Letters: On underage drinking, Roe v. Wade, and Detroit Police
Remain vigilant against underage drinking
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported underage drinking among high school students has dropped to a new historic low, declining 41 percent since the survey began in 1991. Additionally, the percent of teens who reported driving when they had been drinking or riding with a driver who had been drinking also continues to decline.
While these are very positive trends, parents must remain vigilant against underage drinking, especially during the summer. Research shows that most youth who drink obtain alcohol from their home or from other adults. Be aware of your teen’s activity both inside and outside of the home and make clear that you disapprove of underage drinking.
Importantly, strive to maintain an open dialogue with your son or daughter. While parents often think their teens are not listening to them, research also shows parents have the greatest influence over their decision regarding alcohol consumption.
Sam Zakhari, senior vice president of science, Distilled Spirits Council
Roe v. Wade not 'settled law'
Sen. Susan Collins' objection to any Supreme Court nominee who opposes Roe v. Wade is simplistic and historically ignorant. Using her argument of opposing those who oppose “settled law,” one can logically then assume she would have supported those who opposed overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and “separate but equal” since Plessy was “settled law.”
Her lack of logic in her opposition to certain judges only emphasizes her political grandstanding without solid foundational evidence.
Restore benefits, pay Detroit police officers more
The head of the Detroit Police Union recently said the city is losing police officers. Lower wages and reduced benefits are critical reasons why we are losing officers to suburban and institutional policing agencies like hospitals and other institutions.
This is a critical issue as the city continues on its current renaissance. Add to this the fact that fewer young people are pursuing careers in law enforcement and many suburban departments are also in demand for officers as they experience retirements.
Critical benefits are a way to show these officers they are valued. I would propose adding a perk of providing housing credits as an incentive to encourage not only police, but firefighters and EMTs to live in the city. We have so much housing development going on in the city at this time. If we could find money via grants or even in partnership with developers and banks to offer some housing credits to reduce rents or mortgage payments to these hardworking police officers, firefighters and EMTs, we could keep our city safe and well.
Finally, I would encourage more ROTC-like programs in city high schools that would expose young people to careers in law enforcement, firefighting and becoming EMTs. That is a way to groom and attract new talent.
Arthur Bridgeforth Jr.