1 June 2000
The Right Honourable Peter Mandelson, M.P.
Office of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K.
Dear Secretary Mandelson:
On Christmas morning in 1994, I awoke with a compelling little story in my head and I wrote it down straighaway. It appears below. Today, I can see that it was a premonition of the mission that you handed Tom Constantine yesterday. It also predicts that his mission will be a success.
One of the proudest things we have in America is our police service. In the forty years since Oversight Commissioner Constantine became a police officer, it has grown steadily more professional as his own resume attests. Despite setbacks and failings that are so glaringly documented in our news media, it also most undeniably became a mighty force in the history of the civil rights movement in America.
That profession justly claims Irish ancestry, not only because so many of our police officers take pride in Irish roots, as they demonstrate with their pipe bands, shamrock tattoos and St. Paddy's Day revels, but because that profession is so thoroughly imbued with their very Irish passion for justice and fair play.
Some 1,700 years ago, another man named Constantine set out from the British Isles and changed the world forever and for the better. We send our faithful police officer Tom Constantine to you with absolute faith that he will do no less.
Albany, New York
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