On behalf of the National Association of Police Organizations, which represents 250,000 sworn law enforcement officers nationwide, I'd like to respond to "For New Officers, Police Corps Pays" [Metro, Nov. 22]. My organization opposes the Police Corps program because it does not solve the problem of recruiting qualified officers and creates other problems within the profession.

The Police Corp pays for new officers recruited under the program, but not for new recruits who chose the traditional route or for active officers who desire a college education. The program creates special benefits for only a few officers, creating a decline in morale. Further, the Police Corps program has not helped recruit qualified law enforcement officers -- its supposed goal.

The expenditure for each candidate is high -- an estimated $71,000 -- and the candidate is committed to only four years of service.

The National Association of Police Organizations has been fighting for more equitable provisions to recruit and retain law enforcement officers, such as scholarship programs that benefit active officers. We also assert that the most effective way to recruit qualified candidates to serve as law enforcement officers is to offer competitive financial packages and a healthy working environment.

Spending an undue amount of funds on officers who are required to spend just four years in law enforcement, while denying scholarship funds to those who already have committed themselves to a career in law enforcement, makes no sense.


Executive Director

National Association of Police Organizations