Police chief emphasizes drug arrestsSince coming to this...

LETTERS

March 30, 1997

Police chief emphasizes drug arrests

Since coming to this city, I have clearly stated that my focus is the management of the Baltimore Police Department. In this regard, I have stayed apart from the distractions of local politics. I purposely declined to be interviewed for a March 23 article in the Sunday Sun regarding the disagreement on public safety issues between Councilman Martin O'Malley and myself. Unfortunately, as a result, my views were misrepresented.

I absolutely do not believe in, or support in any way, the decriminalization of illicit drugs. I do believe that additional federal funding should be sought for prevention and treatment programs that are a complement to, but not a substitute for, aggressive enforcement actions that must be adopted simultaneously by the entire criminal justice community.

I absolutely believe in, and am committed to, our focus of removing not only illegal handguns from our streets, but also the people who would use them.

This strategy is sound.

Last year, violent crime in Baltimore was reduced by 9.3 percent. Over the past three years, the number of shooting victims has decreased from 2,488 in 1993 to 1,542 in 1996. Therefore, during 1997 we will without reservation continue to aggressively pursue gun offenders and drug distributors, remaining focused on building upon the hard-fought progress we have already made.

Thomas C. Frazier

Baltimore

The writer is Baltimore City police commissioner.

Spider Web cleans up city streets

Three cheers for the commander and police officers of the Baltimore Police Department's Eastern District.

Two weeks ago, these dedicated law enforcement officers began Operation Spider Web, a very effective operation to clean up the streets in East Baltimore.

We are fast to criticize our police when they do what we consider wrong. We should be just as fast to give a pat on the back, a "job well done" or a simple thank you.

Good things such as this should spread throughout our city and eventually we will win. Bad guys beware.

Samuel T. Redd Jr.

Baltimore

Frederick was the one that stole museum

Whoever gave The Sun background information on Hagerstown's attempts to attract the National Civil War Medical Museum from nearby Frederick left out one or two very important facts.

Originally, the museum was to be located on the Antietam Battlefield near Hagerstown. In the midst of those negotiations Frederick stole the deal. Now we are trying to get it back.

Thank you for the acknowledgment of our Civil War tourism efforts. Your readers may visit us on the Web at ww.civilwarsites.com, or they could visit the old-fashioned way. We are less than an hour from the Beltway via I-70 West.

Steven T. Sager

Hagerstown

The writer is mayor of Hagerstown.

White House is for use by president

I object to the president's detractors saying that the White House should be regarded as a shrine as far as fund-raising is concerned.

I always thought that the White House, the upstairs area anyway, was the personal living quarters of the president and his family.

I hope that the president gets sufficiently fed up with all this nonsense to make the following statement.

''Up until now, I have regarded the upstairs area of the White House as the private living quarters of the president and his family. In recent weeks, some people have expressed the belief that the White House should be considered as a shrine.

"Since I am a flawed human being -- and aren't we all? -- I feel uncomfortable walking on hallowed ground, particularly in my pajamas. And so I have decided to move out of the White House and into Blair House.

"This move will be made at no cost to the government. I will rent a truck at my own expense and several of my friends from Arkansas have agreed to help us move.

"After the move has taken place, tours of the White House will, for the first time, include the upstairs area. However, if the door dTC to the Lincoln bedroom is locked, it means that there is a leftover contributor in there."

Howard Cobry

Baltimore

Doctor says he has plan to help smokers quit

I wholeheartedly agree with Michael Olesker's March 23 column. With the knowledge we now have, tobacco dealers and other drug dealers are in the same boat.

However, there is one important distinction. Drugs such as heroin and cocaine have always been illegal. This distinction requires a more measured but no less aggressive response that should consist of two actions.

First, as a humane society, we must recognize that many tobacco users are truly addicted and the immediate removal of tobacco products would result in horrible suffering for millions.

In April 1996 the Department of Health and Human Services recognized this. A panel of health professionals from a variety of backgrounds determined that the risks from smoking were such that all health professionals should offer smokers assistance in quitting. This includes dentists, nurses, pharmacists, chiropractors etc.

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