Letter to the editors

August 26, 2016

This is to commend a deputy chief of the Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) for making a clear and, considering the amount of political correctness in the air, courageous statement on the importance of both diverse hiring practices and upholding the standards of his department.

“If you were in a medical crisis, when you go to the hospital, you don’t sit in the emergency room until you get an African-American doctor or a Latino doctor, you take the best,” he told a local television channel this week. “You get those services right then and there. We provide the best services and the best officers.”

The chief was answering a pointed question from a reporter, the premise of which was that the FWPD was errant in not hiring more black officers in response to national urban unrest.

That of course would be great if the hiring were to represent dedication to the equal opportunity central to a 600-year legal tradition based on individual worth. It would be a disaster if it were to represent the pursuit of a mere equality of results, one driven by the political faction of the moment.

Now we wait to see whether the politicians at city hall will back up the chief and other professionals, black and white, of a fine and honorable department, one that historically has been respectful of all races and classes.

Meanwhile, the media could do us all a service by not assuming that Indiana is Alabama, and the year is 1965.

 

— Craig Ladwig



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