* Feb. 28 was a day that will not soon be forgotten in police annals. It was a real eye-opener for the citizens of Los Angeles, and a day when LAPD officers really earned the respect of the city.
The gallantry displayed by those officers, who faced down gunmen garbed in full-body armor and armed with AK-47 fully automatic rifles, was indeed heroism that should cause LAPD shields to shine brightly.
Those blue suits, the first line of defense in maintaining the internal security of our nation, displayed a fortitude, dedication to duty and true valor that was in the highest tradition of law enforcement.
ROBERT R. REEVES
Reeves is a member of the Mid-Valley Community Police Council
* I want to take this opportunity to thank the North Hollywood Division of the LAPD and all the other officers from other areas who helped the people, homeowners and businesses in our community.
Your bravery was astounding. Words cannot describe your courage. May God bless you all.
MARY E. BRADY
* "Thank you" seems inadequate. The Police Department's unbelievable bravery and commitment to public safety (and the safety of fellow officers) will be remembered for a long time.
It's sad it took an incident [in North Hollywood] to let the citizenry see what police do on a daily basis, without media coverage.
Bagelman is a police community representative.
* It doesn't take much for all of us to criticize the police. But, now we have an opportunity to say thank you to the rank-and-file officers for the outstanding performance during the shootout in North Hollywood.
I would like to suggest that we have a police appreciation day. Perhaps we could indicate our gratitude by turning on our auto headlights on a designated day.
KENNETH R. CHANE
* When Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) voted the NRA line against the ban on assault weapons requested by President Clinton, McKeon cited his enjoyment in owning a weapon. The brave police officers and innocent bystanders shot in North Hollywood probably wonder how McKeon would vote now.
PAUL H. WANGSNESS
* The spectacular gun battle in North Hollywood resulted in serious injury to innocent people. The victims, other gunmen who may have escaped and the security measures at banks will be what concern most of us. But the NRA and its ilk will argue, "If more law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry concealed weapons, they could thwart such murderous thieves." Vehement opponents of guns will argue, "We must ban AK-47s and anything beyond slingshots to prevent these tragedies."
We see that there are no easy answers to such madness. We also see that this tragedy will be appallingly reduced by both sides to merely a political football. But that's what you get when you deal with the right and the left, purveyors of a product far more deadly than guns--agenda thinking.
THOMAS E. BRAUN
* Re "Forced to Flee Home, Pair Feel Put Out," March 2.
It seems to us that the LAPD should have a department of public affairs working in tandem with active police to ward off what happened to this unfortunate couple while police were doing their job. There should be a backup support group that handles displaced innocents. Walter and Mary Milosevich were ill-equipped to leave their home on short notice without a destination and caring, compassionate words. None of this was given. What can be done so that it does not happen in the future?
SANDI and SID LAMPERT