc.
- at speeds of up to 90 mph
The International Association of Chiefs of Police published an article in the last few years
in which they note that pursuit-related crashes result in the deaths of at least 300 officers and innocent bystanders every year. (Other citizen action groups note there's no required reporting on this phenomena, so the numbers may actually be higher). The Police Chief Magazine article advocates that police not put themselves and the public at risk through a dependence on high-speed pursuit. They note that there are other means of pursuit available, particularly given the development of modern telecommunications, particularly when the perpetrator is not a violent offender.
What is Dayton Police policy on high-speed chases? What is ours?
Unless compelling information is produced that alters the public narrative of this event or my understanding of it, I can see no excuse for this dangerous chase. The Dayton Police deliberately turned both cars into deadly weapons and drove them into our midst, and they should be held accountable for this irresponsible decision.
----END LETTER TO COUNCIL-----
Thanks for all the kinds words and support I continue to get from so many of you. It helps a lot!