Opinion

LETTER: Police handled a potentially dangerous and deadly situation

I just wanted to comment on a couple of articles that I read in the Abbotsford News this week. Firstly, (Andrew Holota's) brilliantly written point of view in section “On Point” about the takedown of the knife-wielding homeless man by the Abbotsford Police.

As you are well aware, I have written to you many times before on the homeless situation and what I deal with on a daily basis with them. As the warehouse manager of a distribution business on Gladys Avenue, and between two notorious homeless camps, I believe I’ve earned the right to speak on behalf of the citizens that work in this area.

Every day something happens on our property with the homeless from theft, drug and alcohol use, defecating, littering, fighting, and the list goes on. We have spent thousands of dollars on security and surveillance systems, fencing, and repairs from the day we moved to this property nearly four years ago.

I first read the story by Vikki Hopes in last Thursday’s paper on the bean bag takedown, and the first thing that crossed my mind was, how potentially dangerous and deadly this situation could have escalated to if the APD didn’t do what they did. The Abbotsford Police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, and that is utterly unfair and ridiculous. These do-gooders should be ashamed.

The armchair experts, as I like to refer to them as well, have no right to bash the APD in the disgraceful manner they do. I completely understand Ward Draper’s attempts to do the right thing, but give your head a shake. The homeless have mental issues and by simply offering Mr. Roberts a latte to defuse the situation is crazy. The food bank obviously felt threatened and unsafe and they did the absolute right thing.

The APD have a job to do and this incident had all the potential of going very, very wrong and the APD handled it brilliantly.

As for those armchair experts, they should try getting the complete story. Quit spouting off after only a tiny bit of information. Quit believing everything you read or see on the news or YouTube. Most of the stories when first aired on TV or published in the papers are rather one-sided until all the facts are brought to the service. The APD are doing their job and keeping the citizens of Abbotsford safe.

Now on to your article about the situation. “Brilliant”!

I loved what you wrote and actually applauded after reading it. Most of these armchair experts have never even been near the Gladys Avenue homeless camps. They would be horrified if they do – they are just massive garbage sites now. The people that think they are helping by stopping by and unloading couches, mattresses, tables, and whatever – guess what, everything is absolutely soaked, unusable, and rotting. It all sits in one of the several piles of garbage in both camps. Good on them for saving a few bucks and not taking their old furniture to a secondhand store or to somewhere it can be properly disposed of.

 

Gordon Paterson

 

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