Letters to the editor
Team effort leads to success
It's not often I write a letter for the news media. Something spectacular has to occur to warrant such an occasion. And I think it has.
By now, it is well known the police department has arrested a suspect for the arson of the vans at Pickerington Central High School.
The police department also has identified a suspect in all the other incidents of a bomb threat or threats against any person.
To solve all these crimes in such a short a time span is quite an achievement.
But, it could not have been solved as quickly or solved at all, had it not been for team work.
First, I want to commend the Detective Bureau. The bureau worked almost non-stop to find the suspect(s) responsible. Good old fashion police leg work was used to help find the suspects.
The police department gets the credit for the arrest and we look good, as we should. A slip up on our part and the bad guy walks on a technicality.
In this case, we dotted every (i) and crossed every (t). And the bad guy goes to jail, for a long time.
And thanks goes to the patrol staff also, I only have three detectives and they can only do so much.
Enough of patting ourselves on the back. Additionally, the police department had some great help from the Violet Township Fire Department. They were very instrumental in solving the arson case.
The Columbus bomb squad also deserve a thank-you. On short notice they showed up with at least five officers and two bomb dogs and searched the entire school for a bomb.
You do the math and see what that figure would have been to pay for their services. They were concerned for the children's safety also.
The Pickerington Central High School administration and Dr. Karen Mantia were also very helpful.
They put themselves at our beckon call on whatever we wanted. School officials also participated in the investigations and proved to be an asset.
And last but not least, some of the parents played a key role in helping to identify some of the suspects. It's good to see there are some parents who still believe in a right and a wrong and want to see justice done, regardless of the severity of punishment.
In closing, a word of advice for any other person wanting to commit a crime, be it a bomb threat or arson, the police department will find you and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I say that because the Fairfield County Prosecutors, juvenile and adult, take this very seriously and intend to throw the book at the suspects.
We all need to work as a team. One person cannot do everything, but as a team quite a bit can be accomplished.
When the police department needed help, we weren't a bit hesitant to ask the fire department, the Columbus Bomb Squad, teachers, parents, etc. With all this help, it was just a matter of time until the suspects were arrested.
And to this, I express my appreciation to all of you. I thank you very much for your help.
Pickerington Chief of Police
Use tax as motive to quit smoking
On April 1, the federal cigarette tax will increase by 62 cents.
This increase should provide yet one more good reason for Ohioans to quit smoking.
According to this year's U.S. Surgeon General's Report on "The Health Consequences of Smoking," we now know smoking harms virtually every organ in the body. In addition to lung cancer, heart attacks and stroke, cigarette smoking has been found to cause coronary heart disease, ulcers and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas.
However, there is good news - quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits, regardless of your age, or how long and how much you've been smoking.
As a physician, I know that making the decision to quit, and sticking to it is hard. Fortunately, today smokers don't have to rely on willpower alone.
Research shows support such as that offered by the Ohio Tobacco Quitline can help smokers significantly increase their chances of quitting successfully.
This help may come from family and friends, health care providers, counseling programs or through medication such as the nicotine gum, patches or lozenges.
Ohioans who want to stop smoking can get immediate help by calling the Ohio Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) where they can get free advice and counseling on how to stop, and participate in a free Two Week Nicotine Patch Program.
The Quitline is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Callers may also leave a message 24 hours a day, seven days a week and request a call-back time that is convenient for them.
Most smokers want to quit and the tax increase may be the impetus for many to finally make a quit attempt. Every smoker deserves the emotional, practical and medical support they need to do so successfully.
Alvin D. Jackson, M.D.
Director, Ohio Department of Health
To submit a letter to the editor, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Eastside Messenger, 3500 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204. Include a contact name and phone number.
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