Letters to the Editor

Saturday, May 25 2013 10:00 PM

Citizens' review board is monumental stupidity

By The Bakersfield Californian

Hearing that the first Kern County Sheriff's deputy on the scene fought with David Sal Silva for some seven minutes prior to the arrival of his cover units made me think of my friend and fellow deputy, Rick McHale. Rick died waiting for a cover unit that was in the next year's budget. What the public did not know then or care to know, let alone understand, is the level of violence in law enforcement. That condition has not changed, nor will it ever.

Every fight a cop gets into is a fight to the death. Not the death of the suspect, but the death of the cop. The murder of a cop is just an acceptable level of loss to the community, regardless of the lip service they pay it. If you want to be loved, as the saying goes, be a fireman.

The media and some citizens want a citizens review board. The stupidity of that idea is monumental. A popular political slogan of the day is transparency. If this is what the public wants, let's go all the way. Try this on for size: Citizen review panels for judges, doctors, hospitals (including their accountants), lawyers and all non-profit tax-dodging churches. How much light can you stand?

Simply put, people who want civilian review boards for the law enforcement community are, in the words of the Irish philosopher, John Mulhern, "laboring under a multiplicity of the most confused ideas imaginable."

Tom Russell

Bakersfield

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