A few days ago, the chief of police in my Pennsylvania town of Bethlehem chose to cover up the identity of an off-duty officer involved in a car accident.
This was no ordinary accident though. The off-duty officer involved hit two pedestrians, causing one to collapse and both to need medical care in the hospital.
This is how it was explained in the [**local media:**](http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2016/01/off-duty_bethlehem_officer_hit.html)
> One woman fell and injured her face and head after being struck, and the other pedestrian complained of soreness, the chief said.
> DiLuzio said drugs, alcohol and speed were not factors in the crash, and police are asking any witnesses to call the department’s traffic division at 610-865-7155.
> “It is going to be thoroughly investigated,” DiLuzio said.
Why does an officer get to hide his identity [**simply because of a shiny piece of tin**](http://www.copblock.org/106574/what-badges-dont-grant-extra-rights-really-means/)?
I decided since I had met the chief in my town a number of times and consider him to be an honest man, I would call him personally and see what was going on before publishing a story about it.
Well, to my surprise, the Pennsylvania police chief ignored my calls and chose to [**release this statement**](https://www.facebook.com/BethlehemPolice/photos/a.168634806497618.43819.125072740853825/1172421012785654/?type=3&theater) instead:
So, this is MY response to their statement (as posted on their Facebook page):
> Excuse me, Mr. Diluzio, but this statement seems very misleading on a number of fronts. As a member of the public that has met you, and considered you to be an honest man, I thought some things needed to be cleared up. The number of officer assaults/deaths have consistently decreased every year over the last 10 years. By your own stats, found on the websites “officer down” and “police one”, you’ve had more deaths that involve the unhealthy and reckless way officers live than anything else (ie: car accidents and heart attacks). No, this is a load of propaganda. I expected more from you Mr. Diluzio.
> Tomorrow, instead of showing more support to the broken and corrupt entity that is police work today, I will instead think of the [**1138 lives that ended because of police in 2015**](http://%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22fb-root%22%3E%3C/div%3E%3Cscript%3E(function(d,%20s,%20id%29%20%7B%20var%20js,%20fjs%20=%20d.getElementsByTagName(s%29;%20if%20(d.getElementById(id%29%29%20return;%20js%20=%20d.createElement(s%29;%20js.id%20=%20id;%20js.src%20=%20%22//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs%29;}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’%29%29;
Written by Chief of Police Mark A. Diluzio
It seems very dishonest that you would put this out, only days after hiding the identity of the the officer involved in an accident and receiving blow back from that decision. In today’s day and age, those that want to stand for justice & speak out against unaccountable police are labeled as anti-police or anti-society. Well, I would call those that put on a badge and break the law the same. It’s time for a reality check for the police. America is sick of watching every public servant with a badge hiding from crimes. We are tired of your shoot first, ask questions later mentality. We are tired of you walking around with some arrogant sense of authority you don’t have. You are publicly employed public servants just like a mail man. If our mail was not delivered in an orderly fashion, we would complain. We would rightfully expect the postal employee to be reprimanded by their superiors. So why is it that we can not question the police?
> In my eyes, there are two kinds of police today. One of those is aware of today’s issues, and is against everything politically that interferes with the public’s right to know what their paid employees are up to. This officer holds the public’s need over that of their own. This officer cares about the oath they took to their communities & holds it. The other type of cop is also aware of today’s issues. However, this one wishes to exploit the public’s trust. This officer knows there is a presumption, with most people, that officers are in a class of their own and uses this to wield their authority over everyone they encounter. This public servant uses the thin blue line of silence to cover for any other wrong doings by their fellow officers. This is a person that holds brotherly support over an oath to their community and country.
> I truly hope this was all a misunderstanding. When we met, you seemed dedicated to the community’s interest over any politics. I hope to see you release the name of any officer involved in any incident.
> **Yours Truly,**
[**If you would like to send a message to the department and the chief click here for their Facebook page**](https://www.facebook.com/BethlehemPolice/?fref=photo)