In response to your editorial comments “Behavior of police officer is outrageous” in the July 19 edition of the Roundup, I couldn’t agree more with your opinion regarding the officer’s conduct and subsequent discipline. You also commented that the “department’s reaction seems timid and half hearted.” At first blush, I also agreed with your opinion.
In your Aug. 12 edition, under clarification on the second page below the fold and in small font, you printed Chief Engler’s explanation to your objections of his disciplinary reaction to the incident surrounding the officer. It sounds like the chief did his homework prior to the disciplinary decision. If the Gila County attorney’s office declined to pursue criminal prosecution and Arizona POST declined to decertify the officer based on the report, what was Engler to do? If he had terminated the officer, I’m sure we would now be embroiled in a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination based on the county attorney’s and Arizona POST’s opinion which Chief Engler wisely sought prior to disciplinary action.
Placing his response under clarification on the second page just above the local ads in small font does not seem equitable considering it made your main editorial on July 19. It should have been commented on by you in a new editorial explaining the reasons for the chief’s actions.
Still not too late to correct. I will be watching the editorial page closely.
Editor’s note: The clarification of Payson Police Chief Engler in no way changes our editorial opinion.