No ‘conspiracy’ to hide police action

I have had the pleasure of serving the Forest Park community for 12-and-a-half years and take pride in telling people that I am a police officer for the village of Forest Park. It is no secret that our police department has been plagued with several problems in recent years, however, under the strong leadership of Chief Jim Ryan, most of those problems are now behind us.

From the chief down to our newest recruits, our officers are professionals moving forward to effectively do what the taxpayers of Forest Park expect, serve this community. I can, with great confidence, assure the readers of this paper there is not a department-wide conspiracy to “shield” our Taser usage.

It is our sworn duty to protect the citizens of Forest Park. If a person makes a choice to live outside the rules of society and victimizes the citizens of this community, it is not only our duty but our pleasure to eagerly use every legal means possible to bring those criminals to justice, often with some disregard for our own safety.

Although our department recognizes and protects the Constitutional rights of every person, there is nothing in the Constitution that provides for the rights of criminals to supersede the rights of the law abiding, decent residents of Forest Park.

Let’s face it, outside of the service oriented roles police officers perform in the community, we still have to confront and arrest the criminals. Unfortunately, the people we arrest do not always comply and often times are violent. If they did, life for the officers would be a lot less dangerous. Criminals don’t have any rules, yet almost every action of a police officer is carefully scrutinized under a legal and ethical microscope. Tools like the Taser have greatly leveled the playing field and increased the officer’s ability to legally, ethically and humanely do their job while being much safer.

The Taser X26 is a less-than-lethal police tool. It is designed to incapacitate a target from a safe distance while minimizing the possibility of causing death or permanent injury. Our officers are trained to deploy the Taser in situations where the alternative would be to use other force measures, which carry similar or higher degrees of risk. As an officer, it is good to know the village of Forest Park and the police department cares enough to equip its officers with the proper tools and training to serve and protect Forest Park as safely and effectively as possible.

Josh Adams, reporter for the Forest Park Review, has repeatedly refused to include the scientific, medical and statistical facts given to him by myself and other members of this department. If any of the law abiding citizens of Forest Park would like to know the truth about the Taser, including when and why the department uses this particular law enforcement tool, I would be happy to talk with them. You can contact me at (708) 366-2425 ext. 6231.

Sgt. Eric Bell, Forest Park Police Dept.
Forest Park

Editor’s note: As reported in the May 16 story, “Police shield use of stun guns,” Chief James Ryan did not respond to multiple interview requests. Sgt. Eric Bell could not be reached for comment due to an injury that prevented him from working.

Pantry a success

On behalf of the Forest Park Food Pantry, I want to express our sincere appreciation to the Forest Park letter carriers for their hard work collecting and delivering food to our facility. Also, thank you to the residents of our great village for your generous donations. Without your help our pantry would not exist.

Beverly Thompson, community center director
Forest Park

Careless driver

I’d like to say thanks to the good citizen who contacted the police to report that my auto parked on Hannah south of Madison had been the object of a hit and run on Thursday evening (5/31/07) between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

And thanks to Paulson’s Paint for making sure the lids were tight on the four gallons of paint I’d just purchased so they didn’t burst when the trunk was scrunched.

Also, special thanks to Officer McClintock, who was very professional and kind when he came to make out the report.

And fie on the mean person driving the vehicle that hit and ran. It was apparently a big blue truck, according to the gentlemen at the body shops who gave me estimates for the repair work. If any company in the area has a blue truck with new damage and white paint on its right front, please ask the driver to ‘fess up.

Shelley Sandow
Forest Park

Wanting it both ways

The Review has spent several months complaining about the village board and the amount of discussion that goes into each item on the agenda. The paper makes it out to be bickering or outright fighting. Now the paper is complaining about a school board that doesn’t bicker and fight. Make up your mind.

Maureen Von De Bur
Carol Stream, Ill.