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Police did help injured boy

Published February 28, 2007


Falling speaker hurts boy's head Feb. 24, story

I find it appalling for the St. Petersburg Times to take another sucker punch at the men and women of the St. Petersburg Police Department by printing the quote from an alleged witness that St. Petersburg Police officers were not helping at this incident and "just stood there."

I can tell you from first-hand experience that the police officers on the scene did exactly what they should have done. I have to wonder how much emergency medical training Tom Moore has had if he felt we were not doing enough.

Through our training we have been taught to assess an injured person and check the "ABCs" of basic life support: airway, bleeding and circulation. I will not go into details of the child's injury, but he was breathing on his own power; he was bleeding, but not an unusual amount for a head wound; and it was obvious that he was having acceptable circulation considering the situation. It should also be noted that the St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue paramedics were only a minute or two away. As anyone with even some emergency medical training would know, the child was not to be moved prior to the arrival of fire rescue to prevent further injury.

At the time of this incident there were at least two St. Petersburg police officers working at the BayWalk complex. Several other police officers, including me, responded quickly to the scene, of our own accord, in response to the calls for paramedics. Responding officers secured the scene, located witnesses, and when the paramedics began to transport the injured child, we cleared the streets through downtown to provide the quickest possible route to the hospital.

Kudos to the police officers and the paramedics who responded for working through a very stressful situation and going the extra mile needed for this child's care. The injured child and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

George D. Lofton, board of directors, Pinellas County Police Benevolent Association, St. Petersburg

Sympathy not easy

Reading about the homeless and seeing a few now and then, I try to be compassionate, sympathize, give them a little help and think that "there but for the grace of God, go I." Maybe they really did lose a job, can't find one they can handle or that pays a good wage. Maybe they have health problems, but - that word "but" always lurks there in your head. There are always the few who ruin it for others - the ones who don't care, don't want to work, who are drifters, thugs, can't handle the health or drug problem, or don't want to.

Well, my husband and I love to walk, and downtown St. Petersburg is great for that - at least it was. It's getting scary. After leaving the Saturday Morning Market on Central Avenue, we walked to the open post office, through the Snell Arcade and back up toward the Pier, passing a small alcove with a fountain in it. Never having noticed it before, we glanced in at it a few times as we walked by, saying how nice it could be with a few flowers or a bush.

Then two people in the corner, whom we hadn't even noticed, hollered, "What are you looking at? Just keep walking." Of course we did, as we did when passing by Williams Park, as much as we would have liked to walk through it. But it looked a little unsavory.

So, much to my regret, I say to the homeless: Don't wonder why we wonder whether to listen to you or give you a hand-out, why we want to remove you, why we cross the street to avoid contact. We don't want to be threatened or harassed either.

Donna Beach, Pinellas Park

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[Last modified February 28, 2007, 07:47:30]

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