Readers Write: (Dec. 27): Minneapolis police, Target credit card breach, college decisions

  • Updated: December 26, 2013 - 6:54 PM

Union chief should know that the quality of MPD’s internal investigators is not the point.


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External review’s value is public confidence

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau’s commitment to establish outside review of critical incidents is a wise decision and a best practice.

While I was serving as deputy to former Chief Robert Olson, we established such a relationship with then-Hennepin County Sheriff Pat McGowan. It was resisted then, as it is now, by the union. It took some time to establish trust with the process among officers.

This was no small imposition on the sheriff, and his department is to be commended for taking on a big task in the public interest in the face of opposition. Though I had since retired, I found it very disappointing that subsequent Chief Bill McManus quickly abandoned external professional review.

I read Police Federation President John Delmonico’s Dec. 26 commentary (“Why Minneapolis police union opposes outside investigation”) that this practice was unnecessary because the MPD has the best investigators. I agree that they are some of the very best and often most experienced. I believe Delmonico knows that is not the point. Fair or not, strictly internal review will never be seen as completely objective and unbiased. Harteau, like Olson, needs the public trust to fulfill the mission and potential of the MPD. This will help.

GREG HESTNESS, Minneapolis


The writer is a former Minneapolis deputy police chief and current chief of the University of Minnesota campus police.



Industry tardy in paying up for microchips

The obvious reason why U.S. credit cards rely on outdated magnetic strip technology is noted in the Dec. 23 article “U.S. cards are easy prey for hackers” but still it is indefensible. U.S. banks and other card issuers have put off implementing the more secure microchip technology because of the costs they will incur when it comes time to reissue millions of cards.

Interesting to read this article while relaxing at my fiancée’s home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She commented that her various credit cards all were reissued with microchips two years ago. The article reports that U.S. credit card holders can expect their cards to contain the microchip technology in two years, meaning Canadian card issuers and retailers were four years ahead of their U.S. counterparts in biting the cost bullet and doing the right thing.


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Our greatest gifts come with our skills to make innovations happen. Unfortunately, the ugly side of human nature has led to methods of counterfeiting, stealing and fraud. I envision a new payment method in the future that requires only a conveyor belt and two scanners — one for merchandise and the other for our retina. The Target situation will only lead us to reconsider how we make transactions in today’s world.


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