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It's All About Public Safety
updated: Dec 19, 2012, 10:00 AM

By Joyce E. Dudley, District Attorney

It's all about public safety.

As members of society, whenever tragedies strike we are always reminded first about what is most important to us: the safety and security of those we hold close and those in our greater community. Whether we are flghting fires, seeking answers to a public heath crisis, or confronting random acts of despicable violence, it all comes down to public safety and what we can learn to better protect ourselves and others. This is especially true when it comes to our most vulnerable victims- those who cannot protect themselves.

From my perspective, the only unacceptable response is apathy; that is, for us to quietly go on because we have become a society of "the learned helpless."

I call upon myself and each of you to do something to positively affect our public's safety. For some it will mean volunteering at a local school, for others at a non-profit organization, and for others it will mean fighting for funds for mental health research\treatment, and for some creating new laws that can truly make a difference. Many of you may decide you can best serve public safety in a very public way, while others will seek to help one person who could severely affect our public's health and safety.

Whatever you think you can do, now is the time to do it. Let the unimaginable pain and anguish of those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy inspire, empower, and motivate you to do what you only once thought about doing but soon got distracted by your own feelings of frustration, inadequacy and helplessness. Don't let the fact that you can't solve the problem delay you from making a difference for even one potential victim.

Our overall goal is to increase public safety. Your action does define who you are and who we are as residents of Santa Barbara County and The United States of America.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 355593 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 10:35 AM

I am going to look at how many of us are needlessly on Psychotropic drugs and what I can do to help.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 10:48 AM

I'm on Atavin but need more, much more...

NOTE: See Deletion Rule #14


 COMMENT 355612 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 11:08 AM

Great sentiments expressed by the DA. It takes a village to keep a village safe.

@593, Interesting approach. While I am sure medication is used too often, I dont recall any of these random acts of violence being committed by someone who was misdiagnosed and needlessly medicated. However, I think some of the mentally ill in this country receive medication but no other therapy. So when they are off their meds they have no internal safety net to help them mitigate their behavior. Most of these offenders had support systems that should have been more vigilant in protecting society from their loved ones. It is too easy to believe a family member is "fine" because that is what we want to believe.


 COMMENT 355614 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 11:08 AM

A whole lot of fluff and zero commitment on your part to address the actual legal issues or prosecute offenders. Thanks for reminding us how worthless you are as. DA. I sure hope this wasn't written during work hours.


 COMMENT 355617 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 11:10 AM

No, it's not always "all about public safety" at the DA's office. When served with a California Records Act Information submitted by a non-apethetic / involved member of the public, the request went unacknowleged and was ignored. This Records Request was regarding DA office costs (unreimbursed) incurred to prosecute criminal activity at the Chumash Casino (narcotics, drunkeness, DUI) and the information was to be presented at a recent ABC administrative hearing about the exponential expansion of Alcoholic Beverage Service at the Casino Resort.

NOTE: See Deletion Rule #14


 COMMENT 355638P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 11:37 AM

People, please, can we take positive ideas about community safety at face value?? If you want to trash the author's job performance, start a separate thread. Address the IDEAS here. The only time I cringe over posts is when they get hijacked away from the original points. (Sort of like what I have done. Just can't stand the digressions that are so often vitriolic). Peace and love, Santa Barbara.


 COMMENT 355645P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 11:52 AM

As for "creating new laws," that seems unlikely since it's the prerogative of the various legislatures.

But as for volunteering, does the DA's office, the County Counsel's office, the Courts, for instance, accept and need volunteers?


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 12:22 PM

Gee for a second there I thought I was in Russia not being allowed to say what one feels on threads here..As far as volunteering I don't volunteer for organazations. If I want to help someone I help them personally.


 COMMENT 355680 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 01:03 PM

DillyDally we have an epidemic of misdiagnosed ADD,Bipolar etc in this country. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM) is a report that all psychologists use to diagnose patients. The DSM is so all incompasing that anything you say to a pschologist can get you put on drugs that are very dangerous. For instance they ask do you ever feel nervous? Do you ever have anxiety? HELLO that is all of us. These drugs even say on the insert how they increase the chance for suicide etc. There is a reason suicide is up 40%. We need to fight back against big pharma.


 COMMENT 355688 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 01:24 PM

There are a lot of people in this country who have mental issues - most of these people are walking around in society with all of us. The majority of them will never hurt someone else. The perpetrator likely exhibited problems for a long time - maybe he was misdiagnosed, maybe it was ignored or covered up but one day he snapped. I think the surviving people that were closest to him will question how they reacted to his behavior for the rest of their lives. There are no easy answers to prevent such a horrific tragedy from happening again but we need to be aware and we need to talk about it. I keep looking for someone to be angry at but I know that it won't mitigate the horror of what has happened and the effect it has had on all of us. I grew up near there....in another sweet quiet town.


 COMMENT 355695 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 01:48 PM

Once again Joyce Dudley shows the wisdom, insight and compassion that makes her a skilled leader. And she's right- never think YOU have no power- it's been one person standing alone that has made all the difference.


 CHERIDIANE agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 02:00 PM

Joyce Dudley, I found your comments uplifting and inspiring. Your message is inclusive of us all. It reminds me that each of us has a voice and each must use that voice to take action for the safety of us all.

Thank you for your writing.

(I really dislike the badmouthing on this site in the face of someone trying to encourage others to do something good.)


 COMMENT 355720 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 03:08 PM

Fine, I will make a suggestion as part of chipping in: In light of recent events, I would like to see a cop stationed at every one of our schools during school hours. Have it so they can leave campus and go on calls nearby if necessary and a large platter of doughnuts in their office every morning. I think this would make the world a safer place, give the cops some insight into some of the students that may have issues, and perhaps put cops and the law enforcement profession in a better light amongst the students.


 COMMENT 355729 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 03:26 PM

720 - you know, that is actually a terrific idea. I'm not sure how many officers that would entail and whether we have the resources to do it but really, that is kind of what we need these days.

It is sad to think that our society has come to requiring armed guards at our schools but it is the unfortunate result of our violent tendencies and proliferation of weapons.


 COMMENT 355738 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 03:52 PM

Cops who have retired young (like Dave Gonzalez the singing cop) and are earning a full pension + benefits should be required to provide some level of service to earn the money they are receiving. I like the idea of having cops stationed at the schools - who better to do it than these pension receiving cops. Think of what can be done by all of the government employees earning a full salaries - yet are retired. Even our just retired Fire Chief can do something. If people really wanted to make a difference they can - instead hard working people paying taxes are asked to do more/pay more, so that government employees can retire with full pensions yet do nothing of value.


 COMMENT 355758P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 05:06 PM

Can we have a gun buy-back through local law enforcement?


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-19 06:14 PM

You asked for it.


 COMMENT 355841P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 07:12 AM

This letter would make a much greater impact on me if you, Madame DA, would start following the rules of the road. When you are on your cell phone or running stop signs at night when you think that no one sees you, I have a much greater chance of being killed by you than by some gun carrying wacko.

Actions always speak louder than words.


 FRESHPAVEMENT agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 07:23 AM

Thank you Joyce! “The only unacceptable response is apathy” – truer words were never spoke. I AM GRATEFUL to live in a community where the District Attorney is so committed, dedicated & focused. I AM GRATEFUL for the difficult and largely thankless work the prosecutors and all law enforcement do on our behalf. THANK YOU!


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 08:05 AM

She talks on her cell phone and drives? I'm GRATEFUL I stay home at night.


 COMMENT 355862P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 08:10 AM

Too bad there were so many negative and off-topic comments.

I guess there are lots of grumpy people off of work this week.


 COMMENT 355870P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 08:46 AM

I have a daughter in 5th grade at a public elementary school. I don't want an armed guard at the school. I think armed guards are scary and make people, especially children, feel more vulnerable. I don't want to live like they do in Israel, with armed guards everywhere. The chances of my daughter being killed in a car crash are vastly higher than of her being killed by a gun-toting spawn of evil. Anyway I think posting a guard is just posting a target on the front of the school--he'll be the first one taken out. I don't wish that on any retired policeman, and I don't think what they do is nothing of value.

Sure cops can be arrogant jerks, but I have had several situations in my life where cops helped me out of scary, dangerous situations and I appreciate that. It must suck to go to work every day and deal primarily with the most unpleasant elements of society--it takes a special person to remain untainted by that, and (former?) beat commander Officer Lazarus of the SBPD, working the Dario Pini slums on a daily basis, is absolutely top-notch in my opinion.

It should not be possible for people to legally stockpile hand guns or assault weapons. One pistol is enough, and no one needs an assault rifle any more than they need an H-bomb of their very own. Hunting rifles are another thing entirely. We can tell the difference.

Mentally ill people are just that. People like the Newtown shooter are f--ng nuts and, as they say, the devil whispers in their ears. You can't pass laws or policies to stop them. You can try to keep them from getting guns. And you can remember that you never know what's coming, so love your children now, today. Hugs, enjoy the sunset, eat dessert first.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 08:50 AM

It's always good to question atthority since we are their real employers.


 COMMENT 356103P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 03:08 PM

Thank you Joyce Dudley for speaking out. I concur with your desire for each individual to take positive action in their own way to help keep our society safe. I much prefer to read constructive contributions on Edhat. I for one will be volunteering at an elementary school in the morning. As a retired person, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer with different organizations here in Santa Barbara. Peace be with you all. Enjoy the holiday season.


58% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


*** 4 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.


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