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Letters: Many questions on Hofstra shooting

Police stand guard as tape cordons off the

Police stand guard as tape cordons off the house where Hofstra University student Andrea Rebello and armed robber Dalton Smith were killed during an armed home invasion at an off-campus residence in Uniondale. (May 17, 2013) Credit: AP

Surprise, surprise that Nassau's police union president is backing the cop who mistakenly shot the Hofstra University student ["PBA backs officer," News, May 22].

If the Police Benevolent Association's president's daughter were the victim, would we hear the same old rhetoric, or just silence? I suspect the latter.

This was a terrible mistake in judgment by the officer involved, but the real issue is the training and expertise of our police force. These officers are paid handsomely to protect the public and act responsibly, yet time and again there are issues with their methods and lab testing, not to mention their misguided ethics and undue influence by private citizens.

We should have the best and not the Keystone Kops when serious situations arise.

Unfortunately this lack of expertise does not happen to show itself often enough to stir public outcry. It is time to put their feet to the fire and demand excellence in service. That should be the mantra of our law enforcement organization, and it should start from the top.

Jim Nardone, St. James

We grieve along with the family of Andrea Rebello, especially her twin, Jessica. We understand the anguish and hostility felt by the family and the communities affected by this tragedy. There are a thousand questions, many of which will go unanswered.

It's easy to place blame and ask why the police didn't do something else. That begins with this individual, Dalton Smith, who caused this senseless turn of events. The police have arrested him numerous times from the age of 16. The truth of the matter is we have a failed judicial system. Smith should never have been on the streets.

Marty Ronan, Wantagh

Few can put themselves in the horrible situation that Officer Nikolas Budimlic faced that fateful day. This man probably had a microsecond to react.

Before judging this police officer, put yourself in his position for a moment.

Of course I pray for the family and friends who lost this beautiful young lady. But please pray for this man, his family and the many other fine police officers who put their lives on the line daily for our protection. I pray he may be able to move on as best he can, with the realization that it was not he who caused this horrible incident, but the heartless criminal who should not have been on the streets to begin with.

Daniel A. Hesse, East Islip

Henrique Santos, Andrea Rebello's uncle, has spoken truthfully about the need for negotiation during hostage situations [" 'Should have tried negotiation,' " News, May 21].

Moreover, police have procedures and personnel for such engagement. The rules are there to keep tragic situations such as this at Hofstra from becoming irretrievable.

Clarence Dember, Copiague