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Kolender Criticized

July 26, 1987

I found it most disturbing when I read that Police Chief Bill Kolender "reacted angrily" to Superior Court Judge Lester's honest evaluation of the Sagon Penn trial. Lester spoke out with thought and with the purpose to improve conditions in our community. The judge had sat through all the hearings and weighed the evidence, which I don't believe Kolender had done. I would have felt better if Kolender's first reaction would have been to investigate the evidence as stated and looked into his own department's cover-ups.

As a San Diego resident since 1951, I have heard more scary stories about police treatment here in the past few years than I have ever heard before. Not just by the media but firsthand accounts.

Whatever happened to the helpful, respectful, caring policemen? Why do they all act so macho and serious whenever they stop citizens for minor infractions? I saw two police officers giving a couple of senior citizens a jaywalking ticket while the seniors were participating in the City Stride Walk held on Saturday, July 12 (there was no traffic). Years ago they may have smilingly given them a "warning."

Perhaps the investigation of the department should start with the courses the police cadets are taught at the Police Academy. The courses should include training in manners, charisma and diplomacy. It is now obvious that had Sagon Penn been given the respectful treatment that all citizens deserve, none of the ensuing violence would have occurred. We also deserve a police chief who is interested in having the best, most helpful and caring police department in the country.

M.L. KELLEY

San Diego

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