From the mail box

I just finished reading your article in today’s SGVT in regard to the “Tow fee controversy.”  It is certainly sad that a “model law-enforcement agency” has been tarnished by the act of one individual and or others who failed to oversee the procedure of collecting tow fees. I would like to refer you to the comment made by John Stites, president of the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association who stated in the article published on Friday, October 17th:  “The higher-ups in the department bear responsibility for the missing money” He goes on to say: “We’re not money men, Oftentimes they put us in positions we are not trained to handle and it ends up going bad.  I’ve seen it happen more than once.” 
Of course this does not mean that someone is not responsible for his or her own lack of honesty, nor does it mean that all the blame should be given to the current higher-up’s.  If my information is correct, and perhaps you would be interested in looking for the facts regarding the policy of where and how money was collected for city tow fees that was instigated years ago during Sherman Block’s term as Sheriff of L. A. County.   It was and is a poorly thought out policy. 
Now, for the main reason I am taking the time to write to you personally.  As I continued to read your article, I was disappointed in you and your comments regarding the “Joe Six-Packs” of the world and the “greasy paws of a tow monkey.”  I don’t think you considered that everyone who gets their vehicle towed does not fall into the category that you so cutely labeled “Joe Six-Packs” .  People get their vehicles towed for many reasons,  Often, it may be because their vehicle was stolen, recovered and impounded.  They are innocent victims of a crime committed against them. I won’t take the time to go into the other various reasons that vehicles are towed, stored or impounded, but I assure you that most of the time it is not for drunken driving as you insinuated.  As for the comment:  “No doubt it would be a helluva lot easier than putting the cash in the hands of a greasy paws of a tow monkey” …..What where you thinking? 
First of all, money collected by towing companies are generally collected at a office counter staffed by reputable employees. Secondly, for you to demean the men and women who perform a service for individuals, the community and the police agencies shows me that you are not in touch with reality.  Have you ever noticed a tow truck on the freeway assisting in the removal of a disabled or wrecked vehicle. Would you not agree that the driver is putting him or herself in danger?  If you should ever have the misfortune to be stranded in your vehicle, would you consider the person who is coming to your aid a….”greasy tow monkey?”
I don’t know anything about you, other than the fact that according to your column you have the title of Metro Editor.  Therefore, even though I might disagree with your published comments, I would never put a derogatory label on you.  I suggest that in the future you might want to refrain from labeling people with inflammatory character references.
Andria Welch

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