Letters to the Editor

Few pieces missing in police department puzzle | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Small-town candor has a wonderful immediacy. Take last week’s police study. An expert is still someone from out of town wearing a clean white shirt. Some council members want to oblige him although some findings are not compelling. Not even wise-looking, on the face of them.

Moving their loud cars nearer city hall is a stretch. Police HQ is only three blocks away now. Our civilian elected’s work routinely only 7-24 once a week, not 24-7.

On-island cop antics as elsewhere don’t punch time clocks or favor specific sites. One notices their driver’s-door clatches. And many or most don’t live on island nor play summers in an island rock band like they once did at Waterfront Park.

It’s puzzling why being union members should make them toxic. Or why we can’t keep one chief and one sergeant content like before, instead of no chief and four lieutenants.

As their target population we do tend to be acute and articulate since, in all fairness, where else are we entitled to gripe. Word of violence or crime on island does tend to go viral. Our island email and telephone trees are a signature brand of our belonging behind all those trees.  Just as a vine-hidden speed trap on a commute route and our parking ticket maven patrols feel mainland mercenary.

It’s probably best to pause to consider a city council-moderated one than a citizen watch committee of vigilantes on demand.

Better yet, we need to study our good cop turnover causes and their exit frequency to other police and fire jobs. Or the frequency and duration for similar reasons senior officers are absent in training at Quantico, or we’re using reserves for intervening in well-known, historic hazard situations locally.

And if the so-called “the blue flu” rumored as hampering our law enforcement efforts last year arises from other island police-related work encounters. These include the rotating city managers, city attorneys and prosecutors imported from off-island together with the funding/time uncertainties expected from them appearing in our courts.

R.O. CONOLEY

Sunrise Drive

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