REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Troopers need to police their own

The Ohio State Highway Patrol ordered two troopers to undergo "diversity counseling" after one of the officers donned a ma
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

The Ohio State Highway Patrol ordered two troopers to undergo "diversity counseling" after one of the officers donned a make-shift Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, and the other snapped cell phone photos and shared the joke while on duty, Jan. 19.

The troopers were initially fired and then re-assigned after union arbitration hearings were conducted.

The diversity training is a good option for minor transgressions, but it's unlikely these adult men can benefit from that training at this point in their lives.

Tolerance is not something easily learned if they don't know by now that mocking a hate group and using obscene language to describe members of a minority community is unacceptable. The local NAACP has called for the resignations of troopers Eric Wlodarsky and Craig Franklin, and we echo that call.

The union fulfilled its function by returning the KKK troopers to their jobs, but that does not mean the law enforcement professionals they work with should simply accept them back with open arms.

Diversity training is an everyday duty of police officers. Officers face strong stereotypes in their workplace, which makes it all the more important they possess a proper perspective of minorities.

The KKK prank shows these two officers do not possess that proper perspective, and that handicaps each of them tremendously.

The lack of sensitivity, at best, all but renders these officers unfit for duty. We hope their colleagues should not hesitate to make this apparent, just as the local branch of the NAACP.

The patrol was right in initially firing these officers, and the union was right in protecting its members.

But now is the time for other law enforcement professionals to make it clear: Stupidity is unacceptable among the ranks.