Letter to the editor: Right leader for police
To the editor:
The Journal-World did a great service to Lawrence by publishing a lengthy interview with the acting police chief on July 15. During a time when so many are using race and accusations of racism to divide Lawrence into different communities based on race, this comment by Capt. Anthony Brixius should be kept in mind: “I am certainly proud of who I am, both as a person of color and a police officer; neither defines me, though. It’s my choices that define me.” Those choices have led to professional success and the self-confidence that now has him leading the Lawrence Police Department at a turbulent time. His life story is that of a talented, motivated and capable man who deserves respect and support from every citizen of Lawrence and especially from the Lawrence City Commission.
I mention the City Commission because it seems from comments made by some members of the commission, especially Mayor Jennifer Ananda, that their hearts are with the people who shouted down Capt. Brixius with screams of “Black lives matter” when he tried to speak to them on Massachusetts Street. Anti-law enforcement biases or fascination with anti-racism training industry gurus like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi should not be allowed to shape commission decisions about policing in Lawrence. I say to the commission, let experienced, dedicated experts like Capt. Brixius be your primary guides as you work to ensure that Lawrence has the police force it deserves in terms of training, effectiveness, morale and public respect.
Gary J. Bjorge,