Gosh, it appears that nerves are a little raw and at least one Coquille officer is extremely sensitive. Today, Coquille Valley Sentinel editor, Jean Ivey called the CPD to ask about the National Night Out and why an event billed as a family event would include a taser demonstration in full view of small children. The officer in charge of the event, James Bryant, advised Ivey that the demonstration showed the public that anyone shot with a taser could not ‘fight through’ and resist. When Ivey asked what place such a demonstration had at a family night out the officer became defensive and accused Ivey of being argumentative, refused the interview, referred her to Sargeant Smith and hung up the phone. So much for public outreach.
Ivey immediately contacted Smith who decided to handle the matter in person and spoke with Ivey at the Sentinel offices. “That young man needs to go to charm school”, she said. Smith would not speak for Bryant but did try and explain the demonstrations since Bryant would not. Smith also emphasized that he was trying to build a department that was more open, communicative and assessable to the public and demonstrated his efforts by addressing this matter in person. Clearly, Smith has an uphill battle with some of the officers he has to work with.