Letters to the Editor

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TPD: No reason to expose officer’s human error

Letter by Jim H. Rich, Steilacoom on April 25, 2011 at 11:27 am | 22 Comments »
April 25, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: “Responsibility without consequence” (TNT, 4-23).

The first Amber Alert the Tacoma Police Department was to issue didn’t go quite how they thought it would. The department relied on one human being to issue the alert. That human being had the audacity to be human. How dare he.

The department has since changed its procedure to allow any sergeant or above to issue the alert. That system was changed without exposing a good human being to more embarrassment than he already was experiencing.

Police Chief Don Ramsdell didn’t mention the reason for the Amber Alert delay. So what? The officer was human and made a human error that caused no harm. The initial system was flawed but was fixed to eliminate a single person being responsible.

As a supervisor who cares for his employees, Ramsdell obviously saw no need to have the employee endure the self-righteous indignation that armchair critics would surely hurl toward him. I believe that is an action of a caring, superior leader.

The paranoid will assume the human error would not have come to light if the delay actually had made a material difference. That’s the purview of the paranoid.

How about we all relax a bit and not be quite so judgmental. Until machines do their jobs, errors will happen, hopefully with as few consequences as this one.

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