FOP should sup­port re­form

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Cy Fish­burn, Baltimore

The Sun quotes Sgt. Robert Cherry, a past Baltimore Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice pres­i­dent, as say­ing that only po­lice of­fi­cers can judge other of­fi­cers (“Po­lice agree to share com­plaints,” Sept. 1). I dis­agree. Po­lice of­fi­cers are, af­ter all, peo­ple like any oth­ers. Cit­i­zens here in Baltimore — in­clud­ing the po­lice — have had plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence with be­ing dis­re­spected and threat­ened on our streets, even get­ting shot at. I’m sure they would be able to un­der­stand an of­fi­cer’s job and tell good prac­tice from bad.

I don’t mean to de­mo­nize the FOP. Its job is to rep­re­sent Baltimore’s of­fi­cers, and it has tried in its way to make things bet­ter. The FOP called for more train­ing, bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions and an end to “in­dis­crim­i­nate street stops and cor­ner clear­ing” as early as 2012. The city has more or less ig­nored these rec­om­men­da­tions, and per­haps the FOP and Baltimore’s of­fi­cers have lost some faith in their com­mu­nity.

In­stead of ridi­cul­ing, ob­struct­ing and try­ing to wa­ter down the Baltimore and U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice re­form ef­fort, the FOP should be an ac­tive and re­spect­ful part­ner in it.

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