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Letter: Law enforcement should try group supervision for officers

The News has done a good job of reporting to the public both heroic and disgusting behaviors by local law enforcement. I fully agree with the Jan. 6 North Tonawanda writer who wants Deputy Kenneth P. Achtyl fired.

It was also heartening that Judge William Skretny was forthright in condemning the Buffalo officer who physically abused suspects.

That said, there is much more of a positive support we can give our law enforcement professionals. The concept of supervision or “group supervision” prevalent in mental health and nursing should be considered.

“Group Soup” when done well helps reinforce a positive culture and very high standards of the profession. If an officer is frustrated or unsure or evidencing the old “power trip” attitude i.e. Achtyl, former Buffalo Police Lt. Gregory Kwiatkowski, their peers and leaders try to help them cope, face the challenging issues and make the necessary attitude adjustment.

It’s more than just protocols. For our men and women confronting life-threatening danger and sometimes gross disrespect from citizens the unfailing message of mutual support from peers and commanders of essentially “this is how we deal with XYZ.”

The objective is to help our law enforcement do their vital work at the highest level and to enjoy and thrive in their careers.

David Casassa


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