In my two previous columns I discussed the controversy surrounding Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell’s failure to disclose embarassing information regarding an Amber Alert in the Zina Linnik murder investigation. There was much discussion on the topic, prompting this third blog on the topic.
Initially, I made the argument that the chief should be held accountable for his actions, rather than reverting to “forgive and forget,” as some op-ed writers suggested. Following several Trib articles, which appeared to pave the way for the chief’s speedy exit, I followed up by changing tack to prevent what I felt was overkill. I took this stance because I believed it was fair, balanced and based on my general understanding of the criminal justice work environment in which I have spent my adult life.
Many of you disagreed. Those that chose to dispute my attempt to mitigate the situation did so with passion and conviction. That certainly got my attention.Although this exchange in no way should be construed as an accurate poll of public opinion, it was clear that the lack of trust in the leadership of TPD can not be ignored. Though I remain convinced that the underlying issue was an error in judgment that has been adequately addressed, it would be disingenuous to continue pushing this viewpoint on readers who do not share my experiences and relationships.
This has been yet another reminder that the relationship between police officers and the citizens we are sworn to protect is fragile. It requires regular and open communication to maintain its integrity. If breached by deception, this relationship requires a disproportionate amount of effort to repair. In this case TPD should make every effort to repair the public trust in a timely and effective manner.
I hope I provided some answers, but in this case you provided better questions.