Questioning Ryerson

Dear Editor:Some people have recently made the assessment that the city manager overstepped his boundaries when he fired the cop that Tasered the woman who Dumpster-dived an old sweater from behind the thrift shop in the wee hours of the morning. Au contraire – the chief of police is an appointed position (unlike the sheriff, who is voted in and, therefore, better reflects the attitudes of the community). This makes the city manager the chief’s boss and immediate supervisor.When the chief of police refuses to do his job, happily, the city manager can do it for him. This decision was a no-brainer. Good riddance, Calvano – don’t let Aspen’s door hit you in the ass on your way out of town. And if you have the audacity to file a lawsuit against the city and taxpayers of this town, we’ve got heaps more humiliation to dole out where this came from, and justice will see that you don’t get a penny.Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson is, by all accounts, a swell guy – he’s just a lousy chief of police. He dragged his feet over this Taser investigation because he claims he was merely interested in acquiring “more information.” There was plenty of information, and from an independent investigation no less. Anybody who has followed the story knows it was a debatable crime followed by an undebatable use of unnecessary and wildly inappropriate force.Chief Ryerson has a track record of using and manipulating information toward his own agenda, which makes him more of a politician than a cop. He didn’t provide ENOUGH information last autumn when he neglected to inform the sheriff’s department (across the hallway from his office) of his intent to send more than 50 armed officers to raid two local restaurants in the afternoon. This put the public at great risk, and the taxpayer expense for manpower was exorbitant, especially given that the quantity of drugs and money confiscated during the raid was laughable and negligible.The leader of any organization sets the mentality and policy for the troops. Chief Ryerson’s example of fake-friendly machismo and his power tripping of square pegs into round holes isn’t what voters and taxpayers in Aspen want, need or expect in our police officers. The city manager accurately stated in his memo that the officer’s decisions and handling of the matter in the Taser incident wasn’t representative of our community values and what we expect of our police officer employees. Chief Ryerson clearly disagrees.Lawlessness hardly reigns supreme in Aspen – it’s becoming more and more apparent that it’s the cops you gotta watch out for. It’s time for the chief to go where the urban action he so desperately wants already exists. Around here, mostly we need cops to remind car junkies what a pedestrian is before somebody gets killed in a crosswalk. Kudos to City Manager Steve Barwick. Chief Ryerson should resign or be ousted.David FrankAspen


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