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Lysaght And Police Commission Should Work It Out



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Lysaght And Police Commission Should Work It Out

To the Editor:

The arbitrator’s report in the case of the Newtown Police Commission vs Chief James Lysaght was fair and incisive. In a nutshell, it identified the problem as conflicting opinions as to the functions of the chief of police and his responsibilities vis-à-vis the Police Commission. Both parties were criticized for various points of contention between the two and Mr Murphy recommended that they try to re-establish a working relationship to provide the benefits of a fair and efficient police department to the citizens of Newtown.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Police Commission feels that they should micro-manage the chief of police, and there is little doubt that Chief Lysaght resisted their efforts, believing the words of the charter of the Police Commission which vaguely bids them to “develop policy” and nothing about their actively managing the department.

It is now time for both parties to sit down in open session and work out a sensible and mutually acceptable job description for the chief of police which clearly identifies what functions are his responsibility and those which are reserved for the Police Commission. It is also time for the sun to shine on this operation, and for that reason it is important for these negotiations to be done in public, so that any unreasonable demands by either party will be there for citizens and the press to witness.

As a taxpayer, I am upset that so much money has been spent in the commission’s pursuit of the chief’s termination, and if they persist, far more will have to be spent to carry out this mission to completion. Let us not forget that Chief Lysaght has his lifetime career on the line, as his chances for re-employment as a chief of police after being terminated, wrongfully or not, are close to zero. We invited this decent, hardworking man to our town and he delivered on his promise to be more responsive to us citizens, so let’s work it out.


Edward L. Rudisill

230 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA   February 29, 2000

Comments are open. Be civil.

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