In response to the recent editorial about college requirement to be a Buffalo police officer:
As a 28-year veteran Buffalo police officer, I must disagree with this position. A good high school or GED diploma is more than enough.
If recruits go into the CPA training academy with only a sixth-grade reading comprehension, it is the fault of the Buffalo school system, not the short-changed student. And the student should not be bypassed and denied a chance to be a police officer.
Traditionally, getting on the police department or the fire department was the only way out of poverty for many minority and otherwise poor young people. Buffalo has a large, diverse population -- minorities, the poor, refugees and many other groups. We are fortunate that many of our officers were recruited from these groups. Growing up and living in less-than-favorable conditions give officers an insight and understanding that can't be taught in college or out of books.
As we are reaching equal hiring for women and minorities, making college a requirement for police officers seems to be another roadblock to hiring minority appointees.
If the city wants to help officers attend college, fine. But don't keep deserving people from a chance to better themselves.
Charles Clement Beuchat Kenmore