LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appointment of new police chief is historic for Dover

On Thursday, May 4, I attended a meeting at Dover City Hall to hear the announcement of the city’s next chief of police. As an African-American member of the Dover community, I was inspired to hear that Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey was recommended by the special committee to become our newest police chief. This announcement was followed by discussion and a unanimous confirmation vote by the full city council.

Each council representative had the opportunity to speak before their vote, and a majority only had positive things to say about Chief Mailey’s new appointment, except for one member. One council representative so eloquently stated that this appointment was historic, which is true, for Chief Mailey is the first African-American police chief in the history of the City of Dover, a culturally diverse city.

Another council representative stated that he did not think this was a historic event at all, and then, rambled on about everyone that applied being qualified.

It may be true that the other applicants were qualified, but they were not selected. Marvin Mailey is qualified: he rose up through the ranks and happens to be a male African-American police officer.

How is this not historic for the City of Dover? I fear this comment of denial by the good councilman in regard to Chief Mailey’s appointment not being a historic event is alarming and offensive to many African Americans.

We are living in the 21st century, and there should be ample opportunity for all races, ethnicities and genders! It was historic when the nation saw its first African-American Supreme Court justice in 1967; it was historic when the nation saw its first female Supreme Court justice in 1981; it was historic when the nation saw its first African-American president in 2009; and the list goes on.

The selection of Chief Mailey to serve as the next police chief of the City of Dover is not only a significant move by the city council, but monumental for the community.

I believe Chief Mailey will bring a currently divided city together with fairness, equality and justice. He has an extensive back ground in law enforcement and is well respected by other agencies, the community, his troops and the police union. I am positive Chief Mailey will unite and not divide as our new police leader – something one City Council member maybe should take lessons on!

Howard Williams


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