EndNotes

THURSDAY, JAN. 5, 2012, 9:39 P.M.

Tragedy for everyone

In this April 20, 2011 photo provided by NASA, the Hubble Space Telescope captures a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue jewels across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. The smaller, nearly edge-on companion shows distinct signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the encounter with the companion galaxy. A series of uncommon spiral patterns in the large galaxy is a tell-tale sign of interaction. Arp 273 lies in the constellation Andromeda and is roughly 300 million light-years away from Earth. Hubble was launched April 24, 1990, aboard Discovery's STS-31 mission.  (NASA / Associated Press)
In this April 20, 2011 photo provided by NASA, the Hubble Space Telescope captures a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue jewels across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. The smaller, nearly edge-on companion shows distinct signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the encounter with the companion galaxy. A series of uncommon spiral patterns in the large galaxy is a tell-tale sign of interaction. Arp 273 lies in the constellation Andromeda and is roughly 300 million light-years away from Earth. Hubble was launched April 24, 1990, aboard Discovery's STS-31 mission. (NASA / Associated Press)

A  Seattle police officer took his own life a few hours after being arrested for stealing cocaine that he had failed to submit into evidence. He was then released, in compliance with procedure.

The Seattle Times reports: “ Nelson was arrested in the felony investigation and taken to headquarters, where he spoke with command staff for a few hours before he was booked into King County Jail at 4:16 a.m. At that time, he was ‘offered a number of referral options for counseling,’ the department said in a statement.”

Instead of taking a referral option for counseling, he was driven home by one of the command staff. Within a few hours, he took his own life. His body was found by a hiker.

While police are under intense scrutiny by the public, they often hold themselves and each other to an even higher standard; the tragedy is that Nelson was unable – for whatever reason – to get help when he needed it - and did not take it today when he was offered it.

Perhaps if we seek ways to support law enforcement in their personal struggles, their struggles would be resolved in healthy ways, not tragic endings.

(S-R archives photo)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.