On Jan. 11, I sat down and read the article “U.’s police department spent $6,000 on a party for retiring chief.” I had an immediate compulsion to write this in reply.

I am a Utah public school teacher. I have been teaching for 15 years. On Dec. 20 my classroom aide retired after 20 years of service to the school district. On Jan. 9, I hosted a retirement gathering for her in my classroom. I had a lovely sheet cake and two cheese platters from Smith’s. (Thank you, Smith’s). Also a few packages of crackers from Trader Joe’s and punch. The entire bill was footed by me, not the taxpayers.

Why should taxpayers cover the cost of her retirement farewell? They shouldn’t. Like Chief Brophy, we are in the business of public service. Our rewards are the lives we touch and change forever. The memories that we create with those we work with.

Was a celebration of such grandeur on the heels of a murder on your campus in good taste? Chief Brophy, did you not feel a little embarrassed to be receiving such pomp and circumstance as a civil servant? And those of you who attended, did the garish display embarrass you?

As for the party I hosted, we had cake and punch. We hugged and reminisced about the children we worked with and laughed about the good times and how fast 20 years goes.

Kim Massi, Sandy