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Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski gets his first Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at the UCHealth Memorial Administrative Center in Colorado Springs in December.

Saddened by police vaccine response

I was deeply disappointed to read last week’s article about the refusal of many Colorado Springs Police Department officers to accept the COVID-19 vaccine or disclose their vaccine status to their employer. During my over 35-year association with the department, it was my honor to work with a group of women and men who were hands down among the most professional, well-trained and caring people I ever met. As I had the opportunity to observe other police agencies at work throughout the country and see the problems some had with ill-trained, poorly led, or uncaring officers I was deeply proud that, with very few exceptions, that simply doesn’t happen here.

Through many CSPD assignments, I was constantly aware that whether it was a matter of simply sharing a heavy workload or saving a life, there was nothing my brothers and sisters would not do to care for each other and make whatever sacrifice was necessary to see that everyone went home safe at the end of the shift. In a job where it is not uncommon to witness events that will bring even work-hardened officers to tears, I can honestly say I never once saw an officer who failed to put their own life at risk to ensure the safety of their fellow officers or the public they willingly serve.

Given these experiences, I was dumbstruck by the public position claimed by so many CSPD officers who refuse to accept a highly researched and scientifically proven vaccine, and won’t even bother to wear a simple mask, either of which could save their own lives and, perhaps more importantly, the lives of every person they encounter. In a profession where actual facts and hard evidence are a bedrock of their working lives, that some deliberately stand in the way of public health, not to mention spread highly spurious conspiracy theories, is almost impossible to imagine. When millions of Americans from professional basketball players to minimum wage checkout clerks are willing to step up to protect each other, it is truly disheartening to hear that some of the officers I so greatly admire are placing their own convenience over the lives of their fellows. I don’t envy Chief Vince Niski and Mayor John Suthers the burden of dealing with this, but I respect their wisdom and have faith that they will reach the right decision.

While there are many words I could use to characterize this mess, at the end of the day it just makes me sad.

William D. Lidh

Colorado Springs

When will chips be in abundance?

Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins everywhere! If you want to buy a pumpkin, you can find one at any Walmart, grocery store, any gas station, and you can even get one for free where if you can carry one out by yourself, it’s all yours. Wow, what a deal. We were well prepared and everyone who wants a pumpkin can get one — no shortages. Only in America!

Now what about chips and I don’t mean potato chips, because we have plenty of potato chips. I’m talking about computer chips we need for a multitude of functions. For example, we need them for cars but the supply of chips is low.

The answer is not complicated. Instead of buying the chips from China at a much lower price, we should have made them ourselves so we wouldn’t be in this mess. They would be a little more costly but chips would be in abundance.

They say we got the message but it will take several years to get to the point where we will be self-sufficient. This is not smart. It’s un-American!

When will we be able to say, Chips! Chips! Chips everywhere and I don’t mean potato chips!

Denis Leveille

Colorado Springs

Masks do indeed save lives

Yesterday I received a solicitation from Doctors Without Borders that said, “Five children die every minute due to malnutrition.” That thought was with me this morning as I read Michelle Malkin’s, “On the latest mask madness saga”.

When will people realize that mask wearing is a first-world problem? Rylee’s mother missed an opportunity to teach her daughter about civic responsibility, while assuring her that her teachers were doing their best to ensure her safety and the safety of all their students. Many of these teachers undoubtedly have children, too young to be vaccinated, at home so they are also trying to protect the health of their own families. As of the end of July, when most schools were not even in session, there were over 1,000 hospitalizations and 18 deaths among children in Colorado. Children now account for over 25% of COVID cases in our state.

Calling mask wearing/taping child abuse and a matter for the police is a drastic overreaction by this child’s parent. Also, I find it hugely ironic that Malkin, known for her outspoken attacks, called “indirect inference” child abuse. That’s stretching it a bit, even for Malkin. Did Rylee’s mom even consider that there was a smile under her daughter’s mask in that selfie? If the selfie was taken in fun, Rylee’s mom turned that smile into outrage.

My advise: Teach your children that masks do indeed save lives and donate to Doctors Without Borders. Save the children who really need it.

Kathleen Eichinger

Colorado Springs

Offer solutions to problems

This morning, the Gazette published a letter from a citizen complaining about the uncontrolled construction and population growth in our county that is causing serious air pollution … while they did not offer up possible solutions.

I, for one, get so tired of people decrying this problem or that problem while they seem clueless as to how to solve the issue. If, in fact, we are seeing air pollution as a major problem, how about reintroducing annual car emission testing? It might cost the drivers a bit more for the privilege of driving in the Pikes Peak region, but the view of the mountains will stay clearer.

And while we are at it, how about adding annual car safety inspections to the agenda?

John Wear



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