Q I think you could have pressed your police sources a bit harder on their explanations for disruptive traffic closures for the funeral of the slain BART policeman and recovery of the body of a driver killed when his vehicle went over a hill along Highway 17. This shouldn't be about sympathy for slain police officers or accident victims, or implying that stranded drivers were selfish or heartless.

Instead, commuters deserve to hear something like, "We had to block off a dozen ramps for the funeral cortege because it was the only way to handle hundreds of vehicles in the procession," or, "We needed to completely close Highway 17 because it was the only way to collect evidence and protect the lives of investigators and responders."

A funeral procession for BART Sgt. Tom Smith Jr. heads down Mission Boulevard after leaving Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 29,
A funeral procession for BART Sgt. Tom Smith Jr. heads down Mission Boulevard after leaving Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Smith was fatally shot in the line of duty on Jan. 21, 2014 by a fellow officer during the search of suspect's apartment in Dublin. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) ( ANDA CHU )

Those are the kind of valid responses readers deserve to hear, not "Suck it up, commuters -- at least you're still alive."

Charles Lindsey

San Jose

A Fair enough. My Feb. 3 column about the traffic issues that arose over those two events drew dozens of comments, including several from police officers. But first ...

Q The response you got from John-the-MTC-Spokesman regarding the funeral for the BART officer was very condescending. A cop died, so the hell with the public. We'll inconvenience thousands of freeway users so that a funeral procession can be held. Do you think the government would allow a funeral for you or me to be able to close any ramp so our funeral processions could go smoothly? No.


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David Ross

Castro Valley

A But ...

Q I am a retired highway patrolman, having worked 29 years in the Oceanside and San Diego areas. Believe me, I have witnessed all degrees of sensitivity and insensitivity expressed over the years, but none like that of a few who wrote you, complaining about the cost (99 percent of the officers attending were in all likelihood doing so on their own time and at their own expense, with the exception of the patrol vehicles).

To people who complained about the delay in traveling Highway 17 as the vehicle and body of an accident were retrieved, would you be complaining if it was your father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife or child whose body was being retrieved?

I think not.

Gerald Caughman

Santa Cruz

A And ...

Q I was a police officer for 32 years and have to say something to readers questioning the road blocks and the cost of the officers that day. Who paid for it? BART police Sgt. Tom Smith, his family, co-workers and every law enforcement officer working that day.

Show some respect? To who? Every other person who goes to a pleasant job every day where the biggest threat to safety is probably the drive into work? The men and women in public safety give one thing you do not give every working day -- the possibility of your work killing you.

Get over yourself, suffer for a few hours and be thankful you live in an area protected daily by people who don't know you but will die for you just the same.

A. Locicero

A Fair enough.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.