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Police must accept change

In the Deseret News March 14, there is a report of a lawsuit filed by Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom in behalf of various police agencies contending that property and money seized by the police should be handed over to the police, not to the state treasurer as provided by Initiative B.

I have a question: Do we have law enforcement or do we have bands of privateers? While the police may weasel around trying to find a reason for not complying, the residents of Utah have spoken, and spoken loudly, that we want police and the political leadership of our communities to set an example of ethical conduct.

The American way is innocent until proven guilty. Sadly the old rule has been guilty until proven innocent, and the police are accustomed to grabbing cash and property with virtual assurance that they could keep whatever they had grabbed. The soldiers in the war on drugs now demand that they be given the right to pillage or they will not fight. Looking at the alternatives dispassionately, I don't think we should agree to that demand.

I would like to be convinced that all seizures are justified and right. However, even the potential for abuse or the appearance of abuse is enough to make Initiative B needed. First the police tried to thwart the initiative, then they tried to defeat the initiative at the polls, next they tried to get the Legislature to tinker with the implementation, and now they are in court. Don't you think it is time for the police to listen to the voters and accept this change?

C.J. Welle