A troubled police department

| April 26, 2017

Editor’s note: Frost Illustrated rarely publishes letters to the editor that do not indicate a source. But, given the public interest in the issue of police reform and police/community relations, we have made an exception here. We recently received this letter via a guarded email account that asks some interesting questions about local police recruitment and personnel practices:

Dear Editor,

I noticed a month ago you published an article on the recent hiring for Fort Wayne Police. Given the scrutiny of this profession nationally, I could certainly see why the department would turn to the media as a mass marketing campaign. The concern I have is what the department is doing to/for its current workforce.

On the applicant page it’s says, “We give our officers the same respect and concern that we expect them to show all citizens they contact in the line of duty.” If this were the case, I would question how someone can go from working in ATF as a Task Force officer for 12 years and in Vice/Narcotics as an undercover detective; to being a patrolman within 30 days. If the police department is truly concerned with officer safety you would think they would try to prevent a repeat of the Miami-Dade County incident. It’s seems a bit idiotic to have someone experienced with the prosecution of illegal gun crimes and considered an expert by the federal courts in the issue of drugs, guns and gangs, working in uniform where their life will be/has been threatened due to the exposure to the criminals or families of those they’ve once arrested.  I personally know an officer who was honored by ATF agents from across the U.S. back in mid-February 2017 that this very thing happened to.

For the life of me I cannot understand how a seasoned officer, not to mention a former United States Marine Corp veteran can be shuffled like a deck of cards and discarded as having no value by his own department.  His own department hasn’t said “Well done” on much of anything. I doubt and know his command hasn’t a clue what he’s done for the last 12 years or the sacrifices he’s made of himself or his family.

FWPD should look within and fix bad behaviors across command and dismantle the “Good Ole Boy Network” so that it’s an even playing field for seasoned as well as new officers coming in. How can anyone with a conscious advertise or promote FWPD when this is happening internally?  Ask yourself, would you work for an employer that treated you this way after all you’ve sacrificed?

FWPD is supposed to partner with the black community and be dedicated to reducing violence.  I question the validity of the FWPD’s dedication in fighting the gun and violence problem in the black community, when they’ve removed the only black FWPD officer from a Task Force with a 99 percent conviction rate, on gun crimes.  I guess it’s wishful thinking to think FWPD will be as transparent as they claim. Or will it be said the officer was the issue and not the, “Good Ole Boy” network?

Seems to me we need to do more so we can prevent another Miami Dade County Police incident from reoccurring as well as help our community combat gun/drug violence.

—Name withheld

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Community, Crime & Safety, Letters, Local, Opinion

About the Author ()

Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

Comments are closed.