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home : opinions : opinions   May 24, 2016

5/4/2013 8:52:00 AM
Letters to the Editor: Civil Defense considered ahead of its time

I was quite surprised when I read that the police departments might get “certified volunteers” to help direct traffic. The former La Salle Civil Defense did this since the Cold War days with the USSR. Yes, they were volunteers. They stocked and maintained food rations in the “Bomb Shelters.”
They were trained on how to direct traffic under the police chiefs for such functions but not limited to bike races, Oglesby Dannon Race, Utica Burgoo, Mendota Corn Festival. They were tornado watchers and notified directors at nursing homes, Sundstrand Co. and others. They were trained in crowd control and how to detect something other than the normal crowd. Does this ring a bell?
Otto Fielder was one of its directors. His group put in many volunteer hours. Do you believe that they helped people with flooded basements? They had their own pumps and generators. After severe storms they would help remove branches from the streets to allow a safe flow of traffic. For the L-P Prom they set up lights and power with generators so that people could enjoy the Prom. They maintained order in the crowd just by their presence. Many times they reunited lost children who strayed away from their parents. They worked well with the police chiefs getting their instructions from the chief or his representative. I wish I could name all the volunteers but for fear of not giving credit to all those who are still living and those who have passed on I won’t. I am proud to have been associated with such a fine group of volunteers both men and women.
Then the announcement was made the former mayor and council decided to dissolve the Civil Defense.
Yes, they even had a disaster plan to which the mayor, chief of police and fire chief would sign off. Maybe they were just ahead of their time.

Demetrio G. Sal Salazar,
La Salle

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous95970

As a resident of LaSalle I would be happy to join a real Auxiliary Police program, not like the one that was ruined in Peru by their Police Chief and other city officials.

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