Police Chief’s Facebook Letter Raises Eyebrows

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BRIMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio – In his 18 years with the force, David Oliver has never been shy about his opinion.

Yet, the Brimfield police chief is raising eyebrows by writing letters to criminals--on Facebook.

“I want to speak to them in their language,” Oliver said. “I want to speak to them in something they can understand: If you come to our community and commit a crime, we`re going to chase you, we`re going to pursue you, we`re going to convict you.”

But Oliver’s candid approach has received mix reviews from its 5,000 followers, like college student Mohammed Shahnawaz.

“It`s a little interesting. It`s really quirky. I mean, he kind of calls out people that they`ve arrested or pulled over,” Shahnawaz said. “But I think they should stop doing it. I don’t think they should really have a Facebook page.”

Oliver’s last letter was written on Saturday, July 21, to a man recently found guilty of rape.

It reads, “Dear Twice-Convicted Sexual Predator, You are not a man. You are a male by chromosomes and DNA; however, you are not a man and you have no honor.”

He continues, “You are lucky. Consider yourself fortunate that this great country has “become refined” and that we are “too advanced” for a good old-fashioned public hanging…I would pull the lever myself and watch the bottom drop out. After that I would head home, have a big meal and sleep like a baby. Believe it.”

Oliver does share some details in the letters, but never identifies any recipients.

The post from Saturday was taken down. Oliver said people’s comments became violent; something the department does not want to promote.

“I also very clearly said in that post that post that I obey all law, that I don’t let my personal feelings affect the job,” Oliver said.

Despite the few critics, Oliver plans to continue the letters – among other daily updates about the department and events in the area. His ultimate goal is to keep people informed through the department’s Facebook, Twitter and cell phone application.

“I am not an elected official. My job is not as a people pleaser,” Oliver said. “My job is to get a message across to our residents that we’re making you as safe as we can make you and to the criminals, we’re making it as hard as we can for you to commit crimes here.”