Former police homicide chief Terrence McLarney is a tough act to follow

October 19, 2011

The recent changes in the Baltimore City Police Department's homicide unit have left me shaking my head in wonderment ("Baltimore Police name new homicide commander," Oct. 14).

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III told The Sun last summer that he had removed Major Terrence McLarney from his post as commander of the homicide unit because of a drop in the number of convictions.

Major McLarney was a seasoned expert who also possessed a law degree. Most of us understand that conviction is a complex process between investigation and prosecution.

Your story also reported that a national search had failed to uncover a qualified replacement. Really? This at first appeared to have been testimony to Mr. McLarney's irreplaceable expertise.

However, when Mr. McLarney was replaced by an individual with no homicide experience, we began to see the egocentric needs of the police commissioner in this transition.

I am appalled that such an important position has been subjugated to the poor judgment and egotistical whims of someone who has yet to prove his own leadership ability.

Kenneth W. Diehl, Towson

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