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Huckleberries Online

SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2006, 11:02 A.M.

Chief Hayes Responds To Selle Comment

"I have never written a letter to the editor, nor have I ever posted comments on a blog, so this is a first for me.

"I felt providing a copy of the Police incident report may be helpful to your readers to understand what Mr. Selle is referring to.
At this time I have not had an opportunity to review any audio/video tapes of this event. That will be done early next week if necessary.
If these items indicate anything could have been improved upon, we will act accordingly.

"As you can see from the report, when Police Officers arrive at a fight call and people are bleeding and a person involved does not cooperate, steps have to be taken to secure the situation. It appears from the report that Mr. Pena (the individual that was tased) was given several orders to stop moving around while the Officers tried to sort out what was going on. When an individual refuses to comply, and a scene is not secure in the Officers mind for their safety and the safety of others present, action needs to be taken.

"If we act to fast we are criticized for not having patience;

"If we act to slow we are criticized for not doing our job;

"If we act just right we have to educate an onlooker who doesn't think we did.

"In this case the report indicates even the tazed person and his wife 'understood' our actions. I do not say they agree with them, but they seem to understand why we acted the way we did.

"The tazer is one of the best tools to come along for Law Enforcement personnel. It provides an opportunity to control individuals without having to go "hands on" with a suspect. In the old days, the Officers would have tackled Mr. Pena and tried to control and handcuff him. This technique had been used for years but with many injuries to suspects and to Patrol Officers. The use of tazers is another conversation separate from this event and is far to involved to go into in this forum.

"I would prefer not to respond to questions about this event on a blog and would welcome a telephone call from any person who has comments or questions. I can be reached at 773-3517(work), or 773-3193 (home). Please use the work phone unless you feel it is very important to talk to me at home."

Cliff Hayes
Post Falls PD

P.S. You can find the link to the Post Falls Police Department report re: the incident here.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.