I spent 33 years on the Chicago Police Department through four ranks, with 20 of those years as a street supervisor. In my opinion, no matter who has the final say on police reform, either through a court appointed monitor or by the Department of Justice, the single biggest effort in addressing systemic issues of police behavior is the supervising officers, from sergeant up through the ranks, who must be made accountable for the actions of subordinates. The most critical supervisor in the chain of command is of course the sergeant, who is not only closest to the men working the street, but also, most times, is seconds away from most any incident involving police decisions and behavior.
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How often do we read about a police controversy — some are major newsworthy stories — and all you hear is the individual officer? The first thing that jumps into my mind is, “Who is the supervisor? What was his role in the incident?” Chicago police supervisors are well paid when advanced in the ranks — it comes with extra pension benefits and prestige. We have to remember that supervision and discipline is a function of command and if supervisors are not being held accountable — no matter who is reforming the police department — it will come tumbling down without strict adherence to holding supervisors accountable for the training and actions of their subordinates. It’s what they are there for.
Bob Angone, Miramar Beach, Florida
Russia investigations give hope for the future of Washington
Things are getting tough all over for our man-child in the White House. The polls reflect all-time lows in presidential popularity and the confidence of the people. What’s more, Trump has finally encountered an adversary in Comey that he can’t intimidate.
What to do with a man of integrity who has the truth on his side and the smarts to outflank the bully and his cadre of lightweights? He can’t simply be bought and sold like so many others that the Trumpster has encountered in his life of privilege and his world of shady business deals.
Surely he now realizes that if he is allowed to continue as our leader it will be in isolation. That his support, both inside and outside the White House, is eroding and Steve Bannon’s conspiracy theories now include his boss being carried off by an enraged crowd of Trump voters!
While the end is nowhere in sight and the finish line is far beyond the distant horizon, the investigations in Washington give us all hope that our democratic institutions will survive even the Trump regime.
Bob Ory, Elgin
Cause for alarm in London
The mayor of London advised Londoners that they should not be alarmed following the most recent terror attack. Was his intent to advise the public not to be alarmed over the presence of armed police or the threat of terrorism? The United Kingdom has a tradition of unarmed police and to suddenly see police officers armed with assault rifles patrolling their streets is a cause for alarm.
John Culloton, Norwood Park