I was saddened to read about another negative interaction between Bakersfield police and a community member, Tatyana Hargrove, which apparently occurred due to mistaken identity. I wish Ms. Hargrove and her family the best as they recover from this difficult experience, but I also felt better knowing Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin was addressing the situation with a compassionate and community-focused approach ("'We as an organization are better than this': BPD Chief Lyle Martin apologizes for K-9 attack," July 19).
I especially appreciated candor in noting that mistakes were made and the department is “better than this.” While these types of issues will always occur, I am heartened to see Mr. Martin as the type of police chief who is willing to contact Ms. Hargrove’s family to directly apologize and recognize the “culpability on both sides.” Furthermore, his willingness to consider the possible implementation of a citizen review board, and having an overall vision for a positive, community-focused plan for the police department are just the type of steps necessary to allow the many wonderful BPD officers to build and maintain positive relationships in the community while continuing to do the difficult job they do. Thanks to Mr. Martin for modeling positive leadership qualities and best wishes in his continued role as police chief.
Shahzad Chaudhry, Bakersfield