Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to a change in the way the Jamestown Police Department deals with physical contact between officers and the public they serve. The department’s use of defensive tactics was something Harry Snellings, city police chief, wanted to change when he took the job, and it just so happened he had an officer on the staff in Jay Wadsworth who could lead such training. In 2011, Wadsworth became certified as a defensive tactics instructor through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. Wadsworth’s training worked so well in Jamestown that other departments took notice — and next year Wadsworth’s defensive tactics training will become the model for departments statewide. Kudos to Snellings for realizing a need for change and picking the right officer for the job, and kudos to Wadsworth for being up to the task.

Thumbs down to the strong pull of addiction. Last week, two city residents had to be revived with nalaxone after an 8-year-old child inside the home called her father, who then called 911 to report the incident. As Capt. Robert Samuelson told The Post-Journal, “This is a sad situation that is occurring in our community and is exposing our children to this type of behavior.” We have said before that there should be a much more serious charge than endangering the welfare of a child for those who use or sell drugs in the presence of children. This incident only reinforces the need for such legislation. Perhaps, the harsher crime and punishment could be an incentive to get those who are revived with nalaxone or who are charged with drug offenses in homes with children to get the treatment they need.

Thumbs up to all those who helped the Chautauqua County Humane Society reach the highest fundraising total in the 13-year history of the Walk for Paws. The Humane Society recently announced receipts of $37,525 for the fundraiser. More than 300 people participated in the walk at Chautauqua Institution, with four individuals and teams raising more than $1,000 each. The Humane Society fills an important role in our community, but it can only do so with the help of dedicated volunteers and supporters.

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