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Letters to the Editors

Complaint about calls misguided

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 5, 2003

Editor: Re: Missing man found by deputies, Dec. 31 Times:

The article told how, after searching for hours without finding the missing man, the Sheriff's Office sent out prerecorded messages telling that "Claude" was missing and gave a number to call if anyone had seen him. These calls went to all residents within 3 miles.

This was a touching story. But what was not touching were the complaints from people who were awakened from their sleep. (God forbid if it was one of their family members who needed help.) What were they thinking of to get mad about an emergency call? It wouldn't have been too bad if the night had been a normal, fairly warm night. But it wasn't; it was bitter cold night and the man had on only a light jacket and was in a confused state of mind. His family was so worried.

I don't care what time of day or night I would get an emergency call for help. I would welcome the call knowing the police would do the same for me, and maybe I could be of help. If nothing else I could pray.

I just hope the angry calls do not stop our law enforcement officers from taking such actions again if they are needed. I am ashamed of the complainers.
-- Shirley Lawson, Spring Hill

Sheriff's Office right to use automated calls

Editor: Re: Missing man found by deputies, Dec. 31 Times:

First, and most important, thank God the Sheriff's Office found the missing man. After living in Hernando County for 15 years, I did not know the Sheriff's Office had such a notification system. I think it is wonderful.

I was, however, disheartened to learn there were members of my community who were upset by receiving such a call, no matter what time of day or night, and especially on a night when the temperatures were dropping to 29 degrees. I was startled by the call coming so late at night, but I thought it was a Godsend to the missing person and his family.

Shame on the Timber Pines resident who just "couldn't understand" disturbing the members of his walled community. Does he honestly think the wall will keep out crime and misfortune? He must live in a dream world.

I certainly hope neither he nor any member of his family is ever touched by a similar life-or-death situation. I do not believe the wall will save him. It could be him, his wife, son, daughter or a grandchild in need of assistance by the sheriff's notification system. What a shame it would be if the Sheriff's Office decided not to disturb the members of his walled community.

Bravo to the Sheriff's Office for another job well done!
-- Karen Sami, Spring Hill

Automated phone system important safety tool

Editor: Re: Missing man found by deputies, Dec. 31 Times:

To those who complained about receiving 2 a.m. phone call, shame on you! I am sure it would be a whole different story if it were one of their own wandering out there in the cold dead of the night.

It took more of an effort to call the police and harass them with a complaint than it was to pick up the phone. When will people truly grasp the fact that the "broader number" of people need to look out for that single person every day, even if it is an inconvenience? Where is your compassion?

The emergency notification system isn't for just your own personal safety, but for everyone's.
-- Jayne Goldstein, Holiday

Timber Pines resident embarrassed by complaint

Editor: Re: Missing man found by deputies, Dec. 31 Times:

Once again Timber Pines gets a black eye because one person complained about the automated phone calls to help locate a lost elderly man.

Let's hope resident Jack Ohle doesn't come down with the same sickness and get lost in Timber Pines, and the automated calls go out to people outside the wall. I can't imagine what the comments would be to the Sheriff's Office.

As a resident of Timber Pines, I'm embarrassed by his comments, and I don't think I'm alone.
-- Ronald Fox, Spring Hill

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