- The Washington Times - Friday, May 11, 2012

I am a former law enforcement officer, and it certainly appears that Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier has more than a conflict of interest in her relationship with Sgt. James M. Schaefer(“D.C. cop’s overtime aids Lanier household income,” Page 1, Thursday).

Because Chief Lanier determines the sergeant’s salary and other forms of income, whatever he gets that differs from what other sergeants get is too much. Then, the chief of police fraternizing or cohabitating with a sergeant ought to do more than just raise eyebrows. It is improper and should not be allowed. Such relationships are morale busters to the other cops.

Even if the couple make an effort to minimize their displays of affection and togetherness when in public, the relationship is the equivalent of a commanding officer in the armed services fraternizing and living with an enlisted person. It is improper and unethical.

At the time of her promotion, Chief Lanier should have terminated her relationship with Sgt. Schaefer or married him - and one of them should have left the police force. That would have been the proper thing to do.

With her exorbitant salary and benefits, she should be able to live comfortably with Sgt. Schaefer even if he is unemployed. In addition, Chief Lanier’s primary residence should be in Washington, where she works, not in Maryland.

LOUIS GINESI DOMINGUEZ

Warrenton, Va.