Featured Letter: Ben Heins showed guts speaking out on police

Real guts

To the Editor:

After reading the front page story in last week’s Reporter about the grievances against police, I just had to write another letter. But I do want to say first that I think it takes a lot of guts to say what Ben Heins said in front of the Town Board. It takes more guts to say what he said than to be a police officer in this town.

I’ve had a number of problems with the police on this Island, especially the one Ben claims is harassing him.

Like Ben, I’m a professional driver, so keeping my license as clean as a whistle is very important to me. Not lately, but the officer in question has followed me around numerous times for no apparent reason. I’ve been coming here one way or another since the year I was born so I know the roads like the back of my hand. My personal car is also aerodynamically built to resist wind shear so if I choose to give this officer a run for his money, odds are I’m going to win. The reasons I wouldn’t do so are pretty simple: I don’t want to put his life, my life, someone else’s life, someone else’s pet’s life or any wildlife in danger.

Being a police officer in any capacity, especially in any of the smaller towns on the East End, should be an honor. We all know that police officers have problems just like anybody else but that doesn’t give them the right to antagonize the public at will. I’m glad there’s at least one other person out there who feels at least somewhat the way I do about the authorities around here. I guess sometimes one must go down to Town Hall and rattle some cages to get a simple point across.

LOUIS EVANGELISTA
Shelter Island

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