City police major sought only to protect citizens from...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 09, 2002

City police major sought only to protect citizens from rapist

I am very troubled by the situation regarding the unnecessary resignation of Maj. Donald E. Healy from the Baltimore police department ("Memo, outrage swiftly ousted city police major," March 7).

Mr. Healy dutifully served the citizens of Baltimore for 29 years, rising through the ranks as the result of his tremendous abilities, both as a police officer and as a leader. Throughout those years, Mr. Healy often volunteered for assignments in some of the worst areas of our city, because he knew that those were the places where he could truly make a difference.

In writing his renowned memo, Mr. Healy was motivated solely by the fact that there was an armed rapist on the loose in his district. He was determined to see the suspect caught so other women would not suffer emotional and physical pain because this man remained on the street.

Mr. Healy's memo only served to reiterate the information already given to the officers assigned to patrol the area in question. And I find it extremely difficult to find any fault with Mr. Healy's motivation and intention.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for some of our politicians and those members of the community who continue to drag this situation through the media in a modern-day lynching.

It is quite obvious that those who seek to destroy the reputation of Mr. Healy only do so for political gain and are motivated by their desire to do constant battle with Mayor Martin O'Malley and Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris.

Racial profiling is wrong. That fact will never change, nor should it. To detain a person based solely on his or her race will never be right; however, to search for a suspect based on the eyewitness information provided by a victim or credible witness will never be wrong.

And the time and effort spent arguing about Mr. Healy's memo and his motivation for writing it has completely removed the focus from its proper place: the apprehension of the suspect in question, so his victim can see justice served and so there will be no possibility this perpetrator will attack another woman.

Mr. Healy has publicly admitted his error and has stood tall as the strong, respected leader he has always been. He is a credit to himself, the Baltimore police department and the citizens of Baltimore.

Gary McLhinney

Baltimore

The writer is the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Baltimore City Lodge No. 3.

With services underfunded, a tax cut makes little sense

Week after week The Sun reports on shortcomings in Maryland's underfunded public services. Tuesday it was financial regulation ("Md. examiners no match for Allfirst burden," March 5); in recent weeks it's been juvenile justice, mental health care and transportation -- just to mention stories I recall. And the underfunding of public education is a perennial issue.

Why, then, are our citizens and politicians obsessed with cutting taxes? Surely, we need to be paying more taxes to fix all of these problems.

Paul Romney

Baltimore

Protecting the UM system isn't an embarrassment

I read with incredulity Del. Howard P. Rawlings' comment that a Maryland House of Delegates subcommittee would probably not want to embarrass our governor by passing a bill aimed specifically at preventing him from becoming chancellor of the University System of Maryland ("Move to bar governors from universities' top job," March 2).

I don't agree that embarrassment should prevent any legislative body from doing the right thing to protect legions of future students from the continued misdeeds of our illustrious governor.

Mr. Rawlings and his colleagues should strive to prevent Gov. Parris N. Glendening from embarrassing the University of Maryland; the damage to the State House is already complete.

Mark Spier

Owings Mills

Don't let charges of racism obscure bus-safety violations

Some school bus contractors accused of safety violations feel they are being unfairly targeted by racist inspectors ("Bus contractors angrily defend performance," March 1). Maybe they are correct, but I have two immediate reactions:

When I see claims of racism by those accused of wrongdoing, I react just as when I see a politician stand on principle or a CEO claim ignorance of illegalities by his subordinates -- with intense skepticism. In my experience, such reactions often mean the speaker is aware of wrongdoing and wants to change the subject.

Even if racism is at the root of tight inspections, is that a reason to put my child at risk?

I want those buses absolutely perfect, whether the inspectors are racist, sexist, elitist or motivated by satanic ritual beliefs. If the company can't manage this, I don't want it carrying anybody's children.

John Robinson

Baltimore

Israel doesn't seek to harm the innocent

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