Mike Harden: Bearden column disparaging and nonfactual

11/20/2013 10:21 AM

11/20/2013 10:22 AM

With disdain I read Ed Bearden’s column “Modesto needs a shared vision for safety” (Opinions, Nov. 15) when he asserts that police officers acted irresponsibly in the handling of Elizabeth Kropp.

Bearden wasn’t at the school that tragic day and to imply that he knows the facts and circumstances is reckless. The shooting of Kropp was tragic for everyone, including the Kropp family, children and staff at school and the officers who had to deal with this difficult circumstance. The column appears to be laced with hindsight bias, a phenomenon that allows someone to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place.

Bearden writes that rather than finding itself as separate and aloof, the department could benefit from involvement with the community, and he makes an assumption the department does nothing to support the community. Every year, police employees spend their own money to ensure underprivileged children receive a gift at Christmas and donate money to causes such as the March of Dimes, the Salvation Army and other events. Officers also coach youth sports and serve as role models.

I found the column to have a disparaging tone and devoid of fact. I’m not surprised it was published by The Modesto Bee.

MIKE HARDEN

Modesto

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