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Letters: Durham blessed to have had Sheriff Mike Andrews’ service

Thank you, Sheriff Andrews

Last Thursday I attended a surprise retirement event for Sheriff Mike Andrews. It was humbling to be but one among the many current and retired law enforcement officers, friends and family of the retiring sheriff. We were all there to honor a man who had served four decades protecting the citizens of Durham, six as the 12th sheriff of Durham County.

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews Durham County

Words are just not adequate to express the respect and appreciation that was evident in the room for Sheriff Andrews. Other current and retired sheriffs from across the state spoke of the respect and admiration they held for Andrews, all of whom had at some point worked with or received assistance from him.

As proclaimed by Gov. Roy Cooper, Andrews received the esteemed induction into the Order of Long Leaf Pine. Many other presentations were also made by other agencies.

This community was indeed blessed to have Mike Andrews’ service as a law enforcement officer for 40 years. His service reached beyond law enforcement in many other ways, all demonstrating his love for the community. I am extremely proud to have Mike Andrews as a friend and fellow law enforcement officer.

I would be remiss not to mention the support of Mike’s family and especially his wife Pam who put her heart and soul into making this event special. It is also of interest to know that Mike’s son is following in his father’s footsteps and is currently serving as a deputy sheriff in Orange County.

Thank you, Sheriff Mike Andrews, for your service. God bless.

Kent Fletcher

The writer is a retired deputy chief of the Durham Police Department.

Defining diversity

The debate about the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ proposal to convert Glenwood Elementary into a magnet school often centers on the Mandarin Dual Language program being an elite program. In fact, in a letter published in Tuesday’s Herald-Sun, NAACP President Anna Richards specifically said the Mandarin magnet school would hurt Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s black students.

According to enrollment data, Glenwood’s enrollment of African-American students is in the middle compared to other schools in the district. However, only Glenwood is subject to the equity argument. And within Glenwood, only the Mandarin program is faulted as the reason for the school not closing achievement gap.

This leads me to wonder if somehow serving the needs of immigrants from Asia or Asian Americans born in the U.S. seeking protection from bullying and discrimination becomes serving an “elite” few. Somehow despite being the smallest of all minority groups (5.2 percent of total U.S. population), Asian Americans are not considered part of the diversity conversation.

It seems everybody’s definition of “diversity” is different and this definition depends on which minority group is in discussion. Asian American are a very diverse group which includes many immigrants that came as refugees, due to family reunification or as high-skill workers. I would like to ask everybody to consider the diversity within the group and not lump everybody within one big group of “elite few.”

Iris Yim

Chapel Hill

Fix laws, don’t feign care

Congressmen David Price and G.K. Butterfield’s statements concerning the arrest of a fugitive illegal immigrant is a great example of their mendaciousness. By pandering to their liberal supporters they are ignoring the fact that, they, as the elected representatives, are the ones who write and approve the laws that were being enforced.

Instead of attacking federal employees for doing the job they were hired to do, why don’t these two do the job that they were elected to do and seek to fix what everybody seems to agree is a broken system? It is within their power to put forward amendments and changes to current immigration laws. Instead they choose to dissemble, feigning care where, by their actions, they have shown none.

The people who are charged with enforcing the laws that Congress has passed should not be blamed if that enforcement somehow seems cruel or misplaced. Instead, blame should be placed on those who formulated and passed those laws. Congressmen Price and Butterfield should be apologizing for their lack of concern and action, not attempting to circumvent the laws they helped establish. Shame on them.

Robert L. Porreca


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