To the Editor:
The Rhode Island state troopers’ investigation of Cranston’s “Ticketgate” has now reached the laughing stage. How can anyone believe that this is being conducted in a straightforward method? Even if you allow for an extreme investigation of all men in blue, the civilians working for the department, Mayor Fung’s staff, councilpersons, me or you, this report over four months old is beginning to smell like the preverbal “after three days they all smell like fish.”
My councilman, Paul Archetto, raised this very point (not as colorful, I should add) at the last council meeting on Monday, March 25. So did Council President John Lanni, but with some colorful language of his own. In discussing the Policeman Blue Laws, he not only mentioned that they were outdated but called them a “witness protection program.”
Let us all give a cheer for President Lanni. It is about time that a responsible lawmaker came out with the truth! Like so many rules that may have been necessary in the past (in the case for the Blues to protect them from pure political folly), they should be reexamined as it routinely was used to protect wrongdoing by members of the police department.
It is now urgent that the council come forward and spell out to the citizens of Cranston, their elected officials, and indeed all of Rhode Island, what the results of their over four months of investigation have determined. This should include, but not limited to all violations, punishment for same and the recommendation(s) for the command structure for the department and how it must integrate with the mayor’s office and the council, in order that this type of folly does not present itself again.
Any recommendations that they come up with that do not include strong overview for the operation of the police department would only lend itself to the possibility for more subversion of protocol and rules of operation and lack of a strong command structure.
But before any of that “good stuff” can happen, it must be the recommendation of the State Police review that the city of Cranston look elsewhere for a very seasoned, highly recommended, no-nonsense commander for our department. That is the only way Cranston’s police department can begin to have the appearance (for real) of being a highly motivated, strongly commanded, with all rules strictly adhered to and enforced, department for all citizens to be proud of.
This is what the majority of the current staff wants to see happen, for their careers, reputation and their family. I know that all past members of Cranston’s police department strongly support the same. Many are still very active in their communities, with volunteer efforts to support Cranston and all its citizens. These are proud men and women who love their city and do not want any individual members of the police department to sully their long a devoted service to our city. I personally know of two retirees who have volunteered to help senior citizens with their taxes for over 25 years. Now that is commitment that should be recognized and saluted.
Any approval of a new commander must be a combination of the State Police recommendations, the mayor’s office and a solid and strongly vetted examination by the city council. Everybody involved must check their predilection for review and evaluation in the “dust bin of history.”
Let all Cranston citizens get behind all of the very dedicated public servants and support their efforts to turn this tragedy around for all of our well being, after all we are all one.
Written solely for the opening of the widow of intrigue and let the breeze flow mightily through to the destination of truth with remedies.
Since this was written, the State Police came forward with a report that only criticized Capt. Antonucci, the head of the police union, with seven alleged violations. That was the only item put out for the citizens of Cranston to look at.
Wait a minute, is that all? What all citizens want to know is a total review of all activity that night, including who wrote what tickets and at what time of the night? Also, what areas of the city were left without a police presence (like wards 4 and 6) in order to make sure as many tickets as possible were written in Wards 1 and 3? From midnight forward, also were they properly written according to regulations, like time of night, etc.?