Police review board a good first step
Counting on police to police themselves is a nonstarter ["Activists: Cuomo must reject Nassau police reform plan," News, May 14]. Although most police officers serve with distinction and without using excessive force against innocent citizens who pose no imminent threat, that alone is not what makes a good cop.
What makes a good cop is reporting a bad one. The thin blue line is only as strong as its ability to push back against the blue wall of silence. Yet, we are far from there. And it has become painfully clear that leaving police officers with a history of abusive or violent behavior on the street is untenable.
Given the paucity of whistleblowers on the inside, the Derek Chauvin murder trial being the exception, the underlying structure of disciplinary authority cannot be left to police brass alone when seeking transparency, accountability and justice.
Establishing a Civilian Complaint Review Board in Nassau County would be an important step in the right direction and the right thing to do.
Andrew Malekoff, Long Beach
Vietnam War wall only for the qualified
Regarding the article "Memorial honors soldiers who died in secret mission" [News, May 16], in no way do I want to diminish the honor and respect that our nation should have for these soldiers, but inclusion on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., is reserved for those military personnel who were lost in direct combat actions and/or during the support of actions against the enemy in Vietnam, on land, in the air, or at sea.
These poor souls were en route to their deployment but not yet in an active combat role. I’m sure that other service members were in transit to their assignments in Vietnam and killed, and rightfully not recognized as combat losses and therefore not listed on the wall.
Timothy S. Dahlen Sr., Speonk
Editor’s note: The writer retired from the U.S. Army as a chief warrant officer and helicopter pilot.