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Letter: Town needs more options for homeless

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When my dad was a deputy there was this one cop that they did not really like. He was always overly serious and always looking to make an arrest. He was irritatingly "by the book," a Barney Fife type. Like a lot of law enforcement officers act today.

I enjoyed Justin Glawe’s article on the homeless (Sept. 15). Kudos to him because no one else is bothering to care and write about them. I am so disgusted that the cops chase the homeless around as if they were stray dogs or cats. They are so callous, uncaring and cruel as to dump their vodka out in front of them, as if to say "ha ha, got you." They have had a hard time selling pills or panhandling to get that vodka; for God’s sake let them live what little pleasures they have left. It’s not like they are throwing a huge kegger in town.

This town needs a homeless shelter that lets people in year ’round, inebriated or not. There should be one big room at the Law Enforcement Center just for the homeless to safely sleep at night and not be checked for warrants and no-drink orders. There needs to be a place with small rooms to rent for $100 a month. The old high school or Maple Hall would have been perfect. When Servants of Shelter has them stay at churches, little paranoid, naive grannies just have to check their shoes for weed and Vicodin. It’s not like they can afford any harder drugs — so why care about that?

Why do the cops need to arrest everyone for everything? Every stupid little law does not need to be followed. Why can’t the cops make some things a low priority? Like the city of Seattle made weed arrests their lowest priority before it was legalized. Our cops should make weed, no-drink orders, expired license tabs and no driver’s license (at times) their lowest priority among other things.

The cops are terrorizing the citizens of this community with their OCD ways and tactics of making so many arrests and snoopy vehicle stops. For God’s sake, just look the other way, let things go, let people live the way they need to survive. All of these fines and court costs are ridiculous. Is it just to fill in the coffers of Beltrami County? When it’s cold and the cops offer rides, do not check their status and if they smell of weed, let it go! Who cares? Is it our chief of police who demands all of this over the top policing? Stop it. Give us privacy.

Sandy Bean

Bemidji

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