Letters To The Editor


December 04, 2003

Norris boosts morale, efficacy of state police

The Sun's coverage of Col. Edward T. Norris continues to reprise the same old information and allegations about what may have occurred in Baltimore ("Ehrlich prepares for loss of Norris," Nov. 30). I believe it is important for readers to hear about what Colonel Norris has accomplished during his first year of leading the Maryland State Police.

Colonel Norris has:

Established the Homeland Security and Intelligence Bureau, which has made the state police the leader in state and local law enforcement efforts to gather, analyze and act upon criminal intelligence related to foreign and domestic terrorism.

Established a cooperative command center combining federal, state and local police in a state-of-the-art, real-time intelligence gathering and investigating operation.

Formed the Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team, which has had a significant impact on the interdiction of criminals using our highways by arresting murderers, fugitives, drug smugglers, gun runners and counterfeiters.

Reassigned more than 100 troopers to direct law enforcement functions, increasing troopers on our highways and working in homeland security efforts.

Instituted CompStat, which holds commanders directly accountable for enforcement and results.

Energized our patrol force, resulting in an incredible increase in enforcement. Compared with last year, traffic stops are up 28 percent, criminal arrests are up 12 percent, drug arrests are up 25 percent, criminal gun seizures are up 7 percent and drunken driving arrests are up 3 percent, all of which contribute to safer highways and communities.

Given our troopers a clear understanding of what our mission is and how we can accomplish it.

Thanks to the leadership of Colonel Norris, we clearly see our role as "the homeland defense," whether preventing acts of terrorism, combating crime or making our highways safer.

Lt. Col. Mark S. Chaney


The writer is chief of the Operations Bureau of the Maryland State Police.

Violence destroys humans, animals

It is unfortunate that The Sun includes articles that celebrate hunting and depict it as anything beyond what it truly is: plain violence ("First day good as any to whistle up a deer," Nov. 30).

Hunting is not a sport, and hunters are not sportsmen.

It was quite telling to read "A life of promise cut down in youth" (Nov. 30) and "First day good as any to whistle up a deer" in the same Sunday paper. Maybe we would have fewer stories such as the first one if we were able to understand that senseless violence is just that, whether it is directed at human animals or non-human animals.

We should not glorify violence in the sports section, then gasp at its effects on our lives on the front page.

Violence and its consequences are horrendous. Needless violence propagated by "sportsmen" is absolutely inexcusable.

Kevin Hoffman


Young taxpayers lose in Medicare reform

The Sun's article on "Health reform losers, winners" (Nov. 27) was a good outline of this complicated bill, but it had some glaring omissions.

For instance, my son's name should be added to the list of losers, since he and his contemporaries will have to pay the $400 billion the bill will cost plus the interest on the debt needed to fund it.

Also, the elite few who buy the bulk of the U.S. Treasury bonds that will be issued to pay for the benefit are once again on the Republican winners list.

Mark Weaver


Democrats promise Hussein a victory

Some Democratic presidential hopefuls tell the Iraqi people and the world that, if elected, they would take our troops out of Iraq and replace them with U.N. forces ("War is focus of Democratic forum," Nov. 25). But everyone knows the United Nations has corrupt, spineless leaders who will cut and run at the first sign of adversity.

As long as the Democrats have the spotlight, the murderers in Iraq have hope that they can hold on for one more year until the presidential election. And if the Democrats win, the Saddam Husseins of the world will win.

Charles B. Lippens


Unfair trade isn't ending poverty

Paul J. Gessing of the National Taxpayers Union claims that he is astounded by the "ignorance" of "anti-trade and anti-globalization protesters" in his letter "All Americans reap benefits of free trade" (Nov. 24).

Mr. Gessing claims that "free trade" helps working people at home because it offers them cheaper consumer goods; he also claims that it lifts workers in other countries out of poverty.

I traveled to Miami with thousands of other unionists and advocates of social justice to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas. I can't speak for everyone, but I am not opposed to trade per se. What I am opposed to is trade that pits workers of one country against those of another in a "race to the bottom." No trade agreements should be negotiated that fail to include labor and environmental standards.

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