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De Sousa apology in order

Darryl De Sousa, a 30-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, takes questions at City Hall after replacing Kevin Davis as police commissioner.
Darryl De Sousa, a 30-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, takes questions at City Hall after replacing Kevin Davis as police commissioner. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

I read Wesley Wise's letter with great interest and agree wholeheartedly with him ("Retired cop: De Sousa owes police an apology," April 20). I also retired from the Baltimore City Police Department, and my service time overlapped Major Wise's — I served from 1962 until 1995. I was a member when the International Association of Chiefs of Police conducted the study that exposed our department then as being backward and also corrupt. I was a member when Donald D. Pomerleau became our commissioner and proceeded to "professionalize" that then-arcane agency. I was there when our department went from the dregs of agencies to one which was a model for other agencies aspiring to improve. I worked the riots of 1968. Sadly, I was also there as a witness to a decline in the agency and saw many of Commissioner Pomerleau's policies abandoned, reversed or modified to ineffectiveness.

I was not a close friend of Major Wise. However I knew of him through his departmental reputation as being a professional representative of the agency and a man of loyalty and integrity. He is absolutely correct. Commissioner Darryl De Sousa has no business apologizing for Major Wise, me, or any of the other officers of that once-great agency. I was born and raised in East Baltimore, the old Tenth Ward, which produced quite a few of Baltimore's Finest. I was proud when I came home to command the Eastern District which included the neighborhood in which I was born and raised. I resent anyone who has the arrogance to apologize to anyone for the manner in which I honored my oath as a law enforcement officer.

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The commissioner owes an apology to the Baltimore City Police Department and all of its officers. He has discredited 200 years of policing, a disgrace.

Robert L. DiStefano, Abingdon

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