I read in last week’s Wednesday Journal that, in the Citizen Police Oversight Committee’s semiannual report, Chair Donovan Pepper stated, “In the last six months, there were a total of nine instances where officers did not switch on audio recorders” and “That the problem persisted across two consecutive CPOC reports was not lost on Trustee Chibuike Enyia.” [Police oversight group’s power expands slowly, News, March 1]

In the Journal’s Our Views editorial [Viewpoints, March 1] titled, “Things we like,” the editors state, “CPOC raised concerns, again, about officers too frequently failing to turn on the limited recording devices the police department currently provides.”

Unfortunately, the statements by CPOC, and especially Wednesday Journal, lack context and may be just advocacy rather than fact-finding and reporting. Over a period of six months, were these nine out of 10 instances when officers failed to turn on their audio recorders? Maybe nine out of 100? Maybe nine out of 1,000? Without knowing how many instances were involved, it is impossible for anyone to know if this is a “too frequent” problem or just occasional human errors. Is it the same officer nine times, or nine different officers who made one mistake in six months?

Perhaps in the future Wednesday Journal and its reporters could provide its readers with all the facts and trust its readers to be able to make their own informed decisions.

Perhaps even CPOC could do the same.

Alan Krause
Oak Park resident for 72 years

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