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In Honor Of Groundhog Day: Another Chief Longo Letter

Dear Ms. [Me]:

Despite my previous explanations and pleas for you to discontinue your unauthorized surveillance of the Charlottesville Police Department (“CPD”) and the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (“JADE), you have consistently refused to consider the negative effects that you have had on our officers, informants, cooperators, and their respective families.
How do you know I’ve “refused,” let alone “consistently”? Perhaps I have considered, and reconsidered, but simply disagree with your opinion on the matters.
You have interfered with the orderly business of the CPD and JADE, to the point where people cannot meet with CPD and JADE personnel without fear of being identified.
I’ve given not even the slightest indication that people who have met, or will meet, with CPD and JADE will be identified by me. In fact, every indication has been to the contrary. If your local coterie of law enforcement have choreographed and incited that sort of trepidation, then that’s on y’all.
Despite your disregard for others,
Hate to break it to you but your declaring such a thing doesn’t make it true.
I hope to elucidate an issue that you may understand, as it effects you personally: The CPD and JADE deals with criminal activity.
Really? I had no idea.
The volatility of any given situation is unpredictable, and your presence around CPD and JADE operations has the potential to quickly escalate a peaceful situation into a violent and/or deadly confrontation.
If, as you state, any given situation is unpredictable, then my, or anyone’s, presence would have no effect, as the potential of escalation would be there regardless. If you’re implying that my, or anyone’s, presence would increase the chances of intensification, then that’s a prediction on your part thereby contradicting your assertion about any given situation.

And this is all hypothetical anyway, especially if we’re talking about potential. Everything has potential for something. I could aver that my presence around your operations has the potential to prevent a violent confrontation. Hell, I could even provide justification to support the affirmation.
When you place yourself into a potentially hazardous situation (which is any unauthorized contact, surveillance or interference with members of the CPD and JADE), you deliberately place yourself in grave danger.
Hmm… I’ll have to think about that one some more, but it seems to me that in order to be deliberately placing myself in grave danger I’d have to have first resolved that a situation is hazardous; potentially hazardous just doesn’t cut it.

If I walk into a convenience store fully knowing it’s being robbed at gunpoint, one could argue that I was deliberately placing myself in grave danger. However, if I walk into the same convenience store but no crime is being committed at the time, am I deliberately placing myself in grave danger merely because the establishment is located in a neighborhood that may sporadically have armed robberies?
Neither the CPD, JADE, its individual members, nor its constituent agencies has any relationship with you entitling you to any special protection.
Aww… that bites. You’ve crushed all my expectations!
Any dangers that you create by your surveillance activities are of your own creation, and no law enforcement agencies will expend any additional resources in protecting you from any consequences.
I figured that kind of went without saying.
As a courtesy to you,
I believe you’re a nice guy but your courtesies are pretty transparent.
I am informing you of the dangers that you may face, in hopes that you will at least consider your own safety, if not that of others.
You have, at most, vaguely postulated suppositious danger(s). By your very use, repeatedly at that, of the word potential you only reconfirm the unspecified peril(s) you allude to may or may not exist.

Let’s pretend: You’re an avid balloonist. I sent you a letter avowing that there may be danger flying in a hot air balloon. I also informed you that your presence in the gondola has the potential to quickly escalate a pleasant flight over the countryside to a fiery crash. I further wrote that when you place yourself into a potentially hazardous situation (which is any travel, suspension or propelling with pilots of respective companies), you deliberately place yourself in grave danger. So when you subsequently hop in the dirigible, can I then say you have not considered your own safety, nor that of others?
With this goal in mind, you are hereby ordered to CEASE AND DESIST from any and all surveillance activities of members of the CPD and JADE, including, but not limited to, photographing CPD and JADE personnel, following CPD and JADE personnel,
How do I laugh in writing? Last I looked it was they who were doing the photographing and following.
and placing personally identifiable information of officers
Are you referring to the officers who conduct their business in a variety of places where they cannot possibly have any expectation of privacy? How about the officers who are oft times seen in public openly wearing law enforcement paraphernalia -- some donning garb clearly branded POLICE? The officers in marked cars, them too?
and confidential informants on the internet.
Again, I have no intention of identifying confidential informants. Not because they deserve to be protected -- they don’t -- but because, aside from JADE-related generalities, I have absolutely no interest in them.
Finally, be advised that you are potentially subject to criminal prosecution
For…? My actions may be objectionable to you and yours but they’re certainly not criminal by any stretch of the imagination.
as well as substantial civil liability should you persist in your actions.
Go for it. I have nothing to lose and nothing for anyone to take.

Timothy J. Longo, Sr.
Chief of Police
It hurts me that you did not provide your phone number this time.

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