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Friday, February 3, 2023
ArlingtonOpinionSun Gazette editorial: Is ‘catch-and-release’ now the norm?

Sun Gazette editorial: Is ‘catch-and-release’ now the norm?

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Here’s an item from the Arlington County police blotter. It’s an incident occurring Feb. 15 at 8:35 p.m.

According to the write-up provided by police, an officer on patrol observed what was described as a suspicious vehicle and made contact with the occupants, and during the course of the investigation, a firearm and marijuana were located inside the vehicle.

The report indicated that the suspect – his name is not particularly germane so we will omit it – “was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, removing or altering [the] serial number of a firearm and possession of marijuana, and [was] released on a summons.”

Why in the world is someone who is suspected of altering a serial number of a firearm given the benefit of Arlington’s new catch-and-release criminal-justice policy as espoused by the office of the commonwealth’s attorney and, apparently, those in the chain of command of the Arlington government? You’d think that would be a big, big, big red flag that something was seriously amiss.


We’re seeing more and more reports of suspects who in days gone by would have been hauled in for some more intense questioning being allowed to go their merry way with a summons to show up later (or not).

This is not the fault of the police; we’re betting rank-and-file officers know what such a catch-and-release policy is sure to lead to – a spike in infractions big and small as the bad guys (a phrase incorporating both genders) recognize that they can do the crime without doing the time.

But hey, he who pays the piper calls the tune, and it was the far left that paid for – through out-of-town campaign contributions – the muddled criminal-justice system now being implemented across our 26 square miles. Just give it time: The results will be both inevitable and predictable.

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