Marking The Quiet Bravery On Crime's Front Lines

MIRAMAR MARINE AIR STATION -- Sitting in on a gathering of San Diego County Sheriff's personnel can give a unique overview of crime in and around the Jewel of the Hills:

Seeing, in one place, the size and relative youth of the Sheriff's East County Gang Task Force and hearing that one investigation netted 27 felony arrests in and around El Cajon adds a perspective to life in our times.

Imagine this police situation: You arrive at a call and find a woman who has doused herself in gasoline and is threatening with a lighter to burn herself and you in an instant. In that case, the female deputy fired two bean bags, stunning the woman and then took the lighter, saving all involved. It made no headlines, but imagine what it might have been.

Or hearing of how a simple report of a lost and confused motorist required the quick formation of an emergency task force to locate him as he wandered away from his car and into rough East county terrain; eventually involving a helicopter rescue that saved the man's life. Maybe one line during news at 5.

And at this awards event, there were some regular citizens too -- including a young man who came to the aid of a deputy who was struggling with a criminal and was at risk of losing her gun in the struggle. The citizen freed the officer, allowing her to use a taser and save all involved.

And a mother and son who risked a gas explosion to douse a fire and save a neighborhood.

La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves was there to honor many of the deputies who work closely with his own officers on East County crime issues.  Jim Wieboldt (pictured right), the La Mesa merchant and La Mesa Chamber of Commerce board member, was there too, receiving his promotion to crime prevention specialist in the Sheriff's Lemon Grove operation.

There is, rightfully, much debate these days about public pensions, state deficits and the costs borne by taxpayers. Reviewing the highlights of just six months of police work across this county lends a reminder of  some of what is risked and delivered for those paychecks.

 

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Tags: Crime, Ed Aceves, Jim Wieboldt, La Mesa, La Mesa Today, San Diego County Sheriff's Department

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Comment by chris shea on November 30, 2011 at 12:16pm

Chris, I agree about the risk these officers take.  Admittedly, there is lots of rancor about pensions and salaries, but sometimes I just wish we could all step back and take a deep breath and pay attention to the realities of what so many people do every day.  I remember recently seeing a motorcycle officer getting ready to ride off and I said,

"May I tell you something?"

He looked skeptical.

"Thank you for risking your life every day."  Then I gave him a Starbucks gift card. 

"Be safe today," I said.

He looked grateful.  

In other words, he looked just like I felt.

 

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