Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Quit twisting facts to promote political agenda


I have been a deputy sheriff in Lake County for over 11 years and have also served at the Polson and Ronan police departments as far back as 2000. I have served under three sheriffs and generally try to mind my own business. With that being said, I feel I have a moral obligation to respond to David Coffman’s letter to the editor, “Active Shooter Preparedness Important.”

I generally agree with the first two paragraphs of Coffman’s letter.

In Coffman’s third paragraph he makes an attempt to tie school shootings and a need for Lake County SWAT/SRT team into one in the same argument. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Mr. Coffman really knew as much about school/public shootings as he claims he does, he would admit most are started and ended in 4 to 7 minutes. The reason that training has changed from setting a perimeter and waiting, to every officer on scene going toward the threat is because SWAT/SRT teams, for all their training, cannot respond fast enough to make a positive difference.

Sheriff Bell realizes that the quickest response to any violent encounter will be individual officers throughout the county. Among other things, Sheriff Bell has provided SWAT training, and active shooter training to many officers, and has provided additional firearms training to deputies by a SWAT instructor certified trainer. Additionally, Sheriff Bell has provided Run, Lock Fight instructors to train teachers and other employees how to react in case of an active shooter. Sheriff Bell is an engaged, proactive sheriff who takes the communities’ safety very seriously.

I can assure you that the schools, where my children and the sheriff ’s grandchildren attend, are being protected to the extent that anyone could expect and deputies are trained to be proactive and responsive to that end. Lastly, I would encourage Mr. Coffman to quit using tragedies in our country and the twisting of facts to promote his political agenda.

Levi Read



Lo 35°

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