The Baltimore City Council needs to immediately budget funds for a makeover of the city police force. The thug-like actions of some city cops has cast a pall over the entire police force ("Baltimore police suspend another officer in dog killing," June 19).

Is it any wonder why the residents of Baltimore mistrust the very people who are sworn to protect and serve them? That notion is deeply saddening to me, if only because I know that most members of the police force are diligent cops and good people.

It seems that the gaffes, mistakes and addle-headed decisions of a few officers have taken the department to the breaking point. Any attempts by Commissioner Anthony Batts to create a more positive image of the force always seems to take the police one step forward and then three steps back.

Note to Commissioner Batts and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: The public post-crime media appearances, especially those near the Inner Harbor, are useless. They are simply waste of energy and taxpayers' dollars. And, yes, it is a "kiss up" gesture to the local media.

There are obviously thugs within the ranks, and they need to be dealt with by Mr. Batts. The damage they have done is significant and it will take some time to create a new, more positive image of the department.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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