I myself am not a San Diego resident, but have enjoyed visiting San Diego on occasion. As an Associate member of the American Psychological Association, I am considering attending the APA’s annual convention which will be held this year in San Diego. I came across a recent article in your publication regarding the San Diego Police Department and what seemed to be their coping strategy for officers involved in fatal shootings.

This article is entitled, “If Police Kill, Do They Sin?” Well, I would have to say that the title to this article, which seems to be its main focus is neither proven wrong nor right as theology at its core is based on faith not fact, and therefore without question and with an utter and completely grounded assertion this question is completely and utterly irrelevant!

Unfortunately, for the San Diego Police Department and the voiceofsandiego.org, Pastor Dale Lowrimore is depicted in this story as a great member of the church who passes on this Christian ideology through his own biblical interpretation of the Old Testament while stating to officers in southern California that they have not sinned as they were in fact protecting citizens. Whether this is the case or not, is irrelevant.

It is not Pastor Dale’s job, and, frankly, with the separation of church and state, especially in a liberal county and state such as San Diego, California, I am not sure why he even has a job, to attempt relive post-traumatic stress for officers involved in shooting an fatal shootings through theological belief!

At times, this can actually make matters worse and more complicated if the pastor is not trained in the field of psychology and a licensed psychologist! Let alone his interpretation of the Bible!

What type of qualifications does he have to (mis) interpret the Bible the way he does in this article in any case, even if it was deemed appropriate? Not even the Pope himself would bring himself to San Diego, California, and answer these questions the way this man so arrogantly has in this piece of “journalism.”

Police officers involved in fatal shootings should be examined by a psychologist chosen by the police force brass and the officers and not “dissolved” of their sins by a full-time paid pastor of the department. These men might need help in a different matter as well, and perhaps yes, they are receiving both spiritual and psychological aid by the department. (I don’t know. This was not mentioned in the article, though this would be of interest to find out.)

Though, if the officers are looking for spiritual healing, there are a number of churches they can attend, and I find it completely inappropriate for an “in-house” pastor to be involved in a discussion such as this one. And, to let it go to print in a way that makes it sound and look like a PR piece with his picture available? I would question my editorial staff if I were you, for one thing.

We have separation of church and state in this country for a reason. And by the way, does the SDPD have a Jewish Rabbi, a Muslim Cleric, and Buddhist and Hindu priests available as well?

To think that with the California economic hardships, the government layoffs, the teacher salary paycuts, the defecits, the talk of state bankrupcy, this guy has a full time job with us, with the state and the city of San Diego!

Surprising to say the least …

Jonathan Bollag is a resident of Santa Barbara.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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