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Tuesday Letters: Emanuel gets it right on top cop pick

Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

I don’t know how Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to skip the three candidates for Chicago’s top cop, but in my opinion as a retired Chicago Police lieutenant without question he got it right.

Chief Eddie Johnson does not suffer fools lightly and certainly knows Chicago’s neighborhoods as well as anyone in the city. Our systemic gang problem that is the root of the epidemic of violence we are enduring in our neighborhoods is well known to Johnson, who knows we are in a war against gang violence and the best way to win a war is to be prepared to fight it. All the speeches and the blaming of guns, poverty, lack of education, and all the other usual suspects have not stopped the shootings and killings.

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Our mayor has sent a message by this selection to all the rank and file of Chicago’s Finest, and I believe that message is all the talk and politics is over, enough finally is enough.

Bob Angone, South Loop

Yet to be seen

Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson seems an apt top cop pick by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who ignored the Search Committee’s three finalists, including two outsiders, and who ignored the outsider recommendation of his key advisers, Charles Ramsey and Terry Hillard.

Rahm’s rationale: After Jody Weis and Garry McCarthy who flopped, it takes an insider. But this ignores outsider Orlando W. Wilson who quelled the Summerdale Scandal in 1960, and reformed the department. For awhile.

Yet to be seen despite a glowing record is whether this insider who has been part of the condemned cop culture leading to lopsided law enforcement enraging Chicago’s black community can now be its change agent? Hard to imagine him succeeding without a program of shock and awe, in the ranks and on the street.

Citizens seem ready for a righteous crackdown on gangbangers using justified force as needed to restore calm and safety. But the trick lies in finding a workable balance vis-a-vis constitutional rights defended by civil libertarians. Assuming Eddie Johnson’s the man, pray he can walk that tightrope

successfully.

Lest we forget: The mayor has yet to deal with the police work contract filled with escape clauses that stymie or prevent the punishment of wrong-doing cops when it comes up for renewal.

Ted Z. Manuel

Naive exercise

“Why not try fighting violence with jobs” (March 23), while humanitarian-sounding, is nevertheless a naïve exercise in futility.

One can only minimize any form of violence (not only Chicago’s pathetic ubiquitous forms of it) by the existence of the intact family (meaning two effective, on-duty parents in the home) and people’s committed connection to an organized belief system or religion. Without those two requirements early in a child’s development, for any civilized society the resulting behavior of individuals will resemble that of untrained pit bulls off a leash.

Jobs, while valuable, are 15–20 years too late.

America’s primary problem is impulse control. And with our contemporary electronics explosion, information of every conceivable kind floods and tantalizes our already overloaded and beleaguered individuals with unlimited outrageous scenarios. Increasing violence of every form is predictable without the above two requirements.

This is no time for denial or ignoring scientific wisdom. There is no time to waste.

Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View

Similar problem

Today’s Sun-Times editorial criticizing Europe for not working together to combat terrorism caused me to think of a similar problem right here in Illinois. The editorial criticizes European nations for not working together especially after Turkey “returned” to sender an alleged terrorist.

Well, look around. “The pot is calling the kettle…”. Our legislators and political leaders have only one recent accomplishment to brag about – Illinois is the ONLY state to not have a budget passed as of now. Let’s take care of our business before we start telling others what to do.

George Pfeifer, Evanston

Elected idiots

Let me see if I can get this right. We elect a president of the United States of America, a Supreme Court justice dies. Do we expect the president to not do his job of nominating a replacement? Did we elect him to sit on his hands when a replacement is needed? What would be said if he did nothing? Doesn’t the nominee deserve a hearing? We have become the Stupid (United) States of America, because we elected idiots to represent us.

Edwina Jackson, Longwood Manor