Letters for Thursday — February 23, 2006

• Don’t complain to media

• Clintons in the news

Don’t complain to media

As a member of the public, it is sad and discouraging to read the headlines of our paper saying “Police Union Wants Lum Out” and “Mayor Calls For Lum’s Ouster.” I want to say up front that I support our chief, I support our Police Department, and I support our Police Commission. I take great offense with anyone — the union, the mayor, or the council who would make incendiary remarks to our media trying to create distrust with the public over the job our police are doing for them.

First, under our Charter and under HRS 52D no one except the five members of the police commission have the authority to fire our chief so all the threats and rhetoric of anyone else is simply political posturing, vengeance, or dissatisfaction with the way the system is run.

Ironically, a poll taken by The Garden Island newspaper showed that by an over-whelming margin of about 2 to 1, the people said that they believe our police department has the ability to uphold public safety — EVEN WITH ALL THE NEGATIVITY BEING SPREAD AROUND! Thus, it certainly appears that our chief, who is at the center of this bashing, is being supported by those he was appointed to protect — the public. Another poll has shown that the public by a margin of 70 percent to 30 percent believes that no matter who our chief is, we would be having the same problems we are having now.

The fact is that under Chief Lum’s watch, crime is down, drug busts are up, the price of drugs on the street has skyrocketed meaning that the supply has gone down, and sick leave by the department (an indicator of police satisfaction with their boss) is stable.

Is there a morale problem with the force as SHOPO said? The answer is probably, “yes.” But check back historically and you will find that previous forces under past chiefs have all encountered the same problems and this is simply part of any big organization — police, public works or any department you want to name. But even with these problems and criticisms being rampant, chief Lum has done his job as the facts show.

Don’t ever forget that he was appointed to his position by a democratic process — by a 4 to 1 vote of the commission. There was no nepotism or favoritism that got him his job — the commission felt that he was the better qualified of the remaining three finalists.

Yes, I repeat, under extraordinary criticism K.C. Lum has prevailed and done his job.

Has he made mistakes? By his own admission, yes, but he is learning.

So what more can you ask of him? Since his fiscal problem of last year with overtime payments he and our finance director have said they are now on the same page and the process is working. Remember too that our Finance Department, the mayor (who cut his request for more funding) and the commission shared in this problem and it is being addressed.

I can only offer one more piece of advice that I have heard from many intelligent people including retired police officers. Keep complaints within the department and don’t air them to the media. It can only hurt every conscientious officer who is trying to do his or her job.

  • Glenn Mickens

Clintons in the news

Certainly it should come as no surprise to any halfway rational person in the world, that due to the rash of Republican scandals in Washington, Bill Hillary Clinton’s names should pop up again as the really bad guys we should keep a wary eye on. To most of us it’s an amusing distraction. Let me see: it was something like $40,000,000 … or more … spent to find Monica and set up a perjury trap … we mustn’t forget he lied about sex … so they could play the impeachment game. So entertaining. Especially the unexpurgated and creative porn edition of the fiasco … as related by Monica and Linda to dear Kenneth Starr, that the Republicans and their Religious Right supporters published and distributed to their delicate-eared fans.

Can’t help but think, however: the infamous Clintons are often seen on Kaua’i … and the world … roaming around like tourists, be sure you spell that right Mr. Editors, while George when he comes to town disrupts the entire city, no doubt wearing bulletproof underwear and cowboy boots. Picks up thousands of dollars from his select rich base so they can be seen with him and tour Air Force One, and exits as he came in, with a Marine Corp sniper standing guard on every rooftop along his route. What a world popular figure! So trusted. So admired. So bright.

I know: let’s make George secretary general of the United Nations and put Hillary in the White House. She certainly couldn’t make a worse mess of it and George could read a condensed copy of The World for Dummies so he’s prepared for the job.

  • Bettejo Dux

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