Letters to the Editor

05/12 What You’re Saying: Mike Andrews, and Lynn Kohn

Sheriff says thanks

I respect the decision of the voters of Durham County in Tuesday’s election and recognize how blessed I am to have been supported by so many wonderful people throughout the county. My family and I would like to say thank you for the tireless efforts of the men and women of the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, who carry out their duties with professionalism and exceptional dedication, for their support during my time as sheriff.

After serving the people of Durham as their Sheriff for the past seven years and making it my career for the past 39 years, I am not sure what is next for me and my family but I know that there is a plan and am ready for the next challenge.

During my remaining months as Sheriff, I will continue to work towards achieving the remaining goals laid out in next year’s budget, including:

▪ Continued protection of Durham’s most vulnerable citizens by pursuing the creation of a mental health pod for our female detainees so they have a safer and more supportive environment.

▪ Increasing the number of deputies assigned to Domestic Violence and Animal Services in order to meet the increasing demands placed on them

▪ Expanding the School Resource Officers program to those schools the Police Department is withdrawing from, so that law enforcement can establish strong and positive relationships with our youth.

▪ Providing pay incentives for our personnel possessing advanced degrees and skills so we can both recruit the best and the brightest to the Sheriff’s Office, and also provide enhanced compensation to those personnel who acquire and improve desired skills

I, along with the professionals at the Sheriff’s Office, will continue to execute our duties while upholding the standards of honor, duty, and service within this agency.

Mike Andrews

Durham County sheriff

Sending the wrong signal

Much has been made of the fact that should Gina Haspel become head of the CIA, she would be the first female to hold that position. It would be another breakthrough as women come to occupy more positions of power and authority.It is possible to be happy about this development in general while opposing the confirmation of Gina Haspel.

After the 9/11 attacks many of America's most precious values were abandoned including an insistence on the humane treatment of prisoners of war that dates back to our country's founding. In 1775 George Washington ordered that any American soldier who injured a prisoner should be subject to "severe and exemplary punishment ... for by their conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."

We now know thanks to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report On Torture that prisoners were injured – often in gruesome and painful ways – but to date there has been no "severe and exemplary punishment" for those involved,and now Gina Haspel, who willingly participated in not only enhanced interrogations at a black site but also the destruction of evidence, is in line for a promotion.

Should she be confirmed it would signal to our friends that we are not to be trusted and put our soldiers at risk of mistreatment if they are captured. Given the lack of any accounting for or even official acknowledgement of the abuses that followed September 11,is not nice to contemplate what could happened in the event of another attack.

Lynn Kohn


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