Pubdate: Tue, 06 Apr 1999
Date: 04/06/1999
Source: Santa Barbara News-Press (CA)
Author: Rick Louis Fairchild

This letter is in response to a recent little blurb under "County
Digest" in the News-Press.

It was titled "Man gives up drugs."

A bicyclist was arrested in Carpinteria for possession of cocaine and
for being under the influence of the substance.

The bicyclist had actually approached the sheriff, not the other way
around. The man had related how he was having cocaine abuse problems.
He gave the sheriff the baggie of cocaine he had. The officer promptly
arrested him on the two counts I've already stated. Both counts are
felonies. The man was booked into the county jail.

As the man called over the deputy, he apologized for not wearing a

As a Christian, I believe in God's sovereignty, and that it takes some
people quite a bit to go through before they turn to Him, which I
believe is the most necessary thing for a person to do in life.

In the word of God, Jesus, the Son of God, and Saviour of the world,
is quoted as having said, "For what is a man profited, if he shall
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Matthew 16:26.

I do not question God's sovereignty in this happening, God knows who,
of their own free will, will accept or reject Christ, the only
Saviour. I do question the system of our policing, and our system of

Think about it, a person confides in another who is supposed to be a
trusted individual who is placed in authority in his community; a
trusted individual not only to those who have no "problems" in life,
but to those who do also, and he is arrested for his problem. In the
blurb, it did not mention any cogent response by the sheriff to the
man regarding his reason for coming to the sheriff.

Obviously, the man will not be able to do drugs in jail, but I do not
believe that that was the type of help he was looking for. One cannot
know everything that has gone on before an arrest. I do not know all
the factors the officer took into consideration when making his
decision. I may be speaking out of turn, and I certainly thank God for
the sheriffs, but according to what I was delivered in the blurb, it
seems that something is wrong.

In yesteryear, many towns in the West were smaller. They had their
share of trouble. The officers of the law, however, I believe, dealt
with many situations commonsensically. I believe there was less
paperwork, (there was no computer work) and less rigmarole. I believe
officers were known personally by a higher percentage of the town back

It would be one thing if the amount of paper/computer work done by
officers today was the same as the amount of paperwork done by
officers then, only multiplied by the multiplication in population,
but this is not the case. The work done by officers today is not only
multiplied in the aforementioned way, but it is also multiplied, or
added to, in that, in many cases, there is official action taken at

There has got to be a better way.

Rick Louis Fairchild,
Santa Barbara