LETTER: An alderman’s role

Colin Ross’s recent column (“Candidates neglect policing,” Oct. 26) was frustrating to read. Ross’s portrayal of Vinay Nayak’s view that “the mayor and police chief should be the only ones directing how cops fight crime” is misstated. The Board of Aldermen should always have a clear voice in advocating for policing reform, which involves cops who we can trust and not fear. Both candidates have expressed a desire to oversee more of the process, but in the meantime, we should be looking at what we can do now to make improvements. Adjustments like restructuring feedback to the Civilian Review Board, which currently only accepts complaints when filed at the police department, would lead to immediate improvements. The only way that we will see improvements in the long run is to give the Board real power to investigate the actions of our police force through Charter revision.

Saying that policing policy should be set by police is not the same as a “self-imposed cone of silence.” We must renew engagement between the Police Department and the Board of Aldermen in order to guarantee that reforms are successful, not divide them as Ross has suggested.

Nia Holston

Oct. 26

The writer is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College and a staffer on the campaign of Vinay Nayak ’14.

Comments

  • ColinRoss

    If this letter is intended as a message from Vinay Nayak that he is stepping back from the police non-intervention policy that he made clear he supported at Monday’s debate, it is welcome.