Daniel didn't get a fair opportunity to lead city police...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 05, 2000

Daniel didn't get a fair opportunity to lead city police

Former police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel was not given a fair shake. For Mayor Martin O'Malley to say that things were not moving fast enough in reducing crime was ridiculous.

Baltimore has had a crime problem for many years. How could Mr. Daniel, or anyone else, correct such a huge problem in such a short time? It's not possible.

The city had five killings last week, but even if we had 10,000 new police officers on the streets those killings could have occurred because police cannot be everywhere and no one can know when an individual might decide to kill someone.

It is not fair to blame the police department or Mr. Daniel for the killings.

Police officers are only human -- all they can do is try their best; but, in a society where violence and easy access to guns is the norm, they will never be able to quiet all their critics .

I can't blame Mr. Daniel for refusing to be a figurehead. He had ideas and plans to help our city -- too bad he was not given a fair chance to implement those plans.

If Mr. O'Malley wanted a puppet, he should have picked someone else.

Murphy Edward Smith

Baltimore

Apparently what Mayor Martin O'Malley wanted in his police commissioner was a "yes man." He surely didn't get one in Ronald L. Daniel.

Garland L. Crosby

Baltimore

The mayor is right to let Daniel resign . . .

Mayor Martin O'Malley is right in asserting that the mayor's plan should take precedence over an arrogant, insubordinate police officer's personal pride.

But Mayor O'Malley needs to learn this about management: A person who is publicly insubordinate, after decisions are made by those with authority, should never be put in charge.

This is especially true in a military organization or one similar to it, as the police force must be.

Now the mayor should look to one of the competent police colonels Ronald L. Daniel forced out.

Someone who already knows the system should be in charge of the police department. Out-of-town experts should be on tap for advice but not in charge of putting the mayor's plans to work.

Ronald P. Bowers

Lutherville

. . . and bring leadership to the city of Baltimore

I have just moved to Baltimore from New York City and the news of the Baltimore police commissioner's resignation gave me a distinct feeling of deja vu.

When I moved to New York 16 years ago, it was so crime-ridden that there were daily jokes about the city and its crime.

When Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was elected the climate changed immediately.

A portion of the city resisted Mr. Giuliani's changes and railed against his decisions, but safety almost immediately replaced fear, cleanliness immediately replaced filth and garbage and being accosted on every street corner by homeless people disappeared almost overnight.

Although at times it seemed Mr. Giuliani would go too far, doesn't it take a personality like that to move mountains, to make changes quickly?

Baltimore's new mayor, Martin O'Malley, is deja vu for me. I, for one, am happy that someone effective is in charge.

Alexandra Carmel

Baltimore

Sun improperly injects race into policing debate

The subheading of The Sun's article "Mayor finds support in crisis," (April 1), "racial aspect under debate," itself injected race into the debate.

The next subtitle found it necessary to point out the skin color of the new acting commissioner.

It would appear there is a far greater effort at The Sun to create racial division in the city than in the mayor's office.

Race relations in the city encounter enough obstacles without The Sun driving a wedge between the races.

Stop inflaming racial tensions to sell papers.

Paul J. Feehly

Baltimore

I find it profoundly sad and embarrassing to see overt and clear racism heralded by The Sun in the article "Mayor finds support in crisis" (April 1).

The quote from a businessman and past president of the Pimlico Merchants Association that "It's all racial. It's all set up for the white boy to get the [police commissioner] job . . ." was shocking.

Rather than pointing an accusing finger toward City Hall, this person should point the finger at the true source of racism -- his own attitude.

I find it insulting for anyone to use the term "white boy," when speaking of an adult and regrettable that The Sun could find no better spokesperson for the African-American community's concerns.

For The Sun to print such divisive attitudes shows a journalistic style more interested in rabble-rousing than investigation of the facts.

In choosing a police chief, we should look to candidates qualified not by the color of their skin, but by their commitment to saving a city in crisis.

Patricia Beere

Baltimore

Mayor deserves credit for trying to clean up city

I just read The Sun's editorial "Was trash attack just propaganda" (March 31) and I sit here in shock.

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