2009-08-29 / Editorials & Letters

More Letters: 'Watchdog' says tough decision coming up on police chief

Editor:

When I started writing Letters to the Editor in 2004, it was to let people know what I go through and to expose the antics of certain police officers and public officials (aka GOB's - Good Ol' Boys) to keep them from bullying people. So, for that reason, I feel I must share this particular letter with the public. I'm not going to wait a couple of years and then try to tell someone that I got a questionable letter. I'm also not going to be bullied or troubled in private. For the people to feel what I feel they must know what I know and what I go through with some public officials. In this case, GOB police officers.

I received a letter (via email) from the wife of one of the new Kirkersville Kops. However, the letter wasn't supposed to come to me. It was sent to me by MISTAKE and she intended to send it to her husband for editing. The subject line of her letter says, "Proposed letter to Bonnie Mansfield unless you think she is so nuts I should just forget it!"

My initial thought was to just respond to her politely and forget it. However, after further review, I realized she made some pretty harsh assumptions and tried to use my passion for animals to get to me. In a second letter she wrote to me to apologize, she said she was concerned about sending the paragraph (about guns) to "someone who had an unusually morbid fear of guns." In my defense, I don't have a fear of guns. I have a fear of bullies and idiots who have guns! Guns don't fire by themselves. If Mayberry had a "patrol rifle" would you want Andy and Barney both to have access to it (no insult intended to Andy Griffith because I don't think Kirkersville has an "Andy")?

After questioning my sanity, the "proposed letter" started out by saying that she met me years ago on I- 70 when she and I were rescuing two dogs from the freeway. She talks about animals for several sentences and then leads in to the fact that her husband is a Kirkersville police officer and that he brought home a copy of the Beacon. She says she saw my letter to the editor (August 15th Beacon) and "thought maybe (she) could share some knowledge regarding weapons." She does say that her husband didn't point out my letter; that she just likes reading the Beacon. She also notes in the second letter that she "had flown the paragraph about guns by (her) husband to make sure everything (she) was saying about guns was accurate." She also said, "There has never been a case of an officer using a gun like that against unarmed civilians." A "gun like that"….. Interesting choice of words.

She tells me to go to a website about an incident in North Hollywood (a very large suburb of Los Angeles in California) where "police were outgunned" in a bank robbery, to show why Kirkersville (a very small village in Ohio) needs an assault rifle!

I contend that the Kirkersville Police Department is part-time…always has been! If a situation where an assault rifle should arise, I would certainly hope that the Licking County Sheriff's Office would be invited to the party! I would also hope that the Kirkersville Police weren't out running radar on I-70. Some crimes can be deterred by routine police patrols.

I said previously that the pur- chase of an assault rifle would cost $900 - $1000. I may have been wrong. Chief Bossa has said that he was going to trade six guns (that he said aren't worth anything) that were found in the evidence room, for one rifle. However, there are two cruisers. Won't they have to purchase another one? Or will they take the chance of getting into a situation (like in North Hollywood) and have to wait on the officer(s) in the other cruiser to get there? In reality, the cost may be far greater than what I originally wrote because training itself is expensive.

I also got the impression from her letter that some Kirkersville officers were doing some background some research of my own in area newspapers. Including the chief and current Kirkersville Kops, can you guess how many of the below offenses these officers have been accused of? 1. Lying to superiors 2. Lying on job applications 3. Falsification 4. Distributing negative fliers to residents without authorization and on village time because council wouldn't let them buy equipment 5. Assaulting a minor 6. Unlawful restraint 7. Abuse of position 8. Drug and/or alcohol abuse 9. Illegal searches of homes 10. Using a police cruiser to purposely hit and kill an animal crossing the road 11. Making inappropriate calls to sex chat lines while on duty 12. Intimidation 13. Excessive force 14. Aggravated menacing (pointing a SHOTGUN at a cab driver) 15. All of the above

Now accusations certainly aren't convictions, but that is a pretty ugly list. Some of the accusations stemmed from the same incident.

Some may argue that records concerning some of these allegations have been sealed. However, according to information on the Ohio Legal Services' website, "sealed criminal records may (also) be reviewed if you apply for a job in law enforcement, working with children, or working with the elderly.

Village of Kirkersville's elected officials will have a decision to make at the September meeting and I trust that they will make a decision that is truly best for the citizens. I don't see how even one of the GOB's (Good Ole Boys) could justify keeping a chief that would bring police officers to their town without divulging their checkered pasts including his own! Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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