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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The only way the streets of this city are going to be safe again is if law-abiding citizens are willing to move back into the dangerous parts and take care of their neighborhoods, driving out the criminal element.

The police force is already strained, forced to work extra hours and bring the city a long overtime bill. How can they be expected to effectively police the capital's streets when the city's own police director is sapping off officers to take part in funeral services that have nothing to do with the city or law enforcement?

Police Director Santiago did just this, taking several on-duty officers and equipment up to Newark for the funeral of his father-in-law. This obvious violation of official duties has so far gone unpunished, although the director is expected to make an appearance at City Council this evening where he may admit his crime and actually pay for the officer's time up in Newark.

Whatever happens, this event highlights an ongoing problem with the director's credibility in the eyes of his fellow police officers and the public at large. Every single day multiple police officers make their feelings for the director known on forums such as that of Obviously these important people -on the front lines of the fight against the crime wave in the capital - have absolutely no confidence in their leader.

I would argue that this condition negates his position of leadership on the force, and requires that a new police director be appointed. This person would need to have the confidence of the force, because this confidence would help the officers perform their jobs better, and would contribute to a better quality of life for the residents and workers of the city.

Then people might start moving back into town...

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