Questions about drug raid |

Questions about drug raid

Dear Editor:I, Charles Wolf, Cooper Street’s manager, would like to issue the following statement regarding the drug raid at Little Annie’s and Cooper Street:Troy Hooper, a reporter of the Aspen Daily News, makes the claim in his article that I was personally given an ultimatum by the Aspen Police Department, but declined to cooperate with the police to stomp out drug dealing. This statement is false. I was never issued an ultimatum and if one was ever issued to any staff member of mine, then this was never communicated to me. We have a written policy of not tolerating the dealing or using of drugs on our premises. Actually, I am more than happy to cooperate with law enforcement and would welcome their help in combating the distribution of drugs. However, I cannot do the job for the Aspen Police Department.It has been suggested that we place cameras in the bar, but these are easily dodged, and monitoring the hours and hours of tapes every day becomes a huge issue. If the police department wants to do this at their cost, then they certainly have my permission to do so.Enforcing the drug laws of this country is no easy task, but I believe my tax dollars should go to sensible law enforcement. A “Miami Vice”-style drug raid is perhaps appropriate when confronting a dangerous gang in East Los Angeles. Here in Aspen, however, we are dealing with out-of-town visitors who don’t have to be here and we must be more discreet about how we accomplish things. By the way, I wonder if the general public is aware that children were present when these arrests were made!Some of the questions our community will hopefully ask itself at the upcoming special work session are these: Was there a better way to handle this affair? Could the bad publicity this entire town now has to endure been avoided? And finally, how do we stop the finger-pointing and start to act as a community again?Charles Wolfgeneral manager, Cooper Street Pier

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