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Letters

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Letters

FWPD officers get lots of leeway

The Feb. 5 article about police officers being punished for policy lapses makes one wonder how many strikes an officer gets before he or she is out.

Why are these officers still on the force? Surely with this economy we shouldn’t have much difficulty finding people who will not only serve but also serve with a higher degree of professionalism and standards. Burglaries and armed robberies are going up in this community, and late or AWOL officers aren’t going to help the situation.

As a former senior military officer and commander, I’m not unfamiliar with the stresses in an organization such as the Fort Wayne Police Department. Times are hard, threats are increasing, officers are asked to do more and budgets compel hard choices on the street.

Everyone, including police officers, makes mistakes. Professionals don’t make the same mistake twice, and professional organizations draw hard lines when they do.

No doubt there’s a rationale or excuse for every citation, reprimand and suspension; however, in the cases cited, the sheer quantity of them seems compelling. Are FWPD standards too high? I doubt it. Are we enforcing them too strictly? I doubt it. AWOL is pretty black and white. Repeated indiscipline is pretty clear. Driver’s licenses are valid or they’re not.

Is there a point at which you get enough strikes in FWPD to be out of the game? I wonder.

ALLEN BOYD Fort Wayne

Hunt-fish amendment doesn’t go far enough

State Sen. Brent Steele has introduced a bill that would afford constitutional protection for Indiana residents to farm, hunt and fish. But why stop there? Why not a constitutional amendment that includes the right to watch birds, gather mushrooms, tap maple trees, and plant and collect fossils along the roadsides? We might as well be inclusive about this.

WILSON B. LUTZ North Manchester

Hagel shows unfitness for defense secretary

I am 72 years old and have followed politics my entire life.

I also spent 42 years working in defense electronics at Magnavox and successor companies. In addition I am a U.S. Navy veteran. I take the defense of our great nation seriously. I believe that this qualifies me to appraise a Secretary of Defense nominee.

As a Navy veteran, I would normally be predisposed to accept a Vietnam veteran and twice-wounded hero without question. However Charles Hagel’s later life, his admitted lack of knowledge and his evasive hearing testimony weighs stronger on my evaluation.

Hagel’s record on unilateral disarmament, disengagement, U.S. retreat as a world military power, lack of support for vital allies, adversarial position on Israel and suspension of skepticism on Iran’s nuclear ambition cannot be allowed in someone whose job is to protect the security of our people.

The U.S. faces resurgence of al-Qaida and other jihads, terrorism, a near-nuclear Iran, continued Syrian attacks on its citizens, an ascendant Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, unstable leadership in North Korea, an increasingly militant China and uncertainty over Russia’s ambitions with regard to its weaker neighbors.

The country cannot afford Hagel as secretary of defense. Northeast Indiana cannot have uninformed program cuts if this vital but weakened industry asset is going to survive.

DAVE McKEEMAN Fort Wayne

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