More officers needed for Baltimore's war on drugs and...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 04, 2000

More officers needed for Baltimore's war on drugs and violence

Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris' decision to saturate the deadly streets of the Eastern District by redeploying 120 officers from other districts is very commendable ("City sends anti-crime force to troubled Eastern District," Aug. 22). However, it leaves the areas where these officers were previously assigned unprotected.

This is a war on drugs to stem the deadly violence on the streets of the city. When a country goes to war, it calls on all citizens to aid the cause, by volunteering or being drafted.

There is no need to leave the city's west side exposed to protect the east side. It is time to call on experienced police officers from other jurisdictions to volunteer to serve in the city for a minimum of one year.

The jurisdictions from which the volunteers should come include Baltimore County and Harford County. The U.S. Military Police, the U.S. Marshal's Office and any other police jurisdictions that are willing to volunteer some of their staff to serve in this war.

A minimum of 250 experienced officers will be needed.

This is a life-and-death situation that demands immediate action.

How many more lives must be sacrificed in Baltimore before we declare war on the perpetrators of crime?

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Publicizing redeployment threatens other areas

Why did The Sun have to announce Baltimore police department's latest anti-crime campaign ("City sends anti-crime force to troubled Eastern District," Aug. 22) ? Deploying extra police officers to East Baltimore to try to stop the violence in that area should be a covert operation.

But The Sun broadcast the police department's intention to criminals all over the city, putting in jeopardy the lives of citizens who live in those other neighborhoods where crime is scarce and, therefore, officers will be spread thinner.

I hope that our neighborhood will not experience another wave of armed robberies, as we did a few years ago.

Gerardine M. Delambo

Baltimore

Judge Howe was right to cover police memorial

Although nobody, in his or her heart, wanted Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero's name covered on the Baltimore County police memorial, it was a wise ruling by Judge Barbara Kerr Howe to grant this motion (Covering police memorial makes it more conspicuous," letters, Aug. 25).

Judge Howe's fairness and impartiality in the courtroom is appreciated by all who have come before her. I know it caused her pain to cover the memorial, but it had to be done to avoid grounds for a possible appeal.

A possible reversal of a murder conviction on appeal over an issue such as this would have put the Prothero family through another painful trial.

I don't know if this is why the judge ordered the memorial covered. But, if so, she made a very intelligent, sensitive ruling.

W.J. Cordwell

Bel Air

Low-altitude flights won't make skies friendly

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision permitting low-altitude flights calls for strong measures to put a long overdue end to the bad judgment of this agency ("Some airlines fly at lower altitudes to arrive on time," Aug. 23).

I am appalled by this quick fix to help the airlines to arrive on time; passenger safety and comfort is being sacrificed to bail out the airlines' cavalier attitude and disregard for the flying public.

The present fiasco is the result of years of neglect in planning, poor hiring practices, inadequate pilot training and shoddy maintenance that puts planes in the air that are not airworthy.

My interest is in reaching my destination safely and with a modicum of comfort. We are losing our right to this single entitlement because the FAA is in bed with the airlines.

Henry Blum

Baltimore

K.B.'s story reveals our best and our worst

Thank you for updating readers with the photo "Fond farewell" (Aug. 23) of the injured dog K.B., who has now found a new home with a loving family.

K.B.'s story is a reminder that al though there exists unspeakable cruelty in this world, there is also great kindness.

Susan Jagodzinski

Baltimore

What about young adults who can't afford insurance?

In his column "Beware one-payer health insurance" (Opinion Commentary, Aug. 24), Ronald Dworkin laments the plight of "young adults, many of whom now decide to exchange their health insurance benefit for higher wages," who would no longer have that option under single-payer health insurance.

But he says nothing about young adults who have no option under the current system because they work but aren't paid enough to afford any health insurance.

I wonder what Mr. Dworkin would say to my friend who works full time (in health care) but cannot afford health care for herself. She would like to get new glasses, some dental work and have a physical exam but cannot afford any of that.

So, which is more important -- basic health care or freedom to choose between higher wages and inexpensive health care?

Lucille Coleman

Baltimore

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