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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vernon R. Herron (again)

(Posted 19 Aug 2008)


Thursday last week (14 Aug 2008), I posted a number of questions related to Vernon R. Herron's role as Prince George's County Director of Public Safety and Director of Homeland Security. At the end, I wondered why there has been so little critical or analytical review of his performance.

Yesterday (18 Aug 2008), the Washington Post published "Defusing Crises Never-Ending Job For Safety Chief In Pr. George's," a lengthy, flattering, public interest, biographical piece about Mr. Herron by Avis Thomas-Lester. It is long on warm and fuzzy facts, there are a number of facts listed about negative events during his tenure, but little or no discussion of his role or performance in dealing with or correcting difficult problems.

This piece comes at the end of a month-long period during which:
  • Three individuals were shot and killed by police officers.
  • The police and sheriff's departments conducted a police-state type storm-trooper raid on the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Calvo and slaughtered his dogs
  • Ronnie L. White died under suspicious circumstances in the county jail, which, like the police department, is under Mr. Herron.
Considering these events, and the fact that Mr. Herron's deputy is serving 45 years in prison for shooting and killing a furniture delivery man, I have three questions:
  • I ask again, why has there been no analytical or critical review of Mr. Herron's performance, and
  • What prompted the Post to run a puff piece about Mr. Herron at this time?
  • Does the Post believe that it has acted appropriately to inform and enable the public to judge Mr. Herron's performance and hold him accountable for his stewardship?
I certainly don't feel any safer with Mr. Herron in charge of public safety and homeland security.

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