Sgt. Kelvin Smith says "public often has a misconception 
that officers can be perfect all the time." hell why
didnt he ask some of us folks at copwatch before
making that statement. im sure we all would have
told him he is full of shit!


Chandler officer's arrest stuns police 
Fear scrutiny may stir doubt in line of fire

By Jim Walsh and Chris Fiscus
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 11, 2002

Police are accustomed to being second-guessed, but 
Valley cops were still jolted by the landmark arrest 
of a Chandler police officer on murder charges.

Many officers are incensed by Officer Dan Lovelace's 
arrest on second-degree murder charges and may "back 
off and let things happen," said Sam Wooldridge, 
president of the Arizona Police Association.

But others say public scrutiny of police shootings 
is nothing new and hope officers will continue to 
rely on their training while making split-second 
decisions to avoid life-threatening delays.

"From the time we put on a badge and go to work, 
we know every move we make is going to be scrutinized," 
said Sgt. Randy Force, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Police officers throughout the Valley cautioned 
that Lovelace deserves his day in court and 
complained he is being lynched by the public 
and media.

"The reality of the job tends to come out more 
accurately in a courtroom than in a newspaper," 
said Sgt. Kelvin Smith, president of the Mesa 
Police Association.

Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley announced 
Thursday that he was taking the unusual step of 
charging Lovelace because evidence shows the 
officer shot Dawn Rae Nelson from behind at the 
drive-through window of a Walgreens drugstore.

Romley said two autopsies showed that the bullet 
entered the back of Nelson's left arm and traveled 
at a forward angle into her body. He said Lovelace 
was not in immediate danger of Nelson running him down.

Lovelace said he feared Nelson was turning the car 
toward him, but witness accounts dispute his statements.

"Everyone knows when you screw up, you pay for it," 
Smith said, "but we've never seen something like what 
this officer is facing."

If officers were to second-guess themselves during a 
life-threatening situation, the results could be 
disastrous, he said.

"You are processing the situation as quickly as possible 
and trying to reach the right decision," Smith said. 
"If that process is slowed down, you are risking 
serious injury."

Smith believes most officers will continue to rely on 
their training, but said the public often has a 
misconception that officers can be perfect all the time.

"I think sometimes there's an expectation from the public t
hat we're robots, but we're people like anyone else," he said.

Wooldridge said he expects officers will react the same 
when their lives are on the line, but said doubt could 
creep into their minds in non-life-threatening situations.

"It might make officers think twice," said Wooldridge, a 
retired Phoenix police officer. "Am I sure? Do I want to 
suffer the possible consequences if I'm wrong? . . . It's 
going to bring a chill."

But Jake Jacobsen, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement 
Association, expects no difference between the response of 
officers to threats against their lives and other people's 

Most life-threatening situations unfold at lightning 
speed and officers don't have the luxury of pondering the 
consequences for hours, he said.

"I would hope there would not be a hesitation. They 
have to react," Jacobsen said.

The case is a reminder to officers, Wooldridge said, 
that when things don't go right, a police department might 
"drop you like a hot potato."

"When the going gets tough, they get going," Wooldridge said.

Lovelace is being defended in the criminal case through 
the Arizona Police Association legal defense fund. 

Visit the Crazy Atheist Libertarian
Check out "David Dorn" - Hate Monger
Check out Atheists United - Arizona
Visit my atheist friends at Heritics, Atheists, Skeptics, Humanists, Infidels, and Secular Humanists - Arizona
Arizona Secular Humanists
Paul Putz Cooks the Arizona Secular Humanist's Check Book
News about crimes commited by the police and government
News about crimes commited by religious leaders and beleivers
Some strange but true news about the government
Some strange but real news about religion
Interesting, funny but otherwise useless news!
Libertarians talk about freedom
Cool Useless Photos, Cool gif files, Cool jpg files
Legal Library
Gif, JPG, and other images you can use on your web pages
David Dorn Insuranse