First, let me thank you for continuing to publish the Southside Pride. For more than 30 years, you have provided a consistent forum for local news, strong advocacy and a place where local businesses can advertise.
When I became police chief at the airport in 1985, Tony Bouza was the police chief in Minneapolis. His willingness to tackle tough issues impacting policing in Minneapolis was inspirational. His command of the language and his wit allowed him to communicate with a wide range of constituents. I admired and respected the police chief who would bring donuts to his wife Erica at protests outside Honeywell’s headquarters. I also was proud of his willingness to stand up to the police union in the interest of providing better police services and wiser expenditures of the MPD budget.
I was, however, disappointed in his piece “The MPD Budget” published in the October Southside Pride. His choice of words seemed designed to tear down the current police chief at every opportunity and build himself up for how he operated when he was police chief. Instead of being thoughtful in his criticism and offering constructive changes, he relied on charged words to inflame the reader. That style of writing is, unfortunately, in no short supply either locally or nationally.
I am reminded of an early essay I wrote as a freshman in high school. The piece was filled with criticism and cheap shots at the school’s administration. My professor suggested I had taken the easy way out by using harsh and colorful words but failing to reflect on and offer constructive changes.