Better screening of police helpful
One of my first jobs, at the tender age of 19, was dispatching police cars in and around the city of Wilmington, Deleware. I quickly discerned that there were a small minority of policemen who were bullies. I believe the profession attracts men with that personality type. Nowadays, I think psychological screening in the pre-employment process could weed many of them out.
Unfortunately, so many departments have a long-standing culture that tolerates and even fosters them. What is needed is a zero tolerance policy for any excessive force incident that no police union can overrule. Any bully who slips through the cracks and shows his true colors would be fired. The policeman who murdered George Floyd had a long record of infractions, but had lasted 19 years! Clearly, he was ill-suited to the demanding job of being a policeman. Someone should have done him and all the people of Minneapolis (especially George Floyd) a favor and shown him the door years ago. I sympathize with the people who say they need to start all over with the police department in Minneapolis to eliminate the toxic culture that allowed the senseless murder to take place. This would be a wake-up call for all police departments that have a similar problem.
Taxpayers everywhere deserve a competent, professional police force, not a bunch of bullies enabled by the power of badges and the protection of a powerful union. We have a similar problem with tenured, incompetent teachers. We are not getting what we pay for in either case, and that needs to stop. I support unions that operate to protect members from employer abuse and advocate for fair wages and benefits, but their power to keep incompetent public employees on the job needs to be curtailed.
Good case in point: Did you see that the school policeman who sat in his car while all those kids were shot and killed in that school in Florida a couple of years ago is back on the job, earning well over $100,000 a year? His union successfully argued that he was denied due process when he was fired. Unbelievable!
Just my 2 cents.
Andrea E. Palm
Objects to school plan
Gov. Northam likes to remind us, “I am a doctor” and is always saying, “Science tells us.” Well, I have another quote he can add to his vocabulary — quagmire. That defines his school opening plan he has unveiled. With all the phases and restrictions, you have to be a practicing lawyer to understand his ridiculous plan. After reading the plan and listening to his news conference, I think he can now tell all of us that “I am not a planner.” Just open the schools and get on with life.
Support law enforcement officers
I want to ask the people of our great communities to support your local law enforcement officers. Obviously, we have all been horrified by the actions of some police officers in Minneapolis and other incidents from the past, but the fact is that 99% of the police officers and others working in law enforcement are good people who do their jobs to the best of their ability to serve and protect.
Many of these good men and women who are fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, friends, neighbors and upstanding citizens represent every race and ethnic origin and are being unfairly condemned because of the actions of a few. I, for one, don’t think the vast majority get paid nearly enough for putting their lives on the line for us every day.
So I implore you, show them some respect, be aware that they are suffering during these crazy times — both with the pandemic and the protests — and have some compassion for those that are trying to keep law and order so that we can sleep soundly at night.
Like any good organization or company, being adaptable to the current needs and being open for growth is necessary. Hopefully, there are things that our agencies can do to improve and implement in the best ways possible for the safety and security of everyone they serve.
These men and women need our support, whether that is just with a kind greeting, a cup of coffee, or just saying ‘“thank you.”
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