a police chief is only as "effective as the trust that the community" places in him

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the sentence "a police chief is only as "effective as the trust that the community" places in him". I literally interpret it as "the effects a police chief produces = the effects the trust .... produces". But "effective person" is strange to me. So I rewrite it as "A police chief works well just because the community trust him ". Is it right?

the context is as follows:
===
Others have asked for Emanuel's resignation, accusing the city of attempting to cover up the shooting by trying to block the video's release for about a year.

Emanuel defended McCarthy's tenure, saying that he had brought crime rates down using community policing tactics. Still, the mayor said, a police chief is only as "effective as the trust that the community" places in him.

"Now is the time for fresh eyes and new leadership," Emanuel said.

source: Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy Fired
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ... So I rewrite it as "A police chief works well just because the community trust him ". Is it right?
    You're right. The sentence analyses as "a police chief is only effective to the extent that the trust which the community places in him is effective".

    There's nothing wrong with the idea of an effective person - it's a person whose actions impact on the world in the way they intended.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    So I rewrite it as "A police chief works well just because the community trust him ". Is it right?
    No. It does not have all the meaning that the original does.

    It means that if the community place great trust in the police chief, then the police chief will be greatly effective, and if the community place no trust in the police chief, then the police chief will not be effective.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I remain a little doubt:confused:. Could "effective" be interpreted as "great"? I fail to find such definition in my dictionaries...
    No, and I see nothing in the referenced article to suggest that.

    History is full of scoundrels, such as Saddam Hussein, who were "effective" at eliminating opposition, but history certainly does not call them "great."

    Sorry.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The answer is still no and will continue to be.

    In the post you mention, "great" means "a substantial amount of" and modifies "trust" not a chief of police.

    Also, note that would have saved some effort if you had mentioned the source of your confusion in the first place.;)
     
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