Wow, I want to meet David Higgins' retired police officer friend (Letter to the editor, July 24).
Having been a police officer in this community for over 36 years, I have to weigh in on some erroneous facts contained in Mr. Higgins' letter about the local police losing explosives. We don't play war games, and have never used TNT in the years I was associated with the Walla Walla Police Department. I can't speak for the Sheriff's Office, College Place Police Department or the State Patrol, but I have never heard any of those agencies talk about war games.
We do not have a "tank" but we do have an armored vehicle, which doesn't have any weaponry attached. It allows our officers to approach a dangerous situation a bit safer than walking up to it. Maybe Mr. Higgins would like to volunteer to make that approach on foot next time.
That kind of equipment is never obtained or purchased with the idea of inflicting damage or harm. The reason is always one of saving lives, officers and civilians. I am not familiar with the incident in the Tri-Cities, but having been a SWAT officer I can tell you it sounds as if someone's facts are in error.
No legitimate SWAT team would respond in that manner. The way the incident was described by Higgins would certainly have ended in some lawsuits and most certainly with several officers and administrators standing in the unemployment line.
Was there a theft of explosives in recent years? Yes, and it was reported, investigated by local, state and federal authorities. The Union-Bulletin reported the incident and it remains an open case.
Mr. Higgins should check his facts before he maligns the brave men and women who protect him and the community every minute of every day. If he is unhappy with the job they do, he can always fill out an application.