Inadequate representation

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has attacked recent allegations of police brutality from the wrong direction by appointing replacements for two-thirds of the nine-member Chicago Police Board.

Daley painstakingly handpicked replacements for six board members to maintain a racial balance of four whites, four blacks and one Hispanic. The majority of the appointees have law degrees, which enhances their background in law enforcement, but unfortunately, degrees are not enough.

Although the concept of a regulatory police board is good, board members are not the ones out on the street enforcing the law. As fluent as the board appointees might be in law enforcement, they are not as aware as police officers of the true feeling on the streets.

Why aren’t there any police on the board? Even a single representative from the police force would add the much-needed voice of the street cop to the otherwise white-collar council.

Daley’s attention to and criticism of the police board seem to be a diversion from the allegations of police brutality. As he announced his nominees to the board, Daley said, “The buck stops at the police board.”

Well, Mayor Daley, you are wrong. The buck stops in the streets with the police officers and the citizens. So perhaps more of those contingents should be represented on the police board.