A Commentary from a Friend

By Joe Mariani, a retired Marin and Sonoma County teacher and administrator

re-posted from Facebook, with permission 


First of all, I love to read your Hal Collier stories.

But what sad news last night!

As a school administrator for SRCS [Santa Rosa City Schools] I regularly worked with the SRPD [Santa Rosa Police Department] & SO [Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office] and Probation. Several years before I retired in ’99 and then for the following decade when I was an on-call substitute administrator at all of the secondary schools in SRCS, we finally got 5 campus based PD officers who would split their time between our five high schools and their five feeder middle schools. As a building administrator I also attended the monthly Sonoma County gang- related meetings with the the same three groups at the SRPD main, where we would discuss the previous month’s gang activities & share intelligence.

Most regular citizens don’t have a clue about the dangerous and hard job that police & sheriff officers face every day, and how much we rely on them for our safety.

Also, it was always so great to see the paramedics & fire truck roll up – please no code 3! – when we had a badly injured or really sick student down. I go crazy when I see all if the bad press that today’s cops are getting, when I know from personal experience that all of the people who I worked with were good guys & ladies. And I also know that there is a “rest of the story” about the people who cops deal with every day/night that usually gets glossed over in the news. I dealt with middle & high school kids, non-students coming on campus, and adults for over 3 decades in a zillion “rest of the story” situations. It was so great to call or finally have a designated police officer to help with my 1056 [suicide/attempt], 415 [peace disturbance- can be a domestic or dog barking and everything in between], 242 [battery], H&W [Health and Welfare Code-known also as Welfare and Institutions Code-violation usually pertains to laws specifically to protect children’s welfare] , & even occasional 245 [assault with a deadly weapon], et al!

So my heart & prayers also go out to one more member of our “thin blue line, his Department, and his family.


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