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'Many Eyes Watching'



Another excellent investigative report by Thadeus Greenson on deputy Soeth ("The Soeth Files," May 4).

The California Public Records Act and freedom of the press are some of the most effective tools we have to hold governmental agencies accountable. The repeated offenses are painting a pretty clear picture.

Deputy Soeth may still be on patrol; but he has to wear a name tag and now there are many eyes watching. Abuse of power hides much too often under the guise of righteous defense. It's also a natural fit for a sadistic personality. Our police shortage only exacerbates the problem as management will be reluctant to sideline abusive officers.

Hopefully deputy Soeth is salvageable; but only if he can recognize his own tendency to abuse and then deny. Management also needs to be willing to recognize the problem and aggressively pursue abusers; not just administer a slap on the wrist.

This is not rocket science; the rules of engagement are clear. We need police officers and, yes, they are bravely putting themselves in harm's way to protect the ordinary citizen. But your bravery and honesty are your true power; use it wisely and we will shower you with our respect and gratitude.

TJ Jennings, Arcata

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