Letter to the Editor: I believe I’ve been thrown under bus by someone who was never there

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Dick Wentura

I am writing about Mayor Mike Troup’s comment during the Monday, Feb. 13 Quincy City Council meeting during which he said about the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, “We’ve had trouble in the history with the committee that served for decades.”

I believe I’ve been thrown under the bus by someone who was never there, didn’t know what we did or how we did it, because Mayor Mike Troup doesn’t.

Public safety has been very good in Quincy. We didn’t have shootings all the time. I know society changes. I don’t know what’s broken in the system. I wish someone will explain to me what’s broken. Then maybe my mind will be at ease. The system was put in to keep what’s happening from happening. I don’t know any other way to say it.

Yes, I was there a long time. I was appointed by Verne Hagstrom. I was retained by Chuck Scholz. I was retained by John Spring. All three were Democratic mayors. I was a Republican. There were other people involved on the other side who were retained. We had a three-member caucus, and we put out a pretty darn good product. Public safety in Quincy was pretty damn good back in the days when we served. I stand on that. I don’t like to be thrown under the bus without being able to argue the facts.

Troup doesn’t know me. I don’t know how you can make such statements. Where he’s getting his information? I’d like to know. I really would. He’s playing with a system that was put in place to keep all of this from happening.

We really worked our butts off. I say we, not me. I can’t name anybody who might have been a thorn in the side of someone.  I thought we made the right decisions. We took this job very seriously. We studied all those right-to-work laws. We did everything but the union contracts, which we didn’t have anything to do with. We never got involved with the pension. We never had anything to do with those things. All we did was hire, fire and discipline, and we did a darn good job.

My tenure was a very safe time. We had very few shootings. We had very few stabbings. We had great fire protection. The record speaks for itself.

Dick Wentura
Former commissioner
Board of Fire and Police Commissioners
Quincy, Illinois

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