Letters to the Editor - June 9

June 09, 2013

Columnist should have checked his facts

To the editor:

I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to Lloyd Waters’ column, “Leap tall buildings? Become a CO” (June 2, 2013). To do so, I must state I’m not speaking for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and that this is my personal opinion.  

It appears Mr. Waters received secondhand information from a correctional officer recruit who was either mentally or physically unable to complete the current Correctional Training Academy. Before jumping to conclusions and making statements such as “at some facilities, the existing training curriculum and physical agility requirements have resulted in staff injuries. When staff members suffer injuries in a training program, it represents a poorly designed and supervised program,” I would encourage him to educate himself with current correctional training policies.

Mr. Waters should keep in mind that this is not the 1990s when he was an administrator. This is 2013. The times have changed, as have the inmates.  As for staff injuries, all public safety academies might incur injuries, which are a byproduct of the training required to prepare recruits to do a dangerous job.

The current curriculum for the correctional academy has been completely expanded and revised to reflect current job tasks and skills needed to do the complex job of a correctional officer. This new academy was implemented July 1, 2012. 

Before that date, the Maryland Correctional Academy had no physical requirements or physical training. During the revision process, this was identified as an area of training that needed to be improved. The current physical training conducted within the academy is modeling many of the functions required of a correctional officer in the line of duty. 

In the future, I suggest Mr. Waters get up-to-date information on correctional training topics and not rely on hearsay. Personally, I am very proud of the enhanced training and leadership now offered in the academy.

Terry L. Hart Jr.

Are Marylanders putting the right people in power?

To the editor:

Under federal law, “qualified law enforcement officers” are legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states.

 As a Pennsylvania state constable, I sent two emails to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office seeking clarification of whether Maryland would classify Pennsylvania state constables as “qualified law enforcement officers” as New York has already done. I was told my question had been referred to lead counsel of the Maryland State Police.

After four months of silence from MSP, I contacted lead counsel for them directly and was told very plainly and within an hour that they would not answer questions about whether or not my activity would be legal. The exact wording was, “Under the longstanding policy of the Attorney General’s Office, we do not provide formal opinions in response to the hundreds of inquiries that we regularly receive from lawyers and private citizens.”

Neither the Attorney General’s Office, whose job it is to prosecute crimes, nor the Maryland State Police, whose job it is to enforce laws, will tell me whether or not I can legally carry a lethal object on my person in a public place.

When the people you put into power cannot answer such a very basic question with such potential impact on your life, you might want to ask yourself if you’ve been putting the right people in power. If you break the laws that they refuse to explain to you, it’s not them who are going to jail, it’s you — the nobody, not-worth-my-time private citizen.

Joshua Howell
Antrim Township

The United States remains a Christian nation

To the editor:

Recently, I observed the president of the United States addressing a group of people, and he made the statement that we are not a Christian nation. I have no idea where he obtained this information. History points out that we began as a Christian nation. Our currency says, “In God We Trust.” In the past, for many years, we placed our left hand on the Bible and raised our right hand when sworn in at court hearings.

When I enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 16, I was issued a pocket-sized New Testament. We were instructed to enter only our name and serial number inside. It also pictured the United States flag, and on the right side is a message from the president dated Jan. 25, 1941. The message was addressed to the Armed Forces and read, “As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.” It is signed, “Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

I still possess that Bible with my name and serial number in it. This was a true leader, and I suggest that all of our present military leaders and the president heed his words. We were then, and still are, a Christian nation, and will remain a Christian nation, although they are betraying us. I once met a U.S. Army chaplain who told me he never meet an atheist on the battlefield.

Ned Renner

Criminals are running this country

To the editor:

The lifers group at a local prison had a letter to the editor in Sunday’s paper (June 2) about a walk-a-thon for the American Cancer Society. It’s too bad their victims can’t do a walk-a-thon. God’s law said they should die after they killed their victim. If they raise any money, it should go to the ones left behind when the victims die.

Someone wrote in the paper a while back about prison environments. They are like retirement retreats. The inmates get better treatment than they gave their victims. The Bible says when you kill a man with no just cause, by man’s hands you will be killed. If you rob a man, you will pay back double what you stole, and then you will be punished, too.

Now, they want to take our guns away, so we will be at the mercy of the criminals who will have a gun. It seems to me the criminals are running our country. God help us.

Sherman R. Jones

Social, service clubs need members to support missions

To the editor:

The Lead4Life Inc. Mentoring Program is a nonprofit oranization that matches at-risk youth with volunteers from the community. Every April, the program honors its volunteers with a banquet, at which the Mentor of the Year Award is presented. For the past two years, the Fraternal Order of Eagles hosted this banquet, allowing precious funds to go toward the mentors themselves.

It is clubs’, service organizations’ and churches’ in-kind donations such as these that allow nonprofits to fulfill their mission statements. As the program manager, it is important for me to honor those individuals who give so much of their time and love to our children. If it weren’t for the Eagles Club donating the banquet space, it most likely would not happen.

Social and service clubs need members to continue with their missions. These clubs need new life and new blood, as a majority of the members are older. I encourage 30- and 40-somethings to research organizations like the Eagles and join so that future generations may benefit.

Angela St. Clair

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