Sunday, October 26, 2014

Law Enforcement Gets It Right

On Friday, a freshman athlete and Homecoming Prince from Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington opened fire in the school cafeteria.  The assailant appears to have been Jason Fryberg, who killed one student and then wounded four others, and then killed himself, accidentally or otherwise.

The same day, a man identified as 34-year-old Marcello Marquez, along with a female companion, was arrested for allegedly shooting dead two sheriff's deputies, wounding one other deputy and wounding another individual in northern California.

There may be lessons to be learned from both crimes as more is learned of each but it is clear that, coupled with an increasingly unstable situation abroad, things are not going well. It is nearly as clear that both events included a hero, though only in one will it be widely recognized.

Evidently, north of Seattle

Amid the chaos of Friday’s shooting, a young teacher attempted to halt the shooter and pulled a fire alarm, according to a food-service employee at the school, who declined to be named. The teacher was identified in some news reports as Megan Silberberger. She declined to comment when reached by The Seattle Times.

The teacher will be heralded and hailed and celebrated. In a year or two she may be laid off for what will be cited as budgetary reasons, while teachers around the country experience their pensions cut, their hours extended, or their unions attacked, all the while they're held responsible for the socio-economic ills of the neighborhoods from which their students hail. Silberger (or whomever it was) did, in a more dramatic and courageous fashion, what her colleagues around the nation do daily, sacrificing for their students.

Less acclaim will be accorded a true hero of the Placer County Sheriff's Department (video below), of whom it was written

I think there's those people who would say, 'You know what, I wish you'd killed him,'" Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner said at a news conference Friday evening. Now, that's not who we are. We are not him. We did our job. I'm incredibly proud of the men and women who go out there every day and put their life on the line.

That's not who we are. We are not him.  As Camus commented about a remark in an entirely different context, "It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man."  It does not sound like the Ferguson (Mo.) Police Department, though, admittedly, it did not involve white authority and a black citizenry.Nothing bloodthirsty or questionable here, only  a sheriff's department assuming its proper role, determined to do what was needed and to allow the court system to pick up where it left off.  Like tens of millions of Americans every day, the Placer County Sheriff's Department would do its job, with no unnecessary fanfare or false humility, do it well and to do it right.

Unlike the teacher in Washington State- who will receive her just due- leadership in the sheriff's department in Placer County, though possibly praised, will not be glorified.  They did, though, all they could be expected to do, and performed as public servants must..

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