I would like to comment on the recent letter "Police mistakes 'mind-numbing' " [Oct. 23]. I was a member of the Suffolk County Police Department's homicide squad for 17 years. Members of this squad are some of the hardest-working and knowledgeable detectives in the department.

What the letter writer may fail to realize is not all homicide investigations are black and white. On occasion, detectives have to go into the "gray" area of an investigation in an attempt to bring justice to the victim and the family.

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In general, most pretrial hearing decisions support the actions of the homicide detectives. Rarely does a judge throw out evidence or suppress a defendant's statements based on mistakes made by the detectives.

I'm confident that soon Newsday will report a conviction in this case, which involved a rape suspect, despite the "ineptitude" of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad.

Vincent Stephan, Sayville