I applaud The Inquirer's recent series "Too tough? Tactics in suburban policing," about overzealous law enforcement in our suburban communities (Dec. 16-18).

While police officers and law enforcement officials have difficult jobs to do in the very trying times in which we live, I am finding that far too often, there is a "cowboy" element in the law enforcement community. It is an element that feels they can do just about anything they want under the cover of a badge.

Their actions are frequently backed by politically appointed judges. This issue is very evident in eastern Delaware County. The series' focus on Darby is just the tip. Long-term Republican Party rule has essentially provided an environment where anything goes. Contracting out the Delaware County Prison to an outside provider adds an additional layer of concern.

While I strongly support the newspaper's findings that incidents occur particularly in the minority community, I think it is a problem that goes beyond one group. Until officials are held accountable, and juries and judges punish improper conduct, the problem is only going to get worse.

Dennis Martin


Neither sport nor real men

The Inquirer's Dec. 5 report on the horrendous stealth, canned slaughter of captive pigeons by the Pike Township Sportsmen's Club does not represent either sport or real men ("Critics still take aim at Pa. pigeon shoots"). Shooting pigeons released from cages at 30 yards might bring a smirk to the "Great White Hunter" Dick Cheney, but revulsion to authentic outdoorsmen.

Gene Muccolini
Eastampton Township