Broken Clouds 31° Good Morning
Broken Clouds 31° Good Morning

Letter: Promotion at SCPD not about race

Officers from the Suffolk County Police Department gather

Officers from the Suffolk County Police Department gather in the Gilgo Beach area on Dec. 5, 2011. Photo Credit: James Carbone

I was very disappointed to read the letter from Jeffrey Walker, the first vice president of the Suffolk County Guardians, a fraternal organization of police officers of color [“Discrimination in Suffolk police force,” Aug. 25].

He tried to make a racial issue out of the fact that none of the several transfers into specialized units in the Suffolk County Police Department in a 4-year period included any African-American detectives. Favoritism exists in the SCPD, as it does in most police departments and other organizations. Transfers go to those with connections, as well as seniority and performance.

Not getting a coveted transfer doesn’t merit a meeting with the chief of department, commissioner and county executive to ask why. The fact that three meetings took place based on racial allegations shows how attentive the department is to such matters.

How many highly qualified white officers with more than 10 years on the job who have yet to make detective were able to get such high-level meetings? Self-serving and unwarranted claims of racism make everyone’s job in the police department more difficult.

Mike Simonelli, Smithtown

Editor’s note: The writer is a Suffolk County police officer.