Ironic that the very day that Dan Rodricks attacks Pat McDonough for his candid and truthful assessment of gang crime downtown ("Conflicting realities collide downtown," May 24), The Sun buries on page 4 the attack by 20-30 "unruly" teens at the 7-Eleven at Light and Pratt streets — the heart of the Inner Harbor in the middle of a workday!

Say what you want, Mr. Rodricks, but facts are facts, and Baltimore is not typical of other cities. You want to feel secure walking around town? Visit New York, a city where the police are numerous, recognizable in uniform and patrol on foot as well as in cars. New York, unlike Baltimore, has no tolerance for roving gangs or panhandlers. We need more visible police presence and enforcement of the rule of civility.

The city can find the money for additional police by eliminating unnecessary extravagances such as the fleet of marked cars for the Sheriff's Department.

Leslie J. Polt