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Willie Williams

March 16, 1997

* Is it not true that the crime rate in Los Angeles has gone down in the last five years? Isn't that what we really pay the chief of police to accomplish? Why, then, isn't Chief Willie Williams being welcomed back to a second term representing our fine police force?

CAMILLE BROWNSON

Valley Village

* The Police Commission's decision not to renew Chief Williams' contract would be much more credible if they were an elective body rather than the appointees of a mayor hostile to the chief.

HAROLD N. GIBSON

Compton

To the Los Angeles Police Commission: Now is the time to bring back Daryl Gates.

SUSAN LESLIE SMITH

San Gabriel

* Re "Adios, Chief; Make Way for Latinos," Commentary, March 9:

Frank del Olmo terms himself "presumptuous"--I call him naive. Indeed, as suggested, Chief Williams might have benefited from a course in Spanish. But rather than presupposing symbolism, Del Olmo should consider the time constraints of protecting one of the biggest cities in the world. It's another case of looking for a problem where none exists.

Del Olmo calls for a Latino police chief and maybe even a woman. Would he consider looking for the best person for the job, regardless of race, creed, etc.? Talk about symbolism--what can we assume when he opts for one race and totally ignores any other?

DALE BECK

North Hollywood

* The chief's reputation and management performance have been under fire, the mayor has been accused of some of those attacks, rank-and-file police morale has deteriorated, public safety has been threatened. Yet the chief has done a number of things right and a significant segment of the public applauds them.

There is a lesson to be learned here: Promotion from within the ranks in any organization usually works best (a lesson ignored five years ago when Williams was appointed).

BILL LYNDE

Cypress

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