10/16/2013, 3 p.m.
It is vital that community members trust D.C. police officers. It's inspiring to see that relationships are being reinforced by ...

It is vital that community members trust D.C. police officers. It’s inspiring to see that relationships are being reinforced by the citizens who recognized the Seventh District police officers for their efforts toward crime prevention in the neighborhood.

As a longtime resident of the District, it is my hope that community members who live in all eight wards will be able to honor the officers within their respective police districts. This was certainly apparent in James Wright’s article, “Citizens Group Honors Seventh District Police Officers,” which appeared in the paper’s October 10th edition.

The strength of the community depends upon positive and active associations between those who live there and its institutions such as the police force. Instead of constantly focusing on the negatives, let’s continue to shed light on how our police force is taking steps to build and sustain the trust that former-Mayor Marion Barry forged years ago.

John Carpenter

Washington, D.C.

Programs That Make a Difference!

After reading your article by Joshua Garner, “Laurel Prep Program Provides Second Chances,” October 10, 2013, it got me thinking about the plight of our young black males, especially in the education system. I think the public school system is set up to have black males fail, period!

Unless a male student has a strong parental support system, or possibly a sympathetic, caring mentor, he is destined to fail. From a very young age our young black males are labeled in school and those labels follow them throughout their lives.

While other male students are encouraged to be aggressive and creative, our black males are labeled as being overactive and disruptive. Randall Nelson is fortunate that he was able to find a program that would provide him the opportunity to help him achieve his goals because there are thousands of black males who don’t get that chance.

I hope other programs are started like this one so our young black male students can get a second chance at finishing their education. We need to start thinking about how our black male students are educated from a very early age. There needs to be a concerted effort to recruit black male teachers by the school systems, especially at the pre-K and elementary grade levels.

Hopefully, these teachers will have an understanding that will help our students change the misunderstood energy that’s displayed into a positive and meaningful direction toward which an educational foundation can be built.

I know that teachers can’t do it all when it comes to educating our students; the home, the streets, and other influences all have an impact on how and what our students learn, but I firmly believe that if you put a strong positive black male role model in front of our students at an early age, many good things will follow.

Jeremy Barber

Washington, D.C.