Letters: Complaints, but no remedies, by Ald. Beale on police background checks, exams

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Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) says psychological exams to enter the police force are “tools used to weed out and disqualify minorities and keep out people of color.” File photo by Brian Jackson for the Sun-Times.

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Why does Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) suggest that background checks and psychological exams are used only to weed out qualified minorities and keep out people of color (“CPD exam applicants 71% minority after outreach” — Feb. 23)?

The process of psychological examination and background checks are used on all applicants of the police force, be it Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian or any other race. What is he suggesting? That the exam is particular to race? Are all minority applicants expected to take different exams based on an individual’s race? How should the police department conduct psychological exams? In the wake of televised police shootings, I think anyone would agree that a psychological exam and background check is very much necessary. Does Ald. Beale have a better plan to “weed out” bad candidates — white, black or any other race?

Not doing the exam offers a loophole for anyone who may have questionable behavior or thought processes that don’t match up to the standard of the police department. What standards are prohibiting minorities from excelling into the police force and what can we do about it? Ald. Beale should be more clear about his vision of what the process should be, rather than offer only his personal opinion about an exam process that is the first line in protecting all of Chicago’s citizens,filtering out candidates before they are given a gun or badge.

Pat Kennedy,Mt. Greenwood

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

1 issue for Gutierrez

I find it interesting that you have endorsed Luis Gutierrez for the 4th Congressional District (“Primary picks in Congress contests” — Feb. 23), as he has done nothing locally except advocate for immigrants. He also, unfortunately, represents a portion of Berwyn — the section that I live in. I see that you are urging him to spend more time in Washington. So do we. He is a one-issue congressman.

Wayne E. Parthun, Berwyn

Support for land, water conservation

I am responding to the Jan. 23 Sun-Times article titled “Pullman National Monument Restoration Plans Ramping Up.” As a native of the Starved Rock State Park region, I understand the importance in the conservation of historical public lands and protecting the Antiquities Act, under which Pullman Park received its designation. Unfortunately, both this act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund have recently been under repeated attack by members of Congress. The loss of these pieces of legislation would be detrimental to our national parks system and our precious wilderness areas.

That is why I urge Illinois citizens to contact U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to commend him for his continuous support of the Antiquities Act and ask that he endorse the indefinite renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Ashley Williams, Rogers Park

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