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Maybe Port Orchard is more Stamper's speed

"It’s a real pity Port Orchard went ahead and filled its opening for a police chief week before last. If we’d only known Seattle’s Norm Stamper was going to be available on short notice we could have added him to the field of candidates for the job, and wouldn’t that have been a feather in our cap?On the other hand, if he can’t handle a simple ruckus like the WTO meeting, what chance would Stamper have against a real scrimmage like Fathoms o’Fun? You think those sissies dressed up as sea turtles were tough? Try keeping order at the Seagull Calling Contest. Now there’s a bunch of rowdies.You have to give Stamper credit, though. He managed the almost impossible feat of uniting the right and the left on an important issue — his resignation. To hear the left tell it, Stamper commanded a goon squad of Nazi brown shirts that mowed down anything in its path like so much wheat before the thresher. Voices on the other side, meanwhile, apparently wonder why air strikes weren’t used to put down the uprising.Given that he works — make that worked — for a mayor and city council whose views more closely mirror the protestors and anarchists than they do Joe Sixpack, it’s fair to say Stamper was run out of town for being too tough rather than not tough enough.But that’s irrelevant. What happened during the conference was a direct result of the amount and quality of preparation that led up to the event. And on that score Stamper, Mayor Paul Schell and the entire Seattle City Council were equally incompetent.According to published reports, many Seattle Police officers on crowd control duty spent 12 or more hours at their posts without relief during the siege. Their supervisors made no provision for meals, leaving them literally dependent on handouts from local merchants.There was no place for the officers to sit down and no restroom facilities. One account even claimed there was no central command post to monitor developments on the scene and make sure adequate numbers of police were available to respond when violence and disorder broke out in various locations around downtown Seattle. Forced to deal with such conditions, in addition to a huge, hostile crowd, if there were police excesses — and it hasn’t yet been proven there were — they were explainable if not excusable.In the end, Schell apparently only agreed to supplement Stamper’s beleaguered police forces with (unarmed) National Guard troops at the insistence of Gov. Gary Locke and, presumably, Secret Service authorities concerned for the welfare of the president in the midst of this fracas.It’s not as though they weren’t warned. Protestors made clear their intentions long before the conference began. A few openly advocated violent confrontation; many, perhaps even most, of the supposedly “peaceful” dissidents hoped to shut down the conference and must have known their actions would block traffic and paralyze a major city for the entire week. It was, in a word, criminal behavior.Sympathetic though they may have been to the protestors’ aims — at least one Seattle City Council member took part in the demonstrations — it is the primary job of public officials to ensure safety and prevent the destruction of property. That goal would have been better served had Schell, Stamper and their allies taken the blinders off a little sooner and marshaled the resources needed to maintain order. A show of force from the outset, far from being provocative, would have discouraged the sort or hooliganism the police subsequently felt compelled to stop.On second thought, Mr. Stamper, your resume is quite impressive but I’m afraid you’re not really what we’re looking for in Port Orchard.And you can pass the same message along to Mr. Schell when we start advertising for a city administrator. He’ll no doubt be looking by then."

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