D.C. Taxicab Commission spokesman David Watson gave us a hint at what is to be expected by the new commission when he was quoted in the front-page article {Oct. 7} on the police crackdown on stolen inspection stickers.

His comment was that "we feel" that dealing with the problem of stolen stickers "could have been better handled in a different manner. We are trying to strengthen communications . . . and those arrests could set us back."

How sad. With great fanfare the D.C. government announced the improvement of the taxi commission -- only to hear it will not be tough on stolen inspection stickers. What would Mr. Watson do, "communicate" with these thieves and beg for them to return them?

Those arrested were arrested for trafficking in stolen property. This stolen property circumvented methods to protect taxi riders from traveling in unsafe vehicles.

What Mr. Watson should have said is: "We applaud the action of the D.C. police and will be working with them more to ensure the safety of the traveling public and the integrity of the taxi regulations in the District."

I have met some fine taxi drivers in the District, and I hope they are the rule as opposed to the exception. Nevertheless it is clear that there are many drivers who do not know the District and drivers who routinely are trying to beat riders out of money by lying about vehicles.

I personally avoid D.C. cabs as often as possible because it is clear the taxi commission wants to "communicate." It does not want to enforce and protect the riding public.

JEFFREY A. FINKLE Falls Church