Letter: State Patrol needs the best qualified

Published 11:18 pm Monday, February 3, 2020

This is a copy of the email I sent to the State Patrol sargeant.

Hello Trooper Christianson!

I read and enjoy your columns, “Ask The Trooper,” which appear in the Albert Lea Tribune. I find them to be interesting and informative. I do have some serious questions, though.

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I have seen in recent columns that the State Patrol has a program for minorities and women in which their schooling and trooper training is paid for by the State Patrol (the taxpayers). It also appears there is preferential treatment given in hiring as demonstrated by State Patrol job fairs, which are specifically designated for minorities or women.

Why is this done? Do minorities and women offer some special skills that make them better officers? They are not homogeneous groups, so there can really be no general assumptions about them. It seems really unfair to discriminate against white men.

Doesn’t the State Patrol have an obligation to hire the best qualified persons, regardless of race or sex? Lesser-qualified personnel are surely more of a liability risk. And, a larger percentage of these officers will not stay with the State Patrol until retirement. This creates a much bigger financial obligation to taxpayers. More importantly, these people carry guns, and may need to make life or death decisions in split seconds. The safety of the officers and the public may be lessened by your hiring practices. It seems imperative that only the very best candidates be hired.

I know the State Patrol hiring practices may fit political correctness guidelines, but these are law enforcement officers, not participants in a soda pop commercial. You owe it to the citizens of our state to hire the best-qualified persons.

Marlin Johnson

Albert Lea