Letters to the Editor: January 14 – 20, 2021
Failures of Police Leadership At U.S. Capitol Are Alarming
As a retired police lieutenant from the Metropolitan Police Dept. in Washington I am appalled by the breakdown in the leadership of law enforcement.
More heads should roll if a proper investigation is done. The death of Officer Skipnick should be on the heads of police leadership for their lack of planning. The Metropolitan Police Dept. has approximately 3600 sworn officers to protect the entire city. According to the news media, the U.S Capitol police has 2,300 sworn officers to protect “one” building. Where were these 2,300 officers?
Additionally, I think that the Metropolitan Police could have been more proactive before the mob reached the Capitol than waiting to be called to assist at the Capitol. One excuse given by leadership was the lack of investigative intelligence. Not mental which was clearly lacking. Where was the FBI? Since the days of J. Edgar Hoover the FBI has infiltrated every subversive organization from the Mafia to the Hells Angels. Why didn’t they infiltrate the Proud Boys and their fringe organizations. Were they prevented from doing so by AG Barr and the president? I commend those officers who performed their duty admirably despite lack of leadership.
It was a sad day for law enforcement and the country!
via the Internet
Save the Febrey-Lothrop House in Arlington
My family once owned the historic Febrey-Lothrop-Rouse estate in Arlington. Built around 1855 by John E. Febrey, this unique property once served as a hospital for Union soldiers fighting for freedom while also being served by enslaved persons. This property is now set for demolition, but designating it as a Local Historic District could preserve its complex history.
John Febrey and his wife, Mary Frances Ball — yes, like Ballston — nursed wounded and sick soldiers from various New York regiments back to health. John went on to serve as the superintendent for then-Alexandria public school system (now Arlington County) in the early 1890s. John was a respected member of the community and devoted himself to public service.
The Febreys were also slave owners. Records show the estate had at least ten enslaved persons serving the property. We are in an important moment in this country where we must grapple with these truths simultaneously, fairly and with a goal towards reconciliation.
I strongly urge the county to honestly explore the past and expedite its Local Historic District designation to preserve this house as a museum for future generations to learn from its entire history.
Metro Serially Neglects West Falls Church Station
For over 20 years, I have lived near the West Falls Church Metro and have witnessed the lack of general maintenance and the deterioration of the property, the surrounding infrastructure, the streets, and the land which fall under the jurisdiction of WMATA. In addition, many times I have seen people, cab drivers, and the homeless (who live on property) defecate and urinate in public on the grounds. All of this has been reported to you, to WMATA, and to our local elected officials on multiple occasions and to no avail. I have sent requests for you to address these issues via email, calls, letters, social media, and through your web portals set up to address concerns such as these. For the most part, these concerns have been met with zero action and there have been very few acknowledgements of my and the community’s concerns or complaints. These are not minor or frivolous safety and security concerns to the people who live and use your services on a daily basis. One would think that you should and would address these issues without prompting from the public and the community from which you receive funds and which you are supposed to serve.
The biggest safety concerns I have are the over 35 street lights on WMATA property that have fallen down, shorted out, need bulbs replaced or electrical servicing. It is so dark on the streets and property that it is very dangerous to walk or cross the streets legally here. In addition, the crosswalks and signage are in disrepair, missing, run over, and are poorly or not lighted.
Since the West Falls Church Metro opened, the area has grown up and the missing sidewalks, unfinished or narrow sidewalks are woefully inadequate in my opinion. There is new development which WMATA has partnered in here that will increase the traffic and density of the area and it is truly only a matter of time before your inaction on these matters of safety and general maintenance of the West Falls Church Metro Station will be the root of personal injury and harm.
I am asking you to address these concerns immediately and to provide me a response and timetable for fixing these problems. I have enclosed pictures of the deficiencies you need to address ASAP which (where applicable) include the number of the lamp posts, and where the problems are. These pictures were taken this week at dusk and at sunrise.
If you fail to act, I will. The time for this to be addressed has long since passed.
Michael C. Copperthite
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