I would like to share the follow opinion with our community in reference to the recent dog shooting by Madras Police Officer Stanfill. It was surely an unfortunate situation that he dog was shot, but the overwhelming emotional lashing-out against the officer seemed to be over-the-top. As I understand the issue, Officer Stanfill was operating within the scope of his duties as a Police officer for this town when this incident happened. While performing his duties, he was confronted by a dog that proceeded to attack him. Now just what should have been done? Let the dog viciously bite and wound him? He was running away from the dog until it became obvious that a biting was eminent and his reaction to shoot the dog as he fled was a reasonable reaction. What would YOU have done in his place, just let the dog bite and rip at your flesh? Do you think trip to the emergency room is a picnic? How about permanent nerve and muscle damage? Or possibly a disability injury to end your career? Far fetched? If you think so, you're not living in the real world! Too many people today value animal welfare over humans. What a sorry value system. Hardly a month goes by without hearing of dogs viciously attacking children or people, even killing them. Too many dog owners are not responsible with their pets in this community, that's why the county employs an animal control officer. We, as a community understand the need to police pets, but when they pose a threat... woe to the one who takes appropriate action! Was it better to let the dog just "bite away" or defend your personal welfare? People may side with the dog UNTIL they are in a similar situation. My wife and I have walked by chained dogs in this community that I have hoped would not break the chain because of the vicious and aggressive demeanor of the animal.
To make an unfortunate incident worse yet, his peers in the city council (at least the majority) did not stand behind the officer. I wonder, next time an officer has to pull a gun to protect himself or another, with such a precedent now established by our city council, will the officer be more prone to wait until harm is done, just to "make sure" it's justified? Maybe our uninformed and somewhat unconcerned electorate should note that if officers are `hung-out' by their peers, that's just what you can expect to happen in the future... Its human nature! Let the dog bite first, let the suspect shoot an innocent victim first.... just to make sure the officer is not accused of being overzealous or acting improperly and costing him personal grief, expense or even lawsuits. It's a sad day when we ask those who are hired to protect us to take such risks and then don't stand behind them. What's next? The city paying the hospital bills for a person justifiably shot in the commission of a serious crime? I feel our city council (the members that are not supporting Officer Stanfill) remain a part of our continuing community problems, rather than working for reasonable community solutions founded on good character and principles, but what else is new in Madras?
Mr. L. Rottman