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Police captain faces domestic violence counseling but no charges

Metro Capt. Charles Hank was the subject of a domestic violence call May 13 at his home. That much is clear.

But when Hank’s wife recanted her initial statement to police, the Metro veteran wasn’t arrested . A Metro Domestic Violence Unit team was dispatched to the residence.

The police file was forwarded to the district attorney’s office, where a follow-up interview with Hank’s wife also failed to generate a complaint. Although no charges were filed, there was enough smoke to attract the attention of District Attorney David Roger.

Now I’ve learned Capt. Hank has agreed to undergo a form of domestic violence counseling. Roger said his office will continue to monitor the file until the veteran cop completes the program.

911 HEROES: Emergency dispatcher Tina DeCola was just doing her job in June 2008 when she took the distress call from young John Strickland Jr.

The boy’s father was unconscious on the family couch, and DeCola managed to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation using the 11-year-old boy and his even younger sibling. I listened to the 911 call, and it is heart-wrenching.

Tragically, the father didn’t survive, but the dramatic call is a reminder of the important work performed by emergency first responders in the rescue and fire profession.

Strickland and DeCola are to be honored today at the Red Rock Resort during the 2010 Nevada State 9-1-1 Heroes Award Ceremony. Gov. Jim Gibbons and a host of top public safety and fire department officials will be on hand.

I’ve posted the 911 dispatch on my blog at lvrj.com.

HANK & BARBARA: I’ve always admired great marriages. Happy and successful couples are beautiful things and harder to find these days than diamonds on the beach. They remind me of great comedy and dance teams: Abbott and Costello, Hope and Crosby, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, William Powell and Myrna Loy.

With the passing of Barbara Greenspun this week at age 88, I am reminded not only of the obvious, that she was beautiful, classy and smart, but also that she was the impeccably polished half of the great marriage team of Hank and Barbara. Check any photo featuring the feisty newspaper publisher and his elegant lady, and I swear you’ll get the sense Hank knew he had married way out of his league.

Now Hank and Barbara are together again. And I’ll bet Hank is grinning like a cat that ate two canaries.

SMART MONEY: Sometimes the smartest move is to live to fight another day. City marshals did just that when they voted to ratify an agreement to accept a 4 percent pay cut in order to preserve 10 rank-and-file jobs.

SALUTING SOLDIERS: Soldiers returning from battle are finding an America rocked by high unemployment and a mortgage crisis. The Veterans Administration Southern Nevada Health Care System and the Jewish War Veterans Manny Peven Post are working to help smooth the transition with a Welcome Home Celebration.

The celebration includes information on a litany of VA benefits. The program begins at 10 a.m. today at the Gold Coast’s Arizona Ballroom.

HIGH NOTE: It’s easy to vilify, but the Clark County School District is full of teachers who devote their lives to helping not only the best students, but all the rest. Johnson Middle School music instructor Rich Matta is one great example.

Matta retired recently after 44 years, 22 with the district and most of those at the junior high level. He taught scores of tone-deaf kids to be competent, and helped lift the talented to heights.

ON THE BOULEVARD: The Boulevard lost one of its best promoters this past week with the death of resort industry publicity man Al Guzman. He was a great huckster, and that’s a compliment.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.

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