Tolliver: Good for the State PoliceI feel compelled to...


July 05, 1992

Tolliver: Good for the State Police

I feel compelled to respond to your June 28 article, "Loyalty Pays," by William F. Zorzi Jr., regarding the appointment of Col. Larry Tolliver as acting superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

Mr. Zorzi strongly implies that Colonel Tolliver's appointment is merely another example of "getting along by going along" with past and present governors. He suggests that Colonel Tolliver's only real accomplishment in 25 years of State Police service consists of having "made himself indispensable to those who run the state."

Nowhere does the article state specifically that Colonel Tolliver is unfit to serve, or why. Nowhere does the article accuse Colonel Tolliver of specific wrongdoing or negligence, or failure to perform any duty to which he was assigned.

I have worked closely with police officers and administrators all across the United States for more than 36 years. In that time, I have never found a law-enforcement official's effectiveness to be related in any way to ability to score high marks on promotional exams.

I also seriously question the description of promotional exams as "the measure of a trooper's knowledge of police work."

I would strongly suggest that much more than exam scores goes into the measure of a 25-year law enforcement veteran's knowledge of police work. I would further suggest that Colonel Tolliver's career provides a case in point.

Colonel Tolliver has served honorably as a Maryland state trooper for more than 25 years. He has worked as a road trooper, so he understands the problems and frustrations troopers face daily.

He managed a multi-million-dollar budget and administered the State Police Supply Depot successfully for eight years.

Last, he was entrusted with protecting the highest public official in the state -- hardly a job for a "good old boy" who cannot be trusted to act responsibly.

In fact, if one can look objectively at Colonel Tolliver's experience, he seems to be more highly qualified for the job than many other candidates. Colonel Tolliver's entire adult life has been one of service as a Maryland state trooper. Who better to run the State Police?

It also seems that Colonel Tolliver is guilty of being personable and well-liked, both by his superiors and fellow troopers. What's worse, he has demonstrated a sinister ability to communicate effectively with other people. My response is: It's about time.

I have become increasingly aware that lack of communication is one of the most pressing problems in law enforcement today. Communication -- between law-enforcement officials and the public; between public and private security organizations; between law-enforcement officials and elected officials and, most importantly, communication between law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions -- is an absolute necessity in today's society.

And unfortunately, the ability to communicate effectively is sadly lacking in many instances.

I, for one, welcome a superintendent who can make a point without making an enemy.

Isn't this all a little silly? With all of the problems our state faces, particularly in the area of crime and law enforcement, don't we have anything better to do than denigrate a decent man who has spent his life in public service, whose only crime was being liked and admired by his superiors?

I think so. I think we should all wish Colonel Tolliver well and offer him our complete support in getting a tough job done.

James Dunbar


The writer is chairman of Federal Armored Express Inc.

Hungry for Change

As an elected member of the Maryland Republican State Central Committee, I feel compelled to respond to a press conference held by Maryland Republican leaders and reported in the June 24 edition of The Sun.

At the press conference, the Republican leaders referred to Ross Perot as another Hitler and "a little man who is very hungry for power." It is good to see the Republican Party taking the high road. However, if you have to run on President Bush's record, you better concentrate on a dirty campaign against your opponents.

If these people are allowed opinions, and that is what these charges amount to, so am I. In my opinion, George Bush is another Jimmy Carter and that is based on his record of four terrible years.

This brings us to the Republican charge that Ross Perot has changed his positions on the issues. Give me a break!

Who said, "Read my lips, no new taxes"? This was the centerpiece of the '88 campaign. Who said he would never sign a quota bill, but turned around and did as president?

Better yet, what about the pro-choice George Bush of 1979 and the pro-life George Bush of 1980?

The list of Mr. Bush's flip-flops on major issues is endless. He has never let a principle stand in the way of an election. And they call Mr. Perot power-hungry.

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