The Scene’s Jan. 8 editorial (“Memo to Chief Serpas”) advised the new chief that he should “stomp hard” on the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). You accused the leadership of the FOP of being “borderline racist” and in “desperate need of being taken out to the woodshed.”
I am the attorney for our local FOP here in Nashville, which vigorously objects to your horrid mischaracterization of this organization. The FOP has over 120 African American members in the lodge, and it is the only major law enforcement organization that has a non-discriminatory policy.
For many years, promotions were based exclusively on the good ol’ boy system. The FOP successfully litigated a sex- and race-neutral promotional system based on objective factors. This has resulted in a diverse pool of sergeants and lieutenants. Ask the source of your information how many female sergeants there were 10 years ago and how many there are now.
The FOP is a union for its members and is active in state and local politics. This is one way that the FOP strives to improve working conditions and benefits for its members.
Your editorial condemns the current off-duty work policy. The FOP believes that if the city paid police officers what they deserved to risk their lives every day to protect us, then the officers would not need extra jobs. Perhaps your newspaper could campaign for that.
The FOP does not intend to take your newspaper to the woodshed. Instead, one of our members will stop by your office to ask for a contribution to the summer camp run by the FOP to help underprivileged children in our community.
David L. Raybin
As disinclined as I am toward pandering to ignorance, I’ll make an exception in this case. I’m referring to the Scene Web site’s Late Edition article “Top Cop Chop Shop.” Mr. Pulle, you are foolish to believe the information spoon-fed to you by the police department. Everyone in the upper command structure (internal affairs included) has an agenda that fluctuates between noble and sinister.
Your uncharacteristic lack of thoroughness neglects certain facts. At the time of the arrest you mention, I was there with three other officers to serve an arrest warrant. The crack cocaine in question was in plain view and not on the suspect’s person. It’s called the “plain view doctrine,” and you really should read up on it. The DA didn’t press charges because my partner and I nollied them pending a THP investigation of the defendant. As for the quote attributed to me, I think it best that you read the rest of the transcript. The “gray area” was in reference to the decision to seize the narcotics. Failure to do so would be irresponsible. An officer acting in good faith remains the Supreme Court’s standard for accountability.
Regarding the supposed fight, I can assure you that my attachment to parking spaces is overstated. My attachment to physical security is not. I was the victim of an assault by a man taking medication for his “anger management” problem. Apparently, he missed a dose. I don’t expect you to value my safety, but I do expect you to be fair. My resignation had nothing to do with these incidents. Of the many faults you believe I possess, add “greater ambition” to the list.
Since you somehow missed my Jan. 8 letter to the Scene, allow me to reiterate my position. The hiring of Chief Serpas is an issue we both agree upon. I did not support Assistant Chief Deb Faulkner. Mr. Pulle, you do not know me well enough to cast aspersions on my character. I’m no “choir boy,” but, then again, all decisions are based on insufficient data.
Macey E. Agee
Regarding the Jan. 8 “Memo to Chief Serpas,” we can now thank the Scene for giving the city’s new chief a one-sided opinion of what he’s about to lead. With the exception of the part about Deborah Faulkner going to Siberia, the rest of your editorial was a mere attempt to trash the Nashville Police Department. Then again, who could blame Faulkner if she did hightail it to Siberia?
While handling the acting chief role for nine months, Faulkner did an outstanding job and should be applauded. Basically, she was on trial for a promotion to chief while having limited authority to make the actual decisions of a chief, and was meanwhile having those actions scrutinized under a microscope.
Faulkner was a political pawn for Mayor Bill Purcell. In the end, he chose to go outside of Nashville, explaining that the final three candidates were the choice of a “panel.” Purcell now looks like a hero with a new chief who’ll save the city. Unfortunately for Faulkner, being “acting” chief only gets you so far when it comes to political micromanaging.
Now Chief Serpas comes to town, inheriting what the Scene paints as a group of self-serving, buddy-system police officers. Perhaps his goals and desire to crack down on traffic violations will work well while murderers, druggies and domestic violators skirt around town looking for their next hit.
Good job, Faulkner and Metro PD. As for the Scene, thanks for once again sharing half a story with us readers. Next time I want to read gibberish, I’ll pick up the National Enquirer.
Radio stations Mix 92.9-FM and Oldies 96.3-FM and Nashville Lifestyles magazine should have been listed in our Jan. 1 Annual Manual. We apologize for the omissions.
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