Letters to the Editor

Preying on fears

John Kavanaugh's letter (Dec. 29) merely paraphrases other arguments provided by corrections and police officers in this state, justifying their obscene incomes.

Arguments go like this: Feel free to join us, we need the help, or while you're at home, safe, we're walking the toughest beat in the country. Nothing is said about the correctional officers union and its unholy alliance with former Gov. Gray Davis, supported by the rank-and-file correctional officers.

Police officers and correctional officers all deserve a decent living, but the prospect of danger certainly does not warrant the pay they demand. These institutions have traded our natural sense of guilt over putting others in harm's way to protect us for outrageous incomes.

Unfortunately, it does not extend to our armed forces. How much does the average military policeman guarding thugs in the prisons around Iraq make, or the MPs walking a beat in Afghanistan? Soldiers are lucky if they break $20,000 a year, and that takes getting a few stripes.

Servicemen and women are not in it for the money, and neither should our police or correctional officers. They should enjoy a decent living, but preying on society's fears should not enter the issue.

D.J. Coates