Pay attention, Santa Paula!

May 7, 2009

For once, local authorities rescued a stray bear instead of gunning it down.

For once, local authorities rescued a stray bear instead of gunning it down.

As members of this great county we call Ventura, aren’t we all supposed to work together, cooperate, learn from each others’ mistakes and good deeds at once?

Of course! Which is why the Santa Paula P.D. could stand to learn a thing or two from Camarillo animal control officials.

The other day (file in “odd news”), a stray, 250-pound baby cub bear wandered into a Camarillo aprtment complex. Don’t ask me how it happened, or why (maybe he was looking for some new digs, on-site laundry, etc.), but the important part is that when animal control arrived, they tranquilized it and later released it back into the wild near Fillmore.

The picture-perfect, professional response by authorities is in stark, complete contrast to an incident a few months back, when officers from the Santa Paula Police Department shot and killed a baby lion.

It was yet another example of police shooting their way out of a situation, this time killing a harmless cat who weighed no more than 15 pounds.

Compare that to a 250-pound bear outside your apartment door, and it’s no wonder a separate inquest ruled the Santa Paula shooting unjustifiable.

“Excessive force” goes beyond the badges and the guns of police, or simple human interaction between civilians. We can all learn a thing or two from Camarillo’s response about humane treatment of man and animal alike.

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