Police officers resent being used as pawns
Re: "Jailed Montgomery County cops can keep disability pay, arbitrator rules," April 16
Mark Twain said, "If you don't read newspapers, you'll be uninformed; if you do, you'll be misinformed." That's certainly true of The Washington Examiner's account of the arbitration decision regarding disability rights for Montgomery County police officers. The headline was deliberately provocative and misleading.
Both the Fraternal Order of Police and County Executive Ike Leggett proposed changes to the current law regarding misconduct. The county conceded, and the arbitrator's decision noted, that there has never been a case in which a Montgomery police officer on disability was incarcerated.
In addressing misconduct, FOP is asking for no more than existing practices under Social Security Disability -- that applies to every covered Montgomery County taxpayer.
Disability systems are not gravy trains. They're intended to protect the public as well as police officers and their families. If officers hesitate to expose themselves to serious injury out of concern for the economic hardship that will surely follow, how likely are they to put their lives on the line to rescue victims of crime?
Montgomery County officers themselves are paying a significant portion of the cost of the disability system with a retirement plan that is not as generous as many nearby jurisdictions. We have a stake in protecting its integrity.
The Examiner's coverage of all things related to police collective bargaining is consistently biased and typically reflects the opinions of a disgruntled management mired in its own ineptitude. The County Council and the county executive have bent, folded and mutilated the bargaining process in an effort to assert autocratic control over a work force that, by all objective standards, is excellent.
We resent being used as pawns by those who try to undermine the protections that we've made past sacrifices to obtain.
Marc B. Zifcak
President, Montgomery County Lodge 35
Fraternal Order of Police
Give all incumbents a one-way ticket home
Re: "Why change is possible," April 19
I hardly, if ever, agree with Southern Republicans but always give credit where credit is due. Sen. Tom Coburn is right on point when he states: "The real problem in Washington is not gridlock or money in politics, nor is it a lack of ethics reform or solutions. It is careerism -- the philosophy of governing to win the next election above all else. For the career politician, the moment to do what is right is never today. It is always a mirage, just beyond the horizon of the next election."
I concur wholeheartedly with Sen. Coburn that change is possible, but it will not occur until the majority of Americans realize that they have been hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray by both political parties.
The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as statesmen, not career politicians. It is incumbent upon us to return them from whence they came after they've served a specified period of time.
Since our career politicians won't leave voluntarily, let's help them by not re-electing any incumbents in the November general election.
Wishful thinking you say, but stranger things have happened.
Marvin E. Adams