The Aug. 7 Metro article "Escalating Acrimony for Police in Pr. George's" erroneously characterized the relationship I had as president of the Fraternal Order of Police with David B. Mitchell when he was Prince George's County police chief. It said the relationship "worked well" because Mr. Mitchell "deferred" to me on key issues. I actually said that the chief "conferred" with the FOP.

During my tenure as FOP president, Chief Mitchell's willingness to discuss important matters with the FOP produced harmonious labor relations. Today, the police department is terribly understaffed. Its officers deserve support, respect and recognition, not blame.

Crime and violence are rising in Prince George's, and criticizing those who face that crime and violence daily is not what taxpayers want or deserve.

The FOP board is made up of officers who are on the front lines. They know -- better than most -- what is working and what is not. Chief Melvin C. High and the FOP should work together to resolve issues efficiently and professionally. If they do, they will be more likely to avoid acrimony, accusations and the notoriety that results from dueling news conferences.


Upper Marlboro

The writer is past president of FOP Lodge 89.