Effective policing takes a back-seat to raceGregory Kane's...

LETTERS

July 07, 1996

Effective policing takes a back-seat to race

Gregory Kane's column in The Sun for June 15 uses mathematics to conclude that white racism was the reason for the disproportionate number of blacks being pulled over during the state troopers' efforts to reduce drug trafficking on Interstate 95.

His conclusion is based on the fact that 76 percent of the drivers pulled over were black and that this does not reflect the population of drivers on the road. What Mr. Kane and the AP article that he references did not report is that drugs were found in 45 percent of the blacks searched, but only 25 percent of the non-blacks searched.

So, based on Mr. Kane's premise of using mathematics, the police should be pulling over and searching more black drivers, not less. That is, of course, if your objective is really to reduce drug trafficking.

It is clear that for many in the community, the primacy objective is not to reduce crime, but to use the issue of racial proportions to attempt to undermine law enforcement. Unfortunately, because of the attention over the AP article, the State Police have intentionally increased the proportion of white drivers pulled over -- not because their previous methods were faulty, but because of false publicity.

The end result of this exercise is that law enforcement is hindered and racial relations become even more strained.

Douglas Gardner

Westminster

Just so Carroll commuters can go fast

As one of the 250 attendees at the State Highway Administration's workshop on widening Route 32 between Route and Interstate 70, I failed to hear any "cheers" (The Sun, June 27), except possibly from employees of the SHA.

The prevailing sentiment by Howard County residents in attendance was that the expansion is not needed while this expansion may assist commuters from Carroll and Frederick counties to travel to work at speeds in excess of 55 mph, Howard County taxpayers will experience only home devaluation and increased noise, local traffic and pollution.

Nancy H. Peters

Ellicott City

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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