Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Fallen Heroes

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Fallen Heroes

Article excerpt

The murders of three food safety inspectors in California in late June of this year have raised questions about why there are not stricter laws protecting public health officials. "This isn't the first time a tragedy like this has happened to health inspectors," said Todd Frantz, president of the California Environmental Health Association (CEHA). Public health professionals face an array of risks and hazards--even threats--on a daily basis.

Jean Hillery and Tom Quadros, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Bill Shaline, of the California Department of Agriculture, were conducting a surprise inspection at the Santos Linguisa Sausage Factory in San Leandro when owner Stuart Alexander became confrontational. A fourth, unidentified colleague from the California Department of Agriculture left the plant to find police help. While he was gone, Alexander opened a locker containing three handguns and fired at least a dozen times at close range, killing Hillery, Quadros, and Shaline. The fourth inspector returned, saw Alexander pointing two handguns at him, and ran. Neighbors reported that Alexander chased him for a quarter of a mile down the street, firing shots. …

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