Thursday, November 1, 2007

Eric Hamer: Not so fast my friend.

A Mr. Eric Hamer of Ridgeland wrote this letter to the editor in yesterday's Clarion-Ledger:
"Clarion-Ledger' partly to blame for JPD low morale
It is no wonder the Jackson Police Department's morale is low and going lower.
While there are many causes for it, one surely is this newspaper. All year, I have read about Jackson's crime rates climbing with no positive news in sight.
Now, in an article published on Oct. 17 ("Woman decries 911 response"), this paper raps JPD for falling arrest rates. Of course, in the same article, and for the first time all year, this paper slinks in the fact that most major crimes have seen a dramatic decrease from this time last year.
It seems to me that arrests would naturally fall when crime rates fall, but rather than paint this as a positive for the JPD, this paper works its magic and makes it a negative.
How about a piece (or maybe even a series) from you on the hundreds of dedicated officers who lay their lives on the line every day and actually helped to make significant reductions in crime this year? Wait, I must still be dreaming. I better go get another cup of coffee.
All sarcasm aside, as a downtown Jackson business owner, I really would like to see you take the initiative on this one.
Eric Hamer

Ridgeland"
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071031/OPINION02/710310326/1009

Who is Mr. Eric Hamer? Would he be the same Mr. Hamer of the law firm Danks, Miller, Hamer, & Cory that is listed in the yellow pages on S. Lamar Street in downtown Jackson? The yellow pages state: "AKA Ray Eric Atty, Ray Eric, Hamer Eric Atty, Hamer Eric, Danks Dale JR Atty"

Everyone is aware of the professional relationship between Mr. Hamer's firm and Mayor Melton as one of its partners, Dale Danks, has represented Mayor Melton for some time in his ongoing legal problems. It is rather misleading of Mr. Hamer (and as a lawyer he knows this very well) to write such a letter as a concerned citizen while hiding the fact that his firm is one of Melton's hired mouthpieces.

However Mr. Hamer, lets discuss your letter on the merits. It is your firm's client who has ruined the JPD. Morale is low for several reasons. Mr. Melton has allowed the number of police officer to drop to barely 400 officers. He micromanages the police. He has no formal or current law enforcement training. Where are his certifications? How old are they, if they do exist? He criticizes his own cops to the media (If you knew anything about leadership, and as a lawyer it is doubtful you do, you would know that one of the quickest ways to hurt morale is to slam your employees to the public).

Melton appoints severely unqualified people to run the police department. The current chief and newly appointed assistant chief have no experience whatsoever in their jobs. They were not appointed assistant chiefs or chiefs in Jackson or other jurisdictions. While Jackson crime has skyrocketed, the JPD has been their intern program.

Your firm's client runs the JPD, not the chief. Officers continue to leave. It is your firm's client that who tries to protect thugs like Michael Taylor while smearing his victim as adrug user when such has not been proven (I'm sure the DWF officer would have made an arrest for someone on a drug deal gone bad). It is your client who says he will fire veteran officers and replace them with recruits during the current crime epidemic. It is your firm's client who ties up police resources with his stupid pool parties and other so-called youth programs. Under your client's leadership, 20% of JPD are not even qualified with their firearms according to the newspaper. It is your firm's client that tried to overrule the Chief when she actually tried to discipline some officers who beat a suspect that was handcuffed and let them off the hook.

Your firm's client has made a mess of the city budget, depriving JPD of much-needed funds to hire personnel. It is Melton, not the newspaper, who fought releasing crime statistics and has blamed (without showing any proof) the crime statistics on Harvey Johnson, saying his administration lied about them. It is your client who attacked Sheriff McMillin in the media and tried to replace him with one of his lackeys while bringing into JPD people such as disgraced former chief Bracey Coleman who just happens to be the father-in-law of newly appointed Assistant Chief Michael Recio.

So for you to blame the newspaper for the morale in JPD is rather disingenuous to say the least as it is not the newspaper that caused these problems and it is not the newspaper that caused morale at JPD to suffer. It is not the newspaper that has engaged in blatant cronyism at the JPD, ignored promotion rules, allowed the number of cops to drop to dangerous levels, thus encouraging more overworked police officers to leave JPD. It is not the newspaper that created the conditions for police officers where it is clear to them they are going to be micromanaged, treated unfairly, and have no legitimate, fair chance at promotion. Any management guru would tell you that is a great recipe for hurting morale.

No one at The Clarion-Ledger has questioned the dedication of hundred os hard working Jackson police officers. It has reported on its success such as the arrest of the robbers who held up people in the I-55 corridor. However, maybe the reason it is reporting bad news about JPD is that well, there IS bad news about JPD. I realize you wish that all these crime victims who had complaints about JPD would go away but unfortunately, they do have a story to tell as well.

As for the so-called drop in crime, I'll spell it out for you. The crime rate has skyrocketed under Melton's leadership. If you compare it to recent months, it has dropped a little. If you compare it to the beginning of his administration, it is unacceptably high. No one on the street would agree with your conclusions that crime has improved. However, since you live in Ridgeland, that doesn't apply to you. If your house is flooded by 20 feet of water, just because it drops to 18 feet of water doesn't mean it is any better, especially when the flood was caused in large part by one individual whose negligence and incompetence caused the dam to break, resulting in the flood.
Being Melton's mouthpiece is one thing, hiding that fact while acting as a concerned "downtown business owner" is something else.

Welcome to the internet, Mr. Hamer. The days of writing misleading letters to the editor without scrutiny are gone along with pagers, cellphones in a bag, and pinning your girlfriend.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow.... great find. I read that in the paper today, but didn't think to do a little research on who he was.

Probably a little bias in his letter, no?

GODrums said...

What the hell kind of bias would it be if he's not talking about the dang mayor? He's talking about the Jackson PD. I live in Southern California where the PD gets banged on for everything. Let's blame the police for not doing their job when they're doing the best they can. I don't know Jackson's mayor, don't care.

You go after this local attorney, personally attacking his leadership. You should be ashamed of yourselves for that part. He attacked no one personally.

So, attack crazy-ass melton all day long, but lay off the guy.....

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Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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