'The Weekly' Fills My Comic Void

To the Editor,

Ever since the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh got booted out of Oregon, I have been searching for something pleasantly humorous to fill the void. Now, I have found that something: the Tucson Weekly. My comic void is no more. You know how nature abhors a vacuum.

I thoroughly enjoy the letters department, and the tongue in cheek with which most are written. The letter from Der Voron explaining how aliens shot down the space shuttle ("Did Aliens Cause the Shuttle Explosion?" Feb. 13) was super.

Zeus! I wish I had come up with explanation. Now this fellow Der Voron is probably going to make a fortune on the lecture/talk-show circuit. CNN, Fox News, Oprah, Hollywood. A movie! All because of a letter to the Tucson Weekly. My, what a world.

--Patrick Bishop

Someone Please Turn on the Grammar Check

To the Editor,

The new editor has not started on a good note. In the issue where a columnist emphasizes grammar ("Once More, With Clarity," Jan. 30), his restaurant review ("The Quest for Good Chinese," Jan. 30) commits the basic sin of stating "couldn't ... hardly" in reference to some issue about his partner.

But also in this issue, the grammar columnist writes a feature about outdoor activities. Her text is very choppy with many parenthetical phrases which break the flow of the sentences. This seems to contradict her column in the very same issue whose subject was the construction of easy flowing expressions in sentences.

Please keep up the standard of good writing in this interesting newspaper.

--W. Colpitts

Double Standard at the Tucson Police Department

To the Editor,

There seems to be a strong perception at the Tucson Police Department that Chief Richard Miranda is playing favorites, which has lead to an appearance of a double standard in the treatment of officers versus commanders.

Over the past several months, four unfortunate events have occurred involving TPD commissioned personnel. Two incidents involved alcohol, two others the use of force. The detective and officer involved in two of the events saw their stories, pictures, department history and condemnation published in the print media and reported on television and radio. But the public heard very little about the lieutenant who showed up at work intoxicated after purportedly dropping off children at a daycare center--and nothing about the lieutenant involved in a use-of-force incident while working in a police off-duty capacity.

Every move made by the detective and officer has been investigated and scrutinized. Comments made to the media all but convicted the officer before an investigation even took place. Yet public opinion has been overwhelmingly supportive toward the officer. While the officer who is accused of alleged excessive force is restricted to desk duty and not allowed to work off-duty jobs, the lieutenant involved in a similar incident goes about his daily routine managing his unit and working off-duty jobs available to him. It appears to rank-and-file officers that the two lieutenants are getting a free pass while their subordinates are held to a higher standard.

This department is expected to provide an important service to this community. Unfortunately, from time to time, mistakes are made. Officers have been--and must be--held accountable for their actions. I would assume the chief expects his managers to set a strong example of character and professionalism for the officers they lead. Granted, the chief may manage, direct and lead the department as he determines will best benefit and serve the public. However, when wedges are driven between the officers and administration, neither the department nor public is well-served. After talking to members of the rank and file, it is clear a large wedge has been driven between the two groups.

The chief must treat all commissioned officers equally; this includes his managers. I remember a walk in the park and a vote of no confidence made by the rank and file a few years ago which started over the unfair treatment of two officers. It was a dark, sad and stressful time for the police department. I would not want to see it happen again.

Both the Tucson Police Officers Association and Fraternal Order of Police must continue to take a strong stand on this issue.

--Steven L. Kendell

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