Diabetic arrest report and ensuing editorial did not tell...

Letters to the Editor

July 29, 1998

Diabetic arrest report and ensuing editorial did not tell everything

I am appalled and angered by your biased editorial "Menace to public safety" (July 6). Your editorial is not really reflective of what actually occurred in Frederick County, and that is disappointing.

The Sun was not represented at a media briefing and news conference a day after the June 18 incident.

On June 26, I discussed the incident in detail with your reporter. If the words "that's our job" were the only ones you saw fit to print from that long and explanatory interview, then rest assured it's my last with Sun reporters.

Those words were used after it was explained to the reporter that we recruit applicants, conduct background investigations and interviews, make selections, schedule police academies, provide recruits with field training and put them on patrol to prevent crime. When they observe violations of laws, we expect them to take action. Sometimes that requires arresting, handcuffing (and please tell me how to do that gently), transporting and processing violators. That's our job -- what we are paid to do.

I must point out that the diabetic identification card was found on the vehicle's rear-view mirror after the operator was removed. Our deputy immediately notified the already responding emergency rescue personnel. They obviously recognized his condition since they already had been told, as was the hospital physician.

Our office is committed to serving citizens of Frederick County. We are sorry whenever anyone feels injured by our actions, and we welcome the FBI's review and investigation.

I am not a regular subscriber to The Sun, but I occasionally buy a copy. In light of your July 6 editorial, those occasions will become rarer.

Francis J. Tully

Frederick

The writer is a major and chief of the operations bureau in the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

No matter how tight it gets, security still can be broken

In 1987, a 19-year-old man flew an airplane into Moscow's Red Square, one of the most heavily guarded places in the former Soviet Union -- during the height of the Cold War. So does it surprise anyone that no matter how tight security is, that there is always a way to breach it?

Philip A. Thayer

Baltimore

Clinton cares for the elderly by getting tough on homes

President Clinton's crackdown on nursing homes ("Clinton calls for tougher oversight of nursing homes," July 22) is long overdue. He has asked Congress for tighter oversight and will use his executive authority, he said, to require that states inspect nursing homes on a random basis "so there is no time to hide neglect and abuse."

This issue cries out for attention. It af- fects 1.6 million residents of nursing homes and their families. Too often these places are operated as profit-making centers, mere warehouses for the elderly who are waiting to die. In many cases, kindness, caring and compassion are lacking from employees who are hired to look after helpless men and women suffering from mental and physical disabilities.

The scarcity of personnel on weekend duty is particularly egregious. Families who visit on a Sunday afternoon may find their loved ones still in bed when inadequate numbers of employees are unable to get all the residents dressed.

Mr. Clinton's severest critics must concede that this president, despite alleged moral indiscretions, cares a great deal about the American people -- far more than most of his predecessors. And that's why he comes up so high in the polls.

Albert E. Denny

Baltimore

Chavez would deny gays right to defend themselves

Columnist Linda Chavez parrots the latest rhetoric cooked up by the religious right in its political war against gay civil rights ("Gays must be tolerant of conservatives' views," July 22).

Apparently, it is OK for the religious right to exercise its right to speak of gays in language that is contrary to scientific knowledge and gay life experiences, but if gay people dare to stand up and defend themselves by speaking the truth of their existence, they are now branded as "intolerant of Christianity."

It seems that Ms. Chavez and her right-wing pals are seeking a special right to have their opinions taken as gospel truth and to have the voices of gay Americans silenced, lest they reveal the propaganda tactics used against them.

Someone needs to tell the Christian right that it holds no monopoly on freedom of speech.

Daniel Jenkins

San Francisco

Discrimination against gays is wrong on many counts

In response to the ads placed by Christian groups stating their disapproval of homosexuality and the resulting debate, I wish to say that homosexuality is normal, good and moral ("Coalition calls on gays to be 'healed,' " July 16).

I recognize Christians' disagreement and their right to express their moral point of view publicly.

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