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Where’s the police oversight? 

Sheriff Pat Hedges, following the 1997 in-custody death of Donal Schneider, stated, “We teach CPR, but not to someone who has been handcuffed� (“County settles wrongful-death lawsuit,� Dec. 9-16). Deputies neglected to remove handcuffs from Schneider before CPR.

After CPR failed on a handcuffed Jay Vestal, asphyxiated in 2003 by deputies during an overzealous arrest, Hedges said training is the key to keeping difficult situations from going bad, stating, “A big emphasis is on first aid and CPR …� (cover story, Sept. 4-11, 2003).

First, in what year does the proper CPR training begin? Second, isn’t removing cuffs before CPR obvious? I mean, do deputies require training to remove their shoes before showering? Third, CPR isn’t required if you can manage not to kill suspects. Where is our police oversight?

Maybe the $650,000 Vestal payout will force Sheriff Hedges to take a couple of Neanderthals off the street. Who knew that eliminating police could prevent lawsuits and make us safer?

Kevin P. Rice

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