The next few weeks represent one of the most crucial periods in the history of the Liberty Police Department. During this time, a new police chief will be chosen. Without a doubt, the integrity of that selection by the board of trustees could make or break the organization's future. Thus, it is imperative that both the public and the media scrutinize the selection process to ensure the avoidance of any detrimental political interference into police affairs, like that highlighted by the recent Ohio Chiefs Association Report.
Such impropriety, should it occur, would pose significant risk of regenerating serious past problems within the agency. As an insider and a 25-year police veteran, I (along with other members of the LPD) am keenly aware of and disturbed by the covert efforts currently underway by certain factions in an attempt to manipulate to their advantage the outcome of this selection process.
One key element of the fairness factor in countering this movement dictates that the community-based panel, which reportedly will interview and evaluate the top candidates for the positions, must include representation by the police unions as well as independent citizens approved by both sides.
This panel cannot be up of only political appointees.
Acquiring a qualified, competent and politically unmolested police chief, devoid of bias and bolstered by the security of a multi-year contract, will enable Liberty's dedicated and professional officers to properly accomplish their mission of service to the community while fulfilling their own career goals.
Additionally, this would facilitate the agency's continued development into the kind of highest caliber, state-of-the-art law enforcement entity so necessary for assuring success and survival in the 21st century.
These officers and the good residents of Liberty Township deserve nothing less. The vital importance of choosing the optimum leadership for the police department cannot be ignored. It is therefore incumbent upon every concerned and educated resident, as well as like members of the media, to diligently apply whatever civic-related energies this situation requires to help accomplish that end -- right now -- while there is still time. There is just too much at stake not to.
X The writer is a captain in the Liberty Police Department.
Neighborhoods better off with police enforcement
Once again Youngstown's finest, our police, are under attack for just doing their job. They issue tickets for cars parked in people's yards. Bravo. Thank goodness we have a police department that cares about the rights of the people. In case a recent writer does not know, cars are to be parked in driveways, not yards. Our neighborhoods are bought down by those who choose to not follow the law.
City ordinances are meant to protect homeowners and their property. I am very grateful to Chief Lewis and his police force because they try to make Youngstown a city with pride. Also, home owners should make more demands on landlords who do not keep their rental properties up to standards. We need to keep our neighborhoods safe and beautiful. Andfor those not aware of this ordinance, furniture suited for indoor use only does not belong on porches or in yards.
So once again, I applaud Youngstown's finest and I appreciate all the "jobs" you do.
'Healing process' more important than openness
I recently read the editorial written about the Girard School Board's decision to hold a closed meeting regarding our middle school.
I'm sorry that our decision caused you such pain and distress. I could almost visualize the wringing of hands and the gnashing of teeth for not being included. We had the crazy notion that we could get more accomplished if we spoke to representatives from the concerned parent group, thus enabling everyone to discuss and digest the enormous amount of information made available from the Clayton group.
As you know, we've had numerous public meetings, and both Dr. D'Ambrosio and Dr. Ragozine have gone out of their way to answer any questions and give interviews even if it meant disrupting their work day.
I guess we are more concerned about readying our building for the coming school year and rebuilding trust within our community. Suggesting that we are hiding something is not only wrong, it is damaging to our healing process.
Perhaps next time you'll try to find out why we made our decisions and not jump to any conclusions.
X The writer is a member of the Girard School Board.
Having Boccieri in office has improved district
I have no idea what planet the Greenford letter writer comes from who took Ohio State Rep. John Boccieri to task by calling him a "bought and paid for union puppet," but it certainly isn't Earth. Perhaps that person or a close relative lost a cushy job with Ron Hood when ousted by Mr. Boccieri.
In the primary, a relatively unknown John Boccieri beat the union backed candidate almost single handedly by going door-to-door campaigning and attending small and large public meetings all across the 57th District and making his views and capabilities known to the voters. One thing became very clear to all who attended those meetings. Monetary contributions bought you nothing from Mr. Boccieri.
If there is a flaw in the personal and professional make-up of this outstanding young man, I couldn't find it. His willingness to run for public office is a very positive thing for Democratic and Republican alike. Losing one of the areas brightest and best through redistricting will be a cause for sadness, not rejoicing as the writer states.
It is also very offensive that the writer called Mr. Boccieri a "socialist" while invoking the "liberty-loving" status for Ron Hood. Perhaps the writer will be kind enough to tell us just what branch of the armed services Ron Hood was part of in earning the "liberty-loving" title? Mr. Boccieri served his country as a fighter pilot over the Persian Gulf in Desert Storm and still serves as a pilot of a C-130 aircraft in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.