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Supporters of sheriff candidate Patrick Gallivan have made much of his high rank with the State Police. But attaining advanced rank in a police department is largely a matter of fortunate circumstances. If one has the gift of taking exams well -- and it is a gift -- then the circumstances must occur at just the right time. A position must be vacant, a person must be on the current list and then selected by the appointing authority.

I have never thought that achieving a high mark on a promotional exam is as much a personal accomplishment as it is an assist from the Almighty and from a person's gene pool. In short, some people excel at taking exams and some very bright and capable people just cannot seem to do well on them.

On the other hand, making a success of oneself in the business world -- as Rocco Diina has done -- is in all probability the result of hard work, dedication to the challenge and possession of the tenacity to see the task through against tremendous odds and competition. A person who has made a success of a business, where there is real competition for the product, is certainly well qualified to manage a government agency where there is no competition.

Elmer A. Arnet Chief of Police