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Jacqueline Lovell, Dana Point

I’m a grateful resident of the wonderful community of Dana Point/Capistrano Beach, and I appreciate the news in the Dana Point Times. I read it cover to cover and always read the Sheriff’s Blotter even though it never applies to me. However, I noted a report in the October 7-13 issue that demands a response. Sheriffs were called to a “disturbance” to investigate “15-20 people standing around flicking cigarette butts onto the ground.” What a monumental waste of manpower and tax dollars. These folks are guilty of inconsiderate bad manners, but are hardly a threat to public safety.

Dana Point is a lovely and peaceful place to live because of people, not police enforcement. This situation needs to be addressed directly by the individual feeling offended. The job of the Sheriff’s Department is to protect and serve, not act as a big brother.

The complainer should put their energy into forming a neighborhood watch team that can patrol and interact with these so-called offenders. Bad manners are usually an absence of awareness, and these smokers likely have no idea how offensive their behavior can be. A friendly reminder, a kind word and genuine interest into why this group is smoking on the street might engender a dialog and understanding. Please let the sheriffs do an already dangerous and difficult job, and leave petty annoyances to a socially responsible citizenry. Thank you.

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