To the editor:
I would like to respond to Ed (Beezer) Day’s letter, who by the way, does not live in the city limits of Brownwood. First off, comparing all 252 counties that elect their sheriffs with elected chiefs is like comparing apples to oranges. There are a lot more cities in Texas than counties; only five cities in Texas still elect their police chief. Do you think maybe Brownwood is in the dark ages, so to speak?
I was in law enforcement for 26 years. I have seen both sides of the coin. I have worked for elected sheriffs and when a new sheriff comes in, you hold your breath that you still have a job. I have also seen where you elect a chief, whoever loses has to hope he doesn’t make any mistakes because he could find himself on the new chief’s blacklist. As some officers state, this divides the department.
Let me start by saying I like Mr. Cowin. He has served his country, state and city. For this, he deserves all the accolades that come his way. But Mr. Cowin has to be a politician to keep getting elected.
There were some situations while under his watch that need to be brought up:
1. Officer Robinson went into the police computer system and changed a report so as not to cast himself in a bad light.
2. The Officer Ariaz situation could have been prevented.
3. Officer Brownlee sold drugs and was investigated for tampering with evidence in the evidence lockup.
While it is true that any department can have bad officers, an appointed chief’s failure to respond to any such situation would have cost him his job. Elected chiefs can not be fired. There are more incidents, but this is enough to bring up at this time.
I feel it is time for Brownwood to update their way of selecting a police chief; it is time to hire the most qualified candidate rather than elect a police chief.