http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2011/11/11/letters


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - November 11, 2011

Letters

Strangers in cars

Dear Editor,

On Halloween, police officers or police volunteers were driving a clearly marked Police/DARE SUV in my neighborhood. When they saw my daughter in costume, they pulled over and invited my daughter to come to the window and get some candy from them.

I understand that this was a well-intentioned act, but I still wish that it would never happen again. I absolutely do not want my child to get into the habit of taking candy from strangers in cars, but this practice sends a clear message to children: Sometimes it is OK to take candy from strangers that call you over to their cars.

Yes, I understand that there is a difference between a civilian in plainclothes and a police officer in uniform, and I think children understand that, too -- but still, this was not a good idea.

Kevin Heller

Comments

Posted by Fun-Size Snicker, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I can only imagine the fear and angst your child must have now after approaching a black and white police car and accepting candy from a uniformed police officer. How conflicted your daughter must be! Surely there must be something better for police to do instead of sending these horrible mixed messages to our youngsters. You are definitely on the ball. Fortunately, the officers were not driving a windowless van and wearing old army jackets or missing any teeth. I would suggest that in the future you escort your daughter everywhere, keeping her within an arm's reach. The next thing you know she may have to talk to someone like a teacher or even more scary, a fireman in a big red truck!


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Nov 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I think that this was a nice gesture by the local police, which is a valued part of our community. Upon first reading Kevin Heller's letter, I paused and thought that perhaps he had a point about sending the wrong message to children about "taking candy from strangers". But then a reread his letter. His letter states that it was a "clearly marked Police/DARE SUV", and also seems to say that the officers were in official police uniform. So I don't see how there is any possible confusion here with "taking candy from strangers". Lighten up, Kevin. These aren't some "strangers" who are a potential threat to you and your daughter. They're our Pleasanton police, who exist to help protect you, your daughter, and your community.


Posted by Anna, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Obviously this concerned parent has a point.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm

If the PPD wishes to distribute Halloween candy to children, then good judgment would dictate that they do so either from the police department headquarters or by uniformed officers at fixed locations such as shopping centers, schools, libraries or other public places.

Mike


Posted by Pension Watcher, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm

My question is who paid for the candy? Just tossing our hard earned tax dollars into another sinkhole, it sounds like to me.


Posted by Pension Watcher-suck it, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

"Yes, I understand that there is a difference between a civilian in plainclothes and a police officer in uniform, and I think children understand that, too -- but still, this was not a good idea."

Wow, embarrassing that this is even an issue. This shows just how effed up you Pleasanton people are.


Posted by Typical Ptown parent, a resident of Birdland
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Kevin, I feel your pain, as I have also experienced this outrage. I spend all year telling my children not to approach unknown houses or accept candy from strangers, but EVERY YEAR on October 31st, the citizens of Pleasanton conspire against me. They carve pumpkins, decorate their doorways, and practically DRAG my children to their door to collect free candy. Sure, you can call it "Halloween" if you want, but it is abundantly clear that there are anti-parenting forces at work here.

I am just relieved that there are level-headed parents like us who can talk openly to our therapists about this subject. In fact, I think we should start a support group.

Look out Saint Nick - you're next on the chopping block!!


Posted by But seriously folks..., a resident of California Somerset
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Anna - I agree....this concerned parent has a point. It is on the top of his head. He is a obviously unicorn.


Posted by Occupy the Occupation, a resident of Beratlis Place
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Kevin, I fully agree. The police should not be making ANY attempt to distort the perception that you have worked so hard to develop, i.e., that they are overpaid, pension grubbing devil-worshipers. Keep up the good work!


Posted by Sick of you, a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Hey Pension Watcher - collecting inheritance from your parents doesn't quite meet the criteria for "hard earned tax dollars". Try again.