Re: “A recipe for chaos” [Oct. 17, Opinion]:

Although three former police chiefs brought up many topics of concern, they did not touch on the issue of recruitment. If you are recruiting from the military, you are getting personnel who are trained soldiers. We can recruit from sources like universities and colleges. We should be hiring skilled interventionists.

Police shouldn’t even draw their weapons unless they see a weapon also. I know there is a risk anytime weapons are present, but when that risk comes from the police rather than the perpetrator, we need to rethink our approach. When police approach a mentally-unstable perpetrator who has a knife, shouldn’t a Taser be the first response?

What is coming out about policing in the country is complicated. The pandemic shut down some jails, and homelessness is out of control. Various political people would rather lie than tell the truth without consequence. These are all elements that make policing harder. New Jim Crow laws are also destructive and undemocratic. The police need to be able to communicate effectively to defuse situations that require a police response.

Richard Hemmen, Seattle