The time is now for policing discussion | AspenTimes.com

The time is now for policing discussion

Dear Editor:As a longtime resident of Pitkin County, I would like to contribute to the chorus of dissatisfaction surrounding the procedure of the drug busts undertaken at Cooper Street Pier and Little Annie’s. To conduct raids with guns drawn and at peak business hours, in restaurants crowded with tourists, children and locals, placed innocent people in harm’s way unnecessarily. I am inclined to agree with Judge DeVilbiss’s observation questioning the “bang for the buck.”The decision to deploy 52 armed officers in and around crowded restaurants in Aspen, without notice to the Pitkin County sheriff’s department, compromised the safety of the citizenry, sheriff’s deputies, APD officers and officers from all of the other cooperating agencies. With two restaurants being besieged by armed officers within three blocks of the sheriff’s office, the scenarios for mistaken identity are obvious, tragic and avoidable.This is procedurally unacceptable and should be the impetus for serious discussion between the APD, the sheriff’s office, and members of county and city government.Phil EastleySnowmass