Response to "Police and
law enforcement in Ketchikan"
By Kristin Fahey
October 11, 2006
As a young person growing up in Alaska, I at times found it hard
to avoid the temptation I was surrounded by, but was always taught
to think before making a decision. In reading your letter it
seems that you think our main problem is the legal consequence
of breaking a law. I don't understand your logic.
From day one, parents (are supposed to) teach their children
that there are and will always be consequences for behaviors
considered unacceptable. As we age, our parents are replaced
by employers and law enforcement agents as disciplinarians. So
being well aware of legal drug and alcohol restrictions, wouldn't
one try to avoid them?? I don't think it is unfair in any way
to say "This is a law, if you violate it, these are the
consequences." Laws don't force people to drink or bring
drugs to school. Young people making poor choices do, and it
is the community's job (not to mention parent's) to guide our
"future leaders" in ways that will teach them to make
sound decisions, rather than baby them when they are angry about
getting caught. Many laws act as deterrents, and when they don't,
the punishment received is meant to be a constant reminder of
that violation. Basically, if people would listen in the first
place, they wouldn't have to learn as many things "the hard
Another comment you made was about "...back[ing] a dog into
a corner..." First of all, I like to think (and maybe I'm
being generous here) that humans are more capable of using common
sense than dogs are. Secondly, a well raised dog would not attack
when backed into a corner, rather it would submit unless provoked.
Dogs can neither reason, nor think about how a felony could
affect them later in life, but young adults don't have that excuse.
My one last comment is this: revoking the PFD from a person who
ends up in jail is in no way teaching them "to sit in jail
and not be productive," it makes them have to work that
much harder because they didn't get their free money. When someone
makes the wrong choice, they should have to pay for it. Earning
your way through the world gives you character, and if every
teenager on the island could just "drink for the high"
with no fear of a consequence, I believe whole heartedly that
our existing drug and alcohol problem would be significantly
Our focus should be on reducing drug use and binge drinking in
youth rather than lessing the severity of their punishments.
Tough love is hard for a reason, and that is because it works.
Received October 11, 2006 - Published October 11, 2006
About: " A 20 year old student and full-time worker who
has lived in SE Alaska for over 16 years."
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and law enforcement in Ketchikan By Vicky Newlun - Ketchikan,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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