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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Editorials  >   Good Policy, Refreshing Stance


Police and
Law Enforcement News





Good Policy,
Refreshing Stance
Police and Law Enforcement News
Thursday, January 29
, 2009 11:50 a.m.

How often do you hear of an agency fighting for the interests of rank and file street cops?


I mean the agency itself, not the union.

Thereís a big to-do going on right in Baltimore.  The Baltimore City Police Department recently adopted a new policy where they will no longer release the names of officers involved in deadly shootings.

According to the Baltimore Sun:

The department will wait until after an internal investigation has been completed to decide whether to release the name of an officer who acted justifiably, though Bealefeld [Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld] said the department will always release the officer's name and the disciplinary actions taken if a shooting is determined not to be justified.

The commissioner sites the safety of his officers as the reason for implementing this policy. Again from The Sun:

"With the increasing amount of personal information on any individual available through the Internet, we must take a measured approach in balancing the public's right to know against personal security," Bealefeld wrote, citing "home addresses, satellite photographs, credit reports and voting and academic records."

As you would expect, not everyone is thrilled. The usual suspects have chimed in with their opposition: the ACLU, the NAACP, and assorted local and state politicians.


But the police department, backed by the Union, is sticking to its guns.
There are two striking points that jump out from this controversy.

First, this policy is good and should be enacted everywhere.

If law officers are to be expected to confront professional criminals, armed gang members, and other monsters, the least society can do is have measures in place to protect the officers.

In the recent officer-involved shooting in Oakland, California, death threats were made against the officer and his parents within hours of the shooting. It was so serious, that they all had to take refuge in a bordering state.

The second point that comes out of this is the courage of the Baltimore City Police Commissioner and his administration.

Knowing that this policy would not go over well, he and his command staff still went forward with it because it was the right thing to do.
And when opposition began surfacing from all directions, they didnít back down.

Thereís a word for that. Itís called leadership.

In an era where far too many find that pandering is the easiest path to a peaceful existence, itís refreshing to see such efforts coming from the executive level.

Nice job.



Share you Thoughts on This Editorial

While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just beyond reason.  Letters will be reviewed and posted each day. reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any submission.  Use the scroll box below to submit your thoughts:



Your Comments

It's good to see a boss looking out for his officers. 

Finally someone makes a policy that makes sense for him officers. 

Most Cops turn in their duty gun during a shooting investigation.  I'm sure some agencies don't provide a replacement.  This is a common sense policy of officer safety.  Additionally, not letting the media slander officers before they have had a chance to tell investigators or grand juries their version of events will hopefully go a long way in keeping the Al Sharpton's of the world silent until FACTS can be presented.




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