If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this letter from Jeff Jordon, a police officer. The theme of the letter is simple. Jordon says the city — leaders, taxpayers, all of us — is to blame as much if not more for the death of the dog I wrote a post about the other day.

Why? Because we make the police work too hard for too little.

The resources available and the continued demands placed on the San Diego Police Department in its current state made this tragedy fated.

This is an interesting argument for a policeman to make. I have no doubt that when they detain someone, they welcome such excuses.

A couple of observations: I have no doubt that the culture at the police department could have contributed to the death of the police dog. Perhaps officers are going to have trouble taking care of their canine partners if they work long hours. But they are paid more to take care of the dogs and, as I noted, many of them will receive a portion of that extra pay for the rest of their lives.

The letter’s author, Jeff Jordon, a police officer, argues that too much overtime undoubtedly contributed to the dog’s death after being left in a car for as long as seven hours. Yet Jordon says also he hasn’t spoken to the officer about what happened to the dog.

Hmmm. Does he know that to be the cause of the incident or did he not talk to the officer?

Not everything that goes wrong at the police department can be blamed on pay, benefits and resources available. It’s hard for me to believe the police, many of whom want citizens to accept personal responsibility for their actions, would so easily cast the blame for incidents like this on the city and society in general.

I mean I can’t imagine a cop being very sympathetic to me if they catch me doing something wrong and I plead that it’s my employer’s fault for making me work too much. I would assume that police generally have little patience for that kind of excuse.

The officer involved may very well be torn up by the dog’s death. He may be reeling. But his colleagues should wait for him to make excuses about why it happened. And he should make sure the excuses he does make are ones to which he would be sympathetic as well.

SCOTT LEWIS

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