Pubdate: Sun, 02 Sep 2001
Source: Daily Gazette (NY)
Copyright: 2001 The Gazette Newspapers
Author: Vince Riggi


In response to Norman Perazzo's letter of Aug. 21: I also do not always 
agree with Carl Strock, but on the dealings of the Schenectady Police 
Department he is right on the money. Carl did an excellent job covering 
some of the testimony that would have surfaced had former Schenectady 
Patrolman Michael Siler not copped a plea the day his trial began. Mr. 
Perazzo's explanation of the egg-throwing incident and the Glen Sanders 
bachelor party as being innocuous deserves rebuttal. The forced sex acts on 
a female substance abuser in exchange for crack cocaine borders on rape and 
clearly shows an abuse of power, as does the bachelor party bus laden with 
police officers throwing eggs at cars. These are illegal acts perpetrated 
by people who are sworn to uphold the law.

The writer explained Strock's observation of police officers gathered on 
the courthouse steps with their arms folded across their chests in a 
menacing manner as simply being a show of unity. Since when does a show of 
unity include harassing an innocent man wearing an FBI hat or intimidating 
a young female newspaper reporter?

To excuse the trading of drugs for information leading to "bigger" busts as 
over-zealous corner-cutting and poor judgment for the sake of expedience, 
is convoluted at best. Condoning these actions perpetrates police officers 
creating their own crime wave for personal gain, i.e. overtime pay, 
decorations, promotions, sexual favors, etc. In this respect the end never 
justifies the means, and in fact creates the subculture that exists in the 
Schenectady Police Department.

I do agree with Strock that there is a rotten culture stigmatizing the 
Schenectady Police Department. We, as a society, cannot condone such a 
culture because the question will always be: Who is policing the police?

VINCE RIGGI Schenectady
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