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I have lots of respect for law enforcement officers, including game wardens. They have a tough job, often under conditions requiring immediate and decisive action.

However, if the situation was as reported by Warren Latvala in his guest column, "Warden provided TV fodder at hunter's expense," on Dec. 12, law enforcement officers also need to practice humanness if they are to gain and/or maintain the respect of the citizens they serve.

Wouldn't it have been the right thing to do in the described situation for the game warden to have issued a verbal or written warning? "Mike," who was producing "Montana Warden," could have recorded the violation on camera and the issuance of a warning by the game warden for his TV program. It would have been an excellent opportunity to educate hunters that the definition of "immediate" means less than 21 minutes, demonstrate the humane side of law enforcement officers, and it would have resulted in the elk meat being used rather than wasted as game wardens are sworn to protect against.

Under the circumstances, the game warden in this situation should be receiving, as a minimum, a verbal or written letter of reprimand from his superiors to reinforce that his duties are more important than a moment in the TV limelight.

Fred Cooper,

Missoula

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