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Tuesday Letters: A cop with ‘a heart for the community’

In this Jan. 20, 2015 photo, Chicago Deputy Police Superintendent Eugene Williams attends a ceremony in Chicago. The Chicago Police Board on Thursday, March 17, 2016, named Williams as one of three contenders to become the city's police chief to replace superintendent Garry McCarthy who was fired in December. (Brian Jackson/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

I write this letter in support of Deputy Police Supt. Eugene Williams, chief of the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Support Services. Mr. Williams is also the president of the local chapter of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives. He was also a commander of the 15th District, in the Austin community, a community area that I represent. As the 15th District Commander, he also chaired our Public Safety Advisory Committee, a workgroup of community residents and police chiefs and commanders.

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Mr. Williams has a heart for the community. I have known him for over 30 years, and worked with him in every capacity or office he has held. Over the years, my support for Mr. Williams continued to grow. He has a resounding respect from the community and knowledge about Chicago’s neighborhoods.

As president of the local chapter of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, he has led efforts to reduce violence in the community and to engage police officers in working with the community.

One of the most pressing problems facing the City of Chicago is over aggressive policing. Deputy Chief Eugene William’s approach and dedication to police and community collaboration should not be ignored.

Mr. Williams has risen through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department, which has generated support from his peers and subordinates. I firmly believe a combination of his experiences with the community and his exceptional knowledge of the police department’s operations, from the top to the bottom, will make him an outstanding Police Superintendent.

It is without a doubt nor any hesitation, that I support Eugene Williams for Chicago Police

Superintendent, and urge Mayor Rahm Emanuel to speedily make the appointment.

Danny Davis, U.S. representative, Chicago

Bad idea

I’ve never before heard anything as stupid as the proposal to pack Chicago with no-kill shelters [“Aldermen want to make Chicago animal shelters ‘no-kill’ zones,” March 16].

Who do they think is going to pay for this? How is this proposal fair to citizens struggling to get a grip on their recently hiked property taxes?

According to this latest March madness, supposedly only diseased animals would be put to death. There are thousands of cats that no one has room for already, in Chicago and everywhere.

Maja Ramirez, Old Town

Not the answer

While the research-based biopharmaceutical industry agrees that consumers must know how to safely and securely use, store and dispose of their unused and unwanted medicines, an inefficient and costly mandated take-back program is not the solution to proper medicine disposal in Cook County (“Drug companies should help dispose of unneeded medicines,” March 17).

Of the trace amounts of pharmaceuticals that have been measured in surface waters, at least 90 percent are principally attributed to patient use and excretion, not disposal, a fact with which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agrees. Additionally, because household waste is either incinerated or disposed of in double-lined municipal landfills, unused medicines that are properly disposed of at home are effectively isolated from the environment. In fact, the overall carbon footprint of a take-back program is environmentally more harmful because of the environmental effects of the collection, shipping and disposal of the collected medicines.

The biopharmaceutical industry does not oppose voluntary take-back programs like those operated by law enforcement officials, but there is a less expensive and more effective option that is safe for public health and the environment – “in-home” disposal. In-home disposal, as detailed by the FDA, involves simple, easy-to-follow steps for the safe and secure disposal of medicines in the home:

  • Place medicines in a sealable container, such as a plastic bag.
  • Mix with water and an undesirable substance such as kitty litter or coffee grounds.
  • Place it in your household trash.
  • Remove identifying information from prescription bottles to protect medical privacy and dispose of them.

The biopharmaceutical industry is committed to working with county officials to spread the word about proper in-home disposal as the first line option for the safe and effective removal of unwanted or unneeded medicines from the household because it is secure, effective, ecologically friendly and convenient.

John A. Murphy, Assistant General Counsel, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)