Police chase crooks because it's their jobI recently read...

the Forum

December 07, 1993

Police chase crooks because it's their job

I recently read Janet L. Thompson's letter to the editor about high-speed chases by police on Interstate 95 and would like to comment.

Police do have an option when they get involved in high-speed chases. The option we have is to let the fugitive go.

Ms. Thompson wonders why we should chase anyone and risk our lives and the lives of innocent people when a person decides to flee.

Granted, for the most part we do not know what crime a person may have committed prior to their running from us. They may have just robbed Ms. Thompson, but we don't know that. The only thing we do know is that the person did not pay a $1 toll.

Why do we chase them? The answer is that they broke the law and it is our job to catch people who break the law.

Why not just let them go? Well, if we were to do that the jails would be empty because word would get out that all one had to do was run from the cops.

Police are involved in many chases every day that you never hear about. The reason is that these pursuits don't end in tragic accidents and thus are not considered newsworthy.

When a chase does end in an accident, who gets the blame? Not the poor misguided individual who decided to run from the police. Instead, the police get the blame.

Get all the facts before you write to the papers, Ms. Thompson. We are sorry if we frightened you with the number of police cars you saw that day on I-95, but sometimes it takes a lot of us to catch a person who doesn't care about you and your family.

You might say that I am just another conservative cop. Well, just remember what a conservative is. It is a liberal who has been robbed.

William W. Bocklage

Baltimore

The writer is president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #34 of the Maryland Toll Facilities Police.

War on drugs

"Going out of business day," organized by Baltimore city residents, is one of the best signs this city has ever seen that the law-abiding citizens are truly concerned.

Concerned that their neighborhoods have been taken over by thugs, thugs who threaten their lives, their children's lives, their freedom to use the city streets.

Those valuable citizens who participated in the effort understand that the sheer volume of dealers and addicts creates an impossible task for the limited manpower of the Police Department to control without the help of the victims.

If the victims are going to help, they must not only be willing to demonstrate on the streets. The Police Department needs more help to build solid cases to remove the predators from the streets.

Names of dealers, automobile tag numbers from cars (customers as well as dealers), runners, watchers and holders. All are links to major distributors and killers. All of these seemingly minor links can lead to better prosecution and give the Police Department what it needs to purge the city.

The most distressing paragraph in the article was a quote from police Maj. Ronald J. Daniel, "I've recognized a lot of drug dealers driving by the corner, people I recognize . . ."

Why are these dealers still on the street? Is it because the prison system allowed them back or because of the lack of citizen cooperation?

Charles D. Connelly

Baltimore

School ombudsman

Finally the editors of The Evening Sun have seen the light.

Your editorial "The benefits of an ombudsman" (Nov. 22) extols the virtues of naming a person to be the liaison between the Baltimore County Board of Education and the public. The editorial heralded the appointment as "good medicine for a system that has sorely needed a dose of smart public relations."

However, nestled in the last sentence is one word which sums up the board's real motive. You state that the liaison is in "an ideal position to help the local school boards appear more consumer-friendly."

Appear? Isn't the idea that the local school board should actually be more consumer friendly?

Perhaps this was a Freudian slip. To those of us who must daily face the challenges, frustrations and hypocrisy of this board and its superintendent, it provided a giggle.

Perhaps the editors are finally admitting the truth -- that this board, its superintendent and his underlings are concerned only with appearances. Many of us have known this for well over a year.

Susan J. Costello

Cockeysville

Thanks, stranger

Gee, I had a nice thing happen to me on Thanksgiving evening.

I was walking briskly downtown, on Liberty Street, heading for the Morris Mechanic Theatre. Suddenly, I heard a car horn blow, and a voice from out of the blue say, ''Hi, I love you.''

Startled, I looked over to the street and saw a beautiful, shiny white car and a gentleman waving. Then the light changed and he sped away.

Looking around, there was no one else on the street, so I assume that he was speaking to me. At least, I am going to continue thinking that.

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