Editorial: Highs and lows from last week

Editorial: Highs and lows from last week

(High) It was good to read that police across the region are getting training in the attributes of autism and other mental health issues in an effort to improve more effective response to incidents. Local police interviewed about the concept often referred to defusing situations with calm approaches and conversation rather than the old aggressive approach, which they learned could escalate a situation needlessly. This is truly good news and a refreshing take on community police work.

(High) In a related story about safer policing, local departments are taking steps to protect their officers by ending the practice of field-testing drugs that may contain fentanyl. Police and other emergency responders have learned that they can suffer an overdose from exposure to even minor amounts of the synthetic drug while conducting tests upon making an arrest as the first step in building a case. The drug, often mixed with heroin, is said to be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and can be absorbed through contact with skin. Police have been told to use gloves while packaging evidence and to let the state lab do the testing later with more appropriate protection provided in that setting.

(Low) We can’t help but mention last week’s weather as a low, pardon the pun. The region experienced record lows and blizzard conditions to boot, but the real problem was the duration of those nasty lows. A day or two is one thing, but more than a week’s worth starts causing big problems. Frozen and burst water lines, oil companies unable to keep up with demand for heating oil and  dead car batteries were the result of the extended cold, no, frigid spell. Here’s to Tuesday’sforecast of 40 degrees.

(Low) And again in a related matter, it’s hard to imagine that police and pet shelter workers had to make it a point to get the word out that pets can suffer and die if left out in the kind of extreme cold that we had last week. Just as in summer when we hear about police rescuing pets in hot cars during heatwaves, there were incidents of police finding pets left outside for long durations and in cars during shopping trips. As they say, common sense isn’t all that common. 



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