Rob Karsch is a former U.S. Army sergeant and a former lieutenant with the Bristol Police Department. He wrote an op-ed for the Providence Journal asking his Senators for an explanation for why they chose not to support fundamental reform.
As a Rhode Islander, I am seriously disappointed that Senators Whitehouse and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) voted against this commonsense reform. Having served as a police commander under Mr. Whitehouse during his term as Rhode Island attorney general, I would have expected that he would understand why this fix is long overdue.
As I’m sure Mr. Whitehouse saw while serving as attorney general, it is unreasonable for individuals in an organization to police their own. We all would balk at the idea of the Rhode Island State Police or a local police department determining whether or not to prosecute fellow officers for criminal activity without the accountability of an outside agency. Local police departments have long relied on the State Police in these instances, and the State Police has relied on either the attorney general’s office or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation in similar instances.