FOP should support reform
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.