Should police live where they work?After reading Fraternal...

The Forum

April 17, 1995

Should police live where they work?

After reading Fraternal Order of Police President Gary McLhinney's April 6 letter responding to Mayor Kurt Schmoke's and Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier's criticism of a survey taken by his group, I am outraged at the underhanded politics Mr. McLhinney continues to practice at the expense of the people he is sworn to protect.

What facts does Mr. McLhinney have to indicate that police officer rotations would be ineffective? Personnel rotations have been practiced in the armed forces for decades because it provides a professional challenge to the work force and eliminates job complacency.

If Mr. McLhinney had taken a course on team-building instead of contract negotiation he might have known that these are two key elements a manager must address when building an effective police force.

Commissioner Frazier and Mayor Schmoke are on target with their proposal. However, taking the easy way out has been a consistent theme for Mr. McLhinney's propaganda spin machine.

Remember when Mr. McLhinney objected to Commissioner Frazier's proposal to implement a driving safety program similar to that of the U.S. Army?

What facts does Mr. McLhinney have to indicate that requiring Baltimore police officers to live in the city is of no benefit to Baltimore's law-abiding citizens?

Several newspaper articles have clearly suggested that local residents benefit when a police officer resides in their neighborhood. Mayor Schmoke is on target for criticizing Baltimore police officers for not living in Baltimore.

Mr. McLhinney attempts to score political points by pointing to the ultimate sacrifice non-resident officers have made on behalf of Baltimore's citizens.

Yet how many of those deaths might have been prevented if the officers had lived in Baltimore?

Thomas E. Maloney

Bel Air

No ghosts from the Warren Commission

In his April 7 letter attempting to discredit the presidential bid of Sen. Arlen Specter, Grason Eckel raised old and hackneyed fairy tales related to the assassination of President John Kennedy.

Mr. Grason loves the phrase ''magic bullet,'' as if Harry Houdini or David Copperfield were involved. The truth of the matter is there was no ''magic bullet.''

The bullet he refers to, the first shot to hit President Kennedy, passed through the president's neck and followed a straight line into Texas Gov. John Connally's back.

Since the governor was seated directly in front of the president, the bullet did not have to make a turn. As it emerged from the president it began to tumble and hit the governor sideways.

Dr. Robert Shaw, who treated the governor, reported a 1 1/4 -inch entry wound, the exact length of the bullet, and a two-inch exit wound. The bullet's tumbling motion helped keep it intact.

This bullet was later recovered on the stretcher at the hospital. It did not look ''brand new,'' as Mr. Eckel states. Michael Baden, chief forensic pathologist for the 1978 House of Representative investigation described it as ''a damaged bullet'' and ''deformed.'' Another ballistic expert described it as ''somewhat BTC bent and severely flattened.''

In addition, the total weight of the bullet and fragments recovered from Governor Connally's wound did not exceed the average weight of the type of bullet used in the shooting.

There was no Warren Commission ''whitewash.'' Despite critics' attacks for over 30 years, the commission's report remains fundamentally sound.

President John Kennedy was murdered by a single gunman acting on his own, and his name was Lee Harvey Oswald. Senator Specter has no reason to worry about any political problems from his work on the Warren Commission.

David Cuneo

Reisterstown

Food for thought

Led first by former President Reagan and now by Speaker Newt Gingrich, why do the Republican economic "revolutionaries" always fire their first shots at school lunches for needy kids?

Grenville B. Whitman

Baltimore

Steamrollered

Recently, residents of the Knollwood-Donnybrook area have become concerned over the identity crisis in neighborhoods in the vicinity of Towson and the encroachment of non-profit social service projects in private residential areas.

Last August a meeting was held by the Knollwood-Donnybrook Improvement Association to discuss action which could be taken against non-profit purchases in the area. Many residents believed such purchases to be in violation of local covenants and zoning restrictions.

Also in attendance were local elected officials, representatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Maryland Community Services Group and the president of one of the non-profit organizations.

No encouragement was received from the elected officials to pursue the matter, and the representatives of the bureaucracies discouraged the group from taking action.

In addition looming in the background were threats of investigation, legal action, fines and possible jail terms for any organization opposing HUD's proposed sites. The association voted not to oppose the acquisition.

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