Letters to the Editor

Comments about the Police BLOTTER

Letters are still coming in regarding the demise of the Police Blotter. In this issue we have a few more to share with our readers. Reader opinion can make a difference, and we welcome your letters. Please email mail@tumblerridgenews.com and include your address, phone number and name.

The Editor

Tumbler Ridge, BC

Dear Editor:

It is a real shame that the beast that we know as Political Correctness has reared its ugly head in Tumbler Ridge and has caused us to lose our much-loved local Police Blotter. My understanding is that Corporal Peats? superior officer has issued the order that the Blotter should cease to exist in its present form ? the form, that is, of reporting the activities of the local RCMP detachment couched in humour and wit.

The public image of the RCMP has taken a beating in the last little while because of the recent unfortunate happenings at the Vancouver International Airport and it is regrettable that the ramifications of that incident are now being felt in our little town, for I?m sure that the order to cancel the Police Blotter stems from a feeling that the Force needs to polish its image, and humour has no place in that perceived image. This decision is notable because it is so spectacularly wrong. The image that Corporal Peats has presented for the past few years is exactly what the RCMP needs. He has shown us that the Force is composed of ordinary men and women who are doing a difficult job in trying circumstances and yet are capable of maintaining a sane perspective on life. His column has brought the old-time ?friendly small-town cop on the beat? feeling to this community, showing us that the police are approachable and indeed very human.

The suspicion that somebody complained to the RCMP about the humour in the Blotter is equally disturbing. A sense of humour is a personal trait and what one person finds funny is often not funny to someone else. I personally never found Rick Mercer?s TV show ?Talking to Americans? funny ? I thought it was mean-spirited and smug ? but thousands of others must have enjoyed it, for it aired for quite a while, and it would have never crossed my mind to write to the CBC to demand that it be taken off the air just because I didn?t like it. (Oh, wait a minute. That?s right ? it was on CBC TV, wasn?t it? I have to re-phrase my last sentence to ?tens of people must have enjoyed it??). So if someone in Tumbler Ridge didn?t like the humour in the Police Blotter, then the simplest thing to do would be to simply not read it. That?s all.

John Gormley, a Saskatchewan based newspaper columnist and radio talk-show host, coined the acronym CAVE ? Citizens Against Virtually Everything ? to refer to that group of people who constantly seem to carp about everything that they see happening in the world around them. It is distressing that CAVE seems to have opened a Chapter in Tumbler Ridge, and it is more distressing that the RCMP Top Brass has decided to listen to them. But at least we have a new slogan to rally around: ?Bring Back the Blotter! Bring Back the Blotter!?

Sincerely,

Bob Norman

Tumbler Ridge, BC

it is with great sadness that I read Cpl. Peats farewell after three and one half years of sheer entertainment enhanced by the realization that this is actually reality. It is unfortunate that humour can be misconstrued by the overly sensitive when no harm was intended. The column should be reconsidered for publication as it is one of the highlights of our local paper! Thanks, Kurt!

Sincerely,

Barb Schuerkamp

Tumbler Ridge, BC

I agree that the blotter appealed to people from all walks of life and all ages. We have had so many people comment on the blotter to us. We have just enjoyed so many good laughs and the points that came across from them were well taken. These were not detrimental to the RCMP in any way. We are thankful for our police force and I am sure that a sense of humor helps them to face some of the things they have to deal with on the job. I do hope Cpl. Peats will make a career of being a humor columnist after he retires from the police force.

George and Eileen Chatten

Tumbler Ridge Residents.

Tumbler Ridge, BC

Dear Editor

Thank you for giving us (the general public and/or residents of Tumbler Ridge) a chance to comment on what we feel about Corporal Peats discontinuing The Blotter. What a shame. Corporal Peats says he doesn?t want The Blotter to diminish the reputation of the RCMP. If anything, The Blotter did quite the opposite and showed us that our officers are quite capable of humor while maintaining the level of respect that is essential in their professions. Overall, it makes them more approachable by those of us who may be from the old school and be slightly intimidated by anyone in a position of authority. We can?t thank him enough for the many chuckles he has given us over the years.

For us two important issues have been taken away: (1) our right to read, laugh and talk about our corporal?s wonderful writings and sense of humor (2) our right to be kept up to date on some of the happenings that were going on within our community. How can articles that have been written, read and enjoyed for three and one half years suddenly become offensive to one, maybe two people give just cause to be discontinued? We have no recollection of having read anything in The Blotter that would have identified anyone and caused them to have hurt feelings. We certainly never laughed at ?people? because we had no idea who was being talked about. We laughed at the way the story was written. The only way feelings could have been hurt is because ?they? knew who ?they? were. We didn?t and we still don?t and we?re sure a lot of other residents feel the same way, so why should this decision be at the expense of the people in the community who enjoyed it?

After reading your note following Corporal Peats last (hopefully not) issue of The Blotter we were amazed that the tentacles of The Tumbler Ridge News were so far reaching. Eighty thousand plus visits monthly on the web – you should be very proud and so should the citizens of Tumbler Ridge. We recall letters that were written to you from out-of-towners over the last few years in which people commented on The Blotter and how much they enjoyed reading it.

Again thank you for this opportunity to voice our feelings about the demise of The Blotter. Your invitation opened up the door of hope that perhaps Corporal Peats might reconsider his decision. We would so love to be able to continue to read, laugh and enjoy The Tumbler Ridge Police Blotter.

Bud Johnson

Lucille Jacobsen

Tumbler Ridge

I?m fairly new to TR but have been reading the online news for the past year. I can?t believe that the police blotter isn?t going to be anymore. I for one enjoyed reading it. I do understand that no one wants to offend or hurt anyone with humor and such. But, if someone doesn?t like what they are reading or hearing in the news, does that mean you shouldn?t print or report it anymore???

There is always going to be someone out there that doesn?t like something being said or reported. We can?t please everyone. We can only do the best we can do.

? Let the Police Blotter Live?

Tumbler Ridge, BC

I have lived in TR for 2 yrs and have looked forward weekly to reading the Police Blotter and have never found it offensive – even when our truck vs deer was involved. Just a little humor and people should enjoy it for what it is.

I cannot believe that anyone would find it offensive. I?m sorry to hear it will be discontinued. I hope you have enough people write in that the decision will be reversed and that we will see the Police Blotter again.

Estelle Bremner

Tumbler Ridge News

I have been reading the blotter for over a year and i will miss the humour of this column. I stumbled across it while looking for local news of Tumbler Ridge and i come back every week just to read this column. Kurt should write a book he definitely has great talent

Brenda Caldwell

Tumbler Ridge, BC

Hi, I really looked forward to the police blotter every week in the paper.

When it wasn?t in the paper for a week or so the paper just did not seem quit right.

His humor about things were great. I find that a lot of people in T.R. have to get their head out of the sand and enjoy the world around them. They put a dark cloud over everything they do, which makes it hard for the rest of us to really enjoy things and it also makes it hard to try and get things accomplished here to improve things like recreation, shopping and things that would try to keep the people here and to help support the community.

If they don?t like the blotter, then don?t read it, no one is forcing them to read it.

Please bring it back

Corrie Dunn

It was with genuine disappointment that I read your article ?Police ?Blotter? is no more?.

As someone who looked forward to reading the column, I am confused about how anyone could perceive the Blotter content as offensive.

In my opinion, the humor that was intermingled with the obvious goal to see reduced crime and less human suffering was what brought the objective so cleverly to the forefront.

If there is a list to get the Blotter back, please put me on it.

Kala Goodwin