This letter is my response after reading the grossly inaccurate and blindly slanted opinion by Marty Carlson on Friday. 26 October 2012 07:04.
She claims that “Hyping incidental events isn't limited to the national fourth estate - it happens right here at home. We ought to expect better. We ought to demand better.”
I agree we as a community should expect better out of you Ms. Carlson. One would expect that even though your column is an opinion column that you would check your facts to see that what you are repeating is somewhere in the neighborhood of being minutely accurate!
Portions of your opinion with my comment following:
As luck would have it, that was the day the radar in Benton police cars was being calibrated.
Incorrect - There is no luck involved here, the radar calibration is scheduled event thru Midwest Radar 29 NE First Lane, Lamar, MO 64759 417-684-0290. George Leemasters he schedules the visit a week prior to his arrival to do the calibrations.
The local news media had been alerted to this alleged infraction.
Incorrect - I contacted one station Channel 3 KTBS.
Those concerned citizens just happen to be Gene Hillen, candidate for Benton Chief in the running against Pilkinton - and Ken Shifflet candidate for Benton Mayor.
Incorrect -I was the only concerned citizen that spoke with the local news media. 1 was contacted by a town resident and made aware that Ms. Sullivan was speeding back towards town from the Elementary School in a Benton Police vehicle. Also my name is a matter of public record I am a registered republican voter, I pay water bills and I pay taxes for my home my name is accessible on all these documents surely this is one item you can report factual. The name of one of the two people you are blindly agreeing to defame in a parish-wide paper, oh by the way my name is spelled Shiflett.
Unfortunately, Benton Mayor Wayne Cathcart was out of town - or the incident might have been straightened out immediately.
Questionable - Channel 3 reported that there's no word from the mayor's office or the chief of police on this matter, but they both plan to give a full statement on the matter next week. But the question really should only be answered by the chief; it was one of his patrol cars.
But, it was not until October 2, 2012, that the television news folks ran a short piece quoting the police Chief Pilkinton as saying Sullivan hadn't broken any laws or ordinances- and that was the end of it.
Opinion - I must ask why it took an entire weekend for the administration to give a reply. Seems to me that if there was nothing to hide or they KNEW nothing was done improper then why didn't they answer immediately when asked by the reporter? Attached is a copy from the Benton Police Policy and Procedures basically stating that a uncertified reserve police officer (a civilian volunteering to assist in law enforcement) must have a Certified Officer with them on patrol. When I see a police car I assume it is patrolling, I don't stop it to ask if they are actually a police officer or a town clerk driving it to town.
Just saying ..
Kenneth E. Shiflett