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Baltimore police union claims that there are too few police officers on the streets. (Emma Patti Harris, Baltimore Sun video)

The report that police officers who have already put in 10-hour shifts are being put on second shifts is disturbing ("Police union: Baltimore at 'tipping point' because of too few cops on the streets," Jan. 4). I wouldn't want to deal with a doctor who's that tired, and I certainly don't want to deal with a fully armed police officer who's that tired. Moreover, it should be obvious that working those kinds of hours precludes maintaining normal relationships with family or friends and thus undermines the humanity of people we want to act humanely with all our citizens. It is wrong and dangerously imprudent.

There is no question the department has complex problems, and I believe Commissioner Kevin Davis is committed to solving them. Clearly the broken relationships between communities and police cannot be repaired when officers are frequently overtired and missing family time. I hope all parties in the union negotiations will think seriously and creatively about how to meet the needs of the individual officers and the city.

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Katharine W. Rylaarsdam

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