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No value in second-guessing

Published July 26. 2014 09:00AM

Dear Editor,

This in response to the letter "Police investigation should be completed" submitted by L. Ernie Foucault that appeared in the Saturday issue of your newspaper, dated July 19.

First, some facts:

The Pennsylvania State Police was founded in May 1905 by Gov. Samuel Pennypacker, and in the early years of the 20th century was nationally recognized as the premier state police agency, so said Teddy Roosevelt.

The Pennsylvania State Police is the largest internationally accredited law enforcement agency in the world. This distinction was awarded by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies on July 31, 1993.

Today's state police employs approximately 4,500 troopers and 1,600 civilian personnel, divided into 16 troops in three areas.

Here are some of the duties and services provided by today's state police:

Patrolling state and federal highways.

Enforcing the Pennsylvania Vehicle and Crimes Codes.

Overseeing the state inspection program.

Collecting and providing data to the National Crime Information Center.

Providing coverage for municipalities without full-time police departments.

Providing coverage for over one-half of 2,565 municipalities and the bulk of rural areas in 67 counties.

Providing services for 27 percent of the approximate 12.5 million residents and 60 percent of the commonwealth's municipalities. This includes 85 percent of the approximate 46,000 square miles within the state, and 66 percent of the states' highways.

Providing forensic services for state and municipal police departments.

Maintaining and operating the states' Criminal History Background Check database.

Conducting in-depth accident investigations.

This is a partial list of what active duty state troopers do on a daily basis.

What active-duty troopers do not do, at any time, is attempt to besmirch the good name and reputation of another police department or its personnel, or belittle the local populace by writing a letter of opinion to the local newspaper. Anyone railing about an investigation or investigations of which they have no firsthand knowledge offers a worthless opinion, devoid of fact, and feckless. Second-guessing has no intrinsic value.

To quote Plato, "An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers." State troopers have much too much class to stoop to that level.

Perhaps Mr. Foucault should contact the nearest state police station. I'm sure they would be more than impressed with his litany of accomplishments and self-absorption. Undoubtedly awe-inspired, they would solicit him, on the spot, to lend his expertise and resolve the matter at hand.

In the meanwhile, the troopers assigned to investigate the tragic traffic accident about which Mr. Foucault opines will continue with their investigation.

Clark A. Ritter

PSP (retired)


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