Your Views for December 27

Cartoon a cheap shot

I am writing to address what I perceive to be an injustice perpetrated in the Dec. 9 Tribune-Herald.

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I enjoy and am entertained by editorial cartoons and political satire just as much as the next person. I don’t take things personally as I am aware there are opposing viewpoints on many different subject matters, and part of what makes this country great is the freedom we have to air these in a public forum.

In the cartoon that was meant to address feral pigs at a state park, Mr. Gary Hoff might have gotten the gist of what happened correct (report of pig problem to Hawaii Police Department, and a referral to the appropriate agency). What I have a problem with is that Mr. Hoff, in his drawing, seems to imply that the police department is just passing the buck and has an “I don’t care, it’s not my problem” attitude.

There are only so many things the police department can do about any given problem. To fault it for not being able to address a problem that is not officially under its purview or jurisdiction is misdirected.

What really saddens me is that Mr. Hoff chose to portray the police officer in an extremely negative, inaccurate stereotype.

I see the “to protect and serve” logo on the sleeve of some laid back, donut-eating public servant. I would ask what suggestion he has for the police department when it is called on something that isn’t under its purview, and why he went out of his way to denigrate our police officers — especially since it didn’t contribute anything to the subject matter of the cartoon except to make the police officers look bad.

Considering the things our officers had to deal with in the past couple of years, with people not only trying to run them over but being shot at, injured and, yes, killed — not to mention the trauma one experiences when having to take the life of another in defense of themselves and the public in general — to draw them up like that in your editorial cartoon is a really cheap shot and a low blow and is totally unfair to the fine men and women who serve the Hawaii Police Department.

If nothing else, I think the Tribune-Herald and Mr. Hoff owe our police officers an apology.

I also want to suggest Mr. Hoff consider exploring going on a ride-along with a motor patrol officer (might I suggest the Puna District) so he can have a better idea of what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes before he portrays them in such a negative light again.

Yes, there are a lot of things wrong with our system, but throwing mud around is definitely not the way to fix it and only serves to lower morale. I’m sure there are many members in the community who feel the way that I do.

Thank you for the opportunity to say my piece.

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Monte Gonzales

Pepeekeo

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