'The demand is said to come from “our community,” but I was left wondering who that is precisely,' one reader writes.
Offer solutions, don't make demands
I am a retired law enforcement officer from a large state police agency. As I read through the NAACP Police Reform Agenda in the Palm Coast Observer, I anticipated what Sheriff Rick Staly’s answers might be.
Most of the proposals are fair, and I recognized that most were likely institutionally and doctrinally in place already. Where I bristled, and make no mistake, I fully support diversity in policing, but to “demand” that a police agency “initiate a program designed to pay all costs associated with attending the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at Daytona State College for eligible candidates, including earning $10 an hour for 40 hours a week while enrolled in the academy” is out of line. The demand is said to come from “our community,” but I was left wondering who that is precisely.
Our sheriff responded with data showing that his agency has been proactively recruiting and hiring minority candidates and last year made the overture requesting the partnership of the NAACP in that endeavor. Flagler may be a small, quaint county, but our sheriff is an obvious professional with big agency experience, and it shows.
In my opinion, if the community wants the sheriff to successfully recruit and hire qualified minority candidates, the community need not be demanding how he spends taxpayer or grant dollars. Unless of course those grant dollars are secured for that purpose.
Rather, the community would be better partners by demanding less and instead creating scholarships and cultivating private donations to help defray costs for candidates to attend the Basic Law Enforcement Academy. The community would best serve the candidates by mentoring them on how to find temporary employment while they attend the academy and not demand a guaranteed 40 hours per week, $10 an hour, for a make-work job at the Sheriff’s Office.
Pride, confidence and self-respect come from having some stake in earning your own achievements.
Lastly, leadership is not demonstrated by making demands. Take the lead by demonstrating positive support of law enforcement, policing as a career, and participate with the Sheriff's Office in recruiting.
And remember, if the community promotes an unfavorable view of the police, don't expect the young men and women from that community to want to be police officers.
One final thing, when a scholarship program is formally established, please come see me, and I will be happy to make the first generous donation.
Hire the most qualified people
On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. That means all people, regardless of race, color, religion or creed have been placed on a level playing field, so to speak. Why, then, are there countless numbers of colleges, funds, legal firms, pageants and magazines that are exclusive to one particular group of people? Why does this one group of equal citizens need a nationally based enabler?
The local chapter of the NAACP is now "demanding" that the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office acquiesce to their 26-point proposal to “go easy” on individuals who are breaking the law.
I would invite the lawyers who drafted the proposal for the NAACP here and the local chapter's executive members to physically ride along with Sheriff Staly's officers for a few months and get a taste of reality.
Equal rights does not mean automatic equal success. If a person is not qualified for a task, they don't get hired for that task. For an association to "demand" that their members be hired for a task or job, regardless of that member's inability to perform to the standards of the employer is to essentially undermine the morale and efficacy of an employer's entire staff of qualified personnel and the company's mission statement.
Demand accountability from drug dealers
I read the NAACP police reform agenda, and, as a member and high-muck-a-muck of the NOOFWAC (National Order of Old Folks Who Appreciate Cops), I must refute some of their proposals.
The NAACP demanded community-policing accountability from our Sheriffs Office and Bunnell and Flagler Beach police departments. How about working on accountability from the gang bangers, car thieves and drug dealers that flaunt the law?
They want the escalation of black candidates for law enforcement. How about going after the best people regardless of race, creed, color or gender who are willing to do a job where you put your life on the line and most people don't appreciate what you do but want to defund you?
Most absurd, they want the Sheriff’s Office and police departments to remove Confederate statues, flags, etc. Will someone please explain what this has to do with law enforcement? The war’s been over for 155 years.
Douglas R. Glover