I have been reading these love letters for Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell and feel it is good that there is so much support for the chief. At the same time I am perplexed by the ignorance of many of those letter writers.
The department’s manual covers discipline for various violations, and one specifically covers deliberate deception by an officer. If an officer has been found to be deceptive – lying – there is harsh punishment, up to termination.
Integrity is the blood of law enforcement, and when the top cop circumvents that integrity, it cuts to the public trust.
Was Ramsdell deceptive? Through his own statements and that of the city manager’s reprimand, that is exactly the case. So why has Ramdell not received the same punishment he would have meted out to an officer for the same infraction?
There is no doubt that the citizens writing in support of Ramsdell would have been calling for the head of any other officer who had lied to protect another officer.
TPD has a standard that what is good for the troops is not necessarily good for administration. In my 22 years at TPD, I saw violations of law that were all swept under the carpet because it was done by a lieutenant or higher. Yet rank-and-file officers were suspended or fired for lesser offenses.