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Honoring State Troopers

Date: 6/1/2009

As most Americans were preparing to reflect upon and honor sacrifices made by our brave veterans during Memorial Day weekend, the Springfield Sunday Republican chose to run a front page article disparaging Massachusetts State Troopers.

The scurrilous article objected to overtime and detail hours earned by State Police. The operative word is EARNED. While families gathered to enjoy the Memorial Day picnics and parades, State Police officers were away from their families working (thereby earning money) to keep our roads safe and free from life-threatening drunk drivers, reckless speeders and rage-induced highway bullies.

Did you realize that most State Troopers had valiantly served their country before serving the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? More than 70 percent of Troopers on the job are veterans or are still serving. Instead of justly honoring these veterans and their dedicated brothers and sisters, the Springfield Sunday Republican callously chose to malign these hard-working protectors at a time when we all should be acknowledging and giving thanks for their sacrifices shame on the Republican for their appalling, unscrupulous timing!

The other financial issue addressed was the comparison between the hourly rate of road details being performed by civilian flaggers and State Troopers. While troopers are working these details, they are using their extensive, on-going training to look for stolen cars, drunk drivers and dangerous criminals. Who do you think would be better able to recognize, confront and apprehend these miscreants the civilian or the well-trained trooper?

I treasure and have always been a very strong advocate of free speech and a free press, two important freedoms that make our country great and were among those defended by our veterans. But, I strongly object to the timing and placement of the article. Run the story, but be sensitive to the valorous State Troopers who will be donning bullet-proof vests to protect us all not just on Memorial Day, but each and every day. To assault them on Sunday with a reproachful article while they were still mourning the loss of one of their own on Friday was unprincipled, contemptible, and frankly, just plain sleazy.

I believe most people join me in thanks and praise for the bravery, dedication and daily sacrifices made by our hard-working Massachusetts State Trooper veterans and their fellow officers.

Christine Williams

East Longmeadow