Collegedale Overreaction - And Response (3)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The recent lockdown episode at Southern Adventist University was a classic example of overreaction.   Given it involved the Collegedale Police, it is hardly surprising.  

Even without the recent revelations that the former student said at the time of the "threats" that he was just joking, and apologized for the joke, the way the situation was handled was way overblown - Collegedale Police in SWAT-style gear storming the campus, armed with assault rifles and roughing up students.   It would be great if someone could teach a measure of restraint to the Collegedale Police Department.

If one is caught speeding in Collegedale (and it is frequent because the speed limit on all roads that lead into the city suddenly drop 5-10 mph),  he is almost assuredly going to be surrounded by no less than three squad cars, lights flashing, and headbeams aimed directly onto the vehicle.
 
We all want to be secure, and to live in a safe community.   But there has to be some limit on police powers and tactics.  Shutting down several schools ("lockdown"), needlessly scaring a community, and allowing riot police to run roughshod over law abiding citizens - when the person who made the "threat" stated he was joking and was sorry - should result in some analysis and accountability.   And, as an aside,  if there really had been a threat (and clearly, there wasn't one),  it would seem more dangerous to demand the students stay put like sitting ducks. 
 

Bob Purcell

* * *

It seems as if Bob has targeted one police department with his negative assumptions when there were several agencies actively involved.

What you described as a “joke” really is not funny at all. I wonder what you would be saying today had that “joke” turned into reality and the police had actually dismissed it as a “joke” like you have implied that it was. What would people be saying today if an actual tragedy had occurred because a perceived threat was taken too lightly?

Oh don’t worry folks the poor guy was joking and apologized for it, therefore no law was broken and no one was ever in danger. Maybe we could have all criminals just apologize for their wrong doings then we could all hold hands and sign campfire songs.

Bob, what do traffic stops and tickets have to do with a possible threat to a college campus?

An ostrich comes to mind when I read postings like that!

Mike Cox

* * *

Mr. Purcell the irony of this opinion is that the only person I see "overreacting" is you. Reading your opinion was as if you were trying to paint a picture of the Kent State Massacre, when in reality the response by law enforcement was properly based on basic guidelines. It amazes me when people neglect to take advantage of knowledge that it readily available to them. I am not police officer, but it took me all of about five minutes to conduct a search of "the web" to find guidelines for bomb threats or even an active shooter. 


The lack of basic research continued with just assuming that only Collegedale Police were involved in this when even I could tell that Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies and Chattanooga Police were involved as well. 

Your rant lost focus when you went off about speeding enforcement. You dramatized this by complaining about lights flashing, lights beaming into your car and other police officers being present. Once again, lack of knowledge plays a part in this empty-headed attack on police. Surely you realize that police lights are required to conduct such a traffic stop and also said lights are there to warn traffic of an officer's presence. I hope you realize that those lights beaming into your car are for the safety of the officer so they may be able to see everything that is going on inside the vehicle (I know what you are thinking, pure Gestapo tactics). You may take issue with this, but unfortunately you get to make these attacks from a comfy chair and not in a position that is potentially dangerous. Police officers don't have the luxury of just taking a persons word as a "joke" and allow a simple apology to suffice for the threat of lives. 

Timothy Bryce

* * *

According to Kisha Caldwell, James Gaines was a threat. The evidence has shown that Mr. Gaines was not a threat. James was just trying to transfer to what he believed was a better school. In his frustration, Mr. Gaines made an off-hand comment followed by an admission of sarcasm. 

The real threat in this situation was Kisha Caldwell, who followed the "see something, say something" mantra propagated by the Department of Homeland Security. It was her action that escalated his dissatisfaction of the inability for the colleges to communicate. Why is it easier to send a SWAT team than a transcript? I find it terribly disturbing an administrative clerk at community college could fabricate such a legal reaction. 

The hasty actions of an individual should not incite fear into the people. Consider Mr. Gaines' episode before transferring to Chatt State.

Tim Giordano



Roy Exum: The Manger Scene Stays!

When the Freedom From Religion Foundation struck the tiny town of Jay, Fla., earlier this month, the town mayor had a life-sized Nativity scene that had been displayed every Christmas for the past 40 years taken down and sold as “city surplus.” But in Alabama, things are different. When the foundation tried the same thing in Rainbow City, Ala., more people than all those who live ... (click for more)

Jody Baker: Arthur Conan Doyle, T.S. Eliot And Andrew Lloyd Webber

T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot: 26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright and considered one of the twentieth century's major poets. He is best known among our group for his appreciation of the Sherlock Holmes tales and his admiration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.[For more details on Eliot, see Wikipedia.] One of Eliot’s many outstanding works ... (click for more)

Rite Aid Pharmacist Robbed At Gunpoint On Sunday

A Rite Aid pharmacist was robbed at gunpoint on Sunday.  At approximately 11:30 a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5441 Highway 153 for a robbery from business at the Rite Aid Pharmacy.  The suspect entered the Rite Aid, approached the pharmacy counter and presented a note to the pharmacist.  The suspect then brandished a handgun, demanded ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Vol Seniors Have Final Practice At Neyland Stadium

KNOXVILLE, Tenn .  – Tennessee football coach Butch Jones had a holiday version of "Sudden Change" for the bowl-bound Vols on Sunday afternoon. The Vols practiced in Neyland Stadium, providing a big-time atmosphere for the final full day of on-campus preparation for the TaxSlayer Bowl before breaking for Christmas. "Obviously it's very special any time you can come ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)