EDITORIAL: In the face of criticism

Thankfully, this city’s police force bases time-pressured decisions on public safety, not public opinion.

Thankfully, this city’s police force bases  time-pressured decisions on public safety, not public opinion.

Once it was decided to shoot a cow running loose in a congested business/residential area of the city on Sunday, Abbotsford Police were certain to be heavily criticized by many.

Regardless, that was the step taken, after officers had followed the animal for several kilometres as it left a rural area, crossed Highway 1, and then wandered through yards and busy business parking lots in east Abbotsford.

Attempts to contain it, and find help in corralling or capturing the animal were not successful, nor was locating the owner, and the longer the creature was running loose, the greater the potential of a collision with a vehicle, and people getting injured.

It’s easy for armchair critics to make suggestions that seem quite reasonable – in the aftermath. However, many of those “obvious” alternatives didn’t exist.

Police don’t carry tranquilizer guns, and it’s not practical to do so. Conservation officers don’t deal with farm animals, and are under-resourced, in any event. There’s no local list of wranglers, ready at a moment’s notice with horse and lasso.

To leave the cow to wander under-disturbed was not an option, as it could have simply disappeared from view among buildings and bush, and reappear elsewhere, in front of a car on a busy road.

The decision to shoot it was a tough one, but based on justifiable reasoning.

Police will review the incident, as so they should, particularly given the fact that an officer fired 24 rounds from a patrol rifle to kill the animal. If we have it correct, that weapon isn’t designed to take down large creatures like a cow, and that may be why so many shots were fired.

That question will be no doubt be addressed in the review, along with what alternatives can be made available should such a situation occur again, which in an agricultural area, is possible.

Meanwhile, people might take a moment to appreciate that the Abbotsford Police were entirely forthcoming on the details of an optically uncomfortable incident, and we anticipate they’ll be equally so with the review results.

Just Posted

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

AHL president and CEO Scott Howson believes the new Abbotsford franchise is off to a strong early start. (AHL photo)
AHL president: ‘Tremendous success’ selling season ticket deposits for Abbotsford franchise

President and CEO Scott Howson optimistic about new Vancouver Canucks affiliate in Abbotsford

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

The committee to name the new Eagle Mountain elementary school will now not reveal the top three school names until September. (File photo)
Committee to name new Abbotsford elementary school needs more time

Top three Eagle Mountain elementary school names will now be narrowed down by September

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read