Toll facilities police found at odd placesWhen the job...

the Forum

September 13, 1993

Toll facilities police found at odd places

When the job search is going slowly, there's plenty of time to observe and to wonder.

Observe a Maryland Toll Facilities Police car parked across the median on I-95, south of Baltimore, just inside the Beltway.

Wonder what the jurisdiction of these police might be? Is this stretch of interstate highway, miles from the toll gates of the Fort McHenry Tunnel, a toll facility? Does this police force have an infrastructure duplicating that of the Maryland State Police?

Observe a Maryland Toll Facilities Police car, and officer, in defilade behind the Jersey barrier at the Caton Avenue access to northbound I-95.

Wonder what contribution is being made by this officer to controlling the toll gates far up the road, where maniac, two-legged squirrels at the wheel are swerving across four lanes to gain one car-length in the queue? Wonder what makes this officer tick? Is it altruism and conscientiousness? Is it something less noble?

Observe the increasing emphasis on gambling to generate revenue for the state. Wonder whether there may be some (Toll Facilities Police?) expenses that could be cut to reduce the need for more revenue?

Lacking the resources to investigate, I leave you to wonder while I go and observe something else. See you later.

Allen S. Lloyd Jr.

Catonsville

Crime fighters

It may be a matter of semantics, but instead of gun control legislation I propose we institute legislation which would permit qualified individuals to carry firearms. Tapping into the pool of retired law enforcement officers who have training and experience would create a valuable bulwark against crime.

In addition to undergoing a criminal record check, an applicant should be required to undergo a specified training program under the tutelage of a licensed firearms instructor who would not only train him in the safe use and workings of his gun, but provide him with an understanding of the law as it pertains to the use of firearms.

Completing that phase of instruction and demonstrating proficiency in the use of his firearm, an applicant should attain written certification that would be filed with the licensing agency to ascertain his qualifications. Following that, periodic refresher courses should be required.

To put real bite into the legislation, anyone caught in the commission of a crime with the use of a firearm should receive a mandatory prison sentence.

Standards such as these faithfully in place and strictly adhered to will, I believe, give crime control genuine meaning and to the person on the street a more palpable feeling of security.

Reuben Fier

Baltimore

Deserved kudos

The excellent Aug. 30 article by Richard O'Mara presented a deserved acknowledgment of Walter Sondheim's many contributions to our city.

It was my privilege and pleasure to know and be associated with Walter during my four decades of service in city government under the administrations of eight mayors.

To all that has been said and written I would add: "Walter Sondheim -- An Amiable Baltimorean," a recognition Francis F. Beirne would have undoubtedly bestowed upon him.

Richard A. Lidinsky

Baltimore

Rites of passage

Here are two additions to the Gregory Kane column of July 28 on the need for a rite of passage for the young black male.

1. The rite is not only a condition found in today's world by males. Females, too, must be included in the process of providing black youth with the confidence and satisfaction of seeing and understanding themselves as whole, able, necessary people in society.

2. While the adolescent's first encounter with the reality of identity is a crucial one, the process is on-going. It is faced at every juncture in the civilized person's experience. Upon reaching the threshold of ending a life (I would say around 65) the challenge to engage and perform one's role is as pronounced as for the juvenile.

Life at all stages is a lonely challenge. It should be embraced, handled and molded with self-confidence -- not rejection -- by each person as a part of his or her birthright.

David E. Sloan

Baltimore

Abject lesson

First, the Maryland State Teachers Association distributes a television commercial that suggests that if a student in the Maryland education system learns anything . . . it's a miracle.

Then, the Baltimore City Department of Education admits that, even at the age of four or five, if you are smart you aren't allowed to attend classes. How did whoever is in charge get to be in charge?

Jack D'Amario

Sykesville

Teach them right

Regarding your article "5 more city schools may offer Norplant" (Aug. 27), parents have a right to expect their children will receive an education when they are sent to an accredited school. Education should lead children to better knowledge and better conduct of life.

To make available materials and services whereby children can engage in immoral relationships without the natural consequences of these relationships is to tell them that such behavior is all right.

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