Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVI, No. 537, 538 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY July/August, 2000

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Making history in Louisiana; private practice; these cops are tops; Crews control; now you see ‘em, now you don’t.
Roll out the Barrows: Hartford runs out of patience with acting chief of troubled police department.
First-response ability: Medical kits gives deputies a life-saving edge.
Better safe than sorry: Rhode Island troopers get a secure place to store their weapons.
Let’s go to the videotape: Awaiting the findings of a “proper & fair” investigation into the beating of a suspect in Philadelphia.
What’s the score? A change in test rankings riles Fort Wayne cops.
The people’s choice: IUPA head wins a second term.
Too little, too late: Report rips flaws in NYPD discipline system.
Good cop, bad cop: Pittsburgh residents are asked to report cops’ deeds, good & bad.
Death takes no holiday: Homicides surge upward in LA.
New faces on the block: A city disbands its police force, but not everyone is happy that the sheriff’s deputies are taking over.
Forum: Outside monitoring of police is fine, but the job shouldn’t go to the Feds.
Mum’s the word: Fairfax residents are reminded that they don’t have to talk to the press.
Slurring his words: A top aide’s racial slurs bring down a chief in Louisiana.

 
School’s out
Proposed college-for-cops requirement bites the dust in Texas

      A proposal that would have made a four-year college degree a requirement of employment as a police officer in Texas has been taken off the table, apparently in the face of strong objections from some police chiefs.
      The tentative plan offered by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) in June would have made a baccalaureate mandatory for all officers hired after Jan. 1, 2010. Currently, only a high school diploma or GED is required by most agencies. The change would have ultimately required approval by the Legislature...


House panel is skeptical of FBI’s appetite for Internet surveillance

      The FBI appeared to make few converts among members of a House subcommittee who called upon agency officials in July to explain the safeguards built into its new Internet wiretapping system, which the bureau claims will pluck from endless streams of data only those messages sent or received by criminal suspects, but which lawmakers and civil libertarians believe could lead to serious abuses of privacy.
      Dubbed Carnivore for its ability to get to “the meat” of what would otherwise be a virtually impossible task, the eavesdropping software package looks like a personal computer. It plugs directly into an Internet-service provider’s network where, sitting in a locked box, it can scan millions of individual messages per second in its search for those pertaining to the target of an FBI investigation. When it finds them, the agency said, Carnivore can make copies, disregarding e-mails from innocent Internet users. Surveillance usually lasts 45 days, with the accumulated data picked up regularly by an agent...


Your 30 days are up:
Targeting short-term motels as havens for crime

      By closing a loophole in the local housing code in July, officials in Fairview Park, Ohio, hope to rid the city of motels they claim have outlived their usefulness to travelers and have instead become havens for criminal activity.
      The problem lay in a 30-year-old ordinance that prohibited guests from staying longer than 30 days at any one motel. Never strictly enforced, the law was easily skirted by owners who allowed residents to move out for one day every 29 and then back in again. But in June, the state Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the motel owners stemming from a 1997 legal challenge, and thus gave the city the authority to make them live up to the spirit as well as the letter of the law. Guests who wish to stay in the city past the 30-day limit will have to find permanent housing after their month in the motel is up...

Roll out the Barrows:
Hartford loses patience with acting chief

      Hoping to regain some stability in a beleaguered police department while the search continues for a permanent chief, the city of Hartford, Conn., in July appointed its second acting police chief in 15 months after officials lost patience with Acting Chief Deborah Barrows, under whose tenure they discovered administrative chaos within the department’s property room.
      Barrows, 45, was a captain before being appointed in April 1999 as acting chief, replacing Joseph Croughwell Jr., who left on a medical leave and did not return. Replacing Barrows as the new acting chief is Robert Rudewicz, 41, an 18-year veteran who is expected to keep the job until the completion this fall of a national search for a permanent leader...

Medical kits better prepare deputies to handle critical first-response duties

      A police officer or civilian suffering from a gunshot wound may have a better chance for survival if emergency first-aid can be given in the moments before the arrival of paramedics, according to the manufacturer of a new medical kit which the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department distributed in July to all of its patrol deputies and those in the detective division.
      The sheriff’s office has purchased 5,000 of the kits, which contain rubber gloves, trauma shears that can cut through a uniform and sterile bandages and pads. Its contents are designed to stop bleeding from major vessels or arteries, sucking chest wounds, or other types of injury that can compromise breathing, said Lary Townson, national director of law enforcement for Emergency Medical Products, the Wisconsin-based company that produces the packs...

Medical kits better prepare deputies to handle critical first-response duties

      A police officer or civilian suffering from a gunshot wound may have a better chance for survival if emergency first-aid can be given in the moments before the arrival of paramedics, according to the manufacturer of a new medical kit which the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department distributed in July to all of its patrol deputies and those in the detective division.
      The sheriff’s office has purchased 5,000 of the kits, which contain rubber gloves, trauma shears that can cut through a uniform and sterile bandages and pads. Its contents are designed to stop bleeding from major vessels or arteries, sucking chest wounds, or other types of injury that can compromise breathing, said Lary Townson, national director of law enforcement for Emergency Medical Products, the Wisconsin-based company that produces the packs...


Some see brutality, not racism:
Philly beating draws Feds’ attention

      While conceding the provocative nature of a nationally aired videotape that showed Philadelphia police officers kicking and punching a black suspect, city and department officials urged residents not to rush to judgment before “a proper and fair investigation” has been conducted into the events leading up to the July 12 arrest of an accused carjacker who authorities say shot an officer, stole a patrol car and led police on a high-speed chase through city streets.
      The incident, which quickly drew the attention of federal authorities from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division as well as the FBI, began when police noticed 31-year-old Thomas Jones driving erratically. Discovering through a license check that the car in which he was riding had been reported stolen on July 1, they gave chase. Jones eventually crashed the car into a civilian vehicle...


Test-scoring changes have some Fort Wayne officers seeing red

      A change in the way scores are ranked on the Fort Wayne, Ind., police entrance exam has angered some officers and city officials, who claim the new emphasis on an oral interview and the devaluation of the test’s academic portions will result in lower standards.
      The new ranking system was implemented on the first of the year when Rusty York replaced Daniel Hannaford as police chief. “We have not changed our requirements,” Deputy Chief Dewayne Hartup told Law Enforcement News. “What we changed was its use as a ranking tool.”..

IUPA’s Cabral is still the people’s choice

      Former Defiance, Ohio, police detective Sam A. Cabral won an uncontested victory in July in his bid for re-election as president of the International Union of Police Associations.
      Cabral, a 28-year law enforcement veteran, rose to sergeant of detectives in Defiance before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1990 to serve as international secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO union. An active unionist throughout his career, Cabral assumed the IUPA presidency in 1995 following the resignation of Robert Kliesmet. In 1996, Cabral won his own four-year term...

Too little, too late
Report rips delays & inefficiencies in NYPD’s internal discipline system

      Outside scrutiny of the New York City Police Department, which of late has been both intense and ongoing, took a new turn in late June when a commission appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to monitor the department’s anti-corruption efforts concluded that the internal system for disciplining officers is staffed with inexperienced lawyers and bogged down by significant delays.
      The Commission to Combat Police Corruption conducted an eight-month study of the NYPD’s internal disciplinary system, known among police officers as the “trial room,” which actually consists of one office that tries the cases against the officers and another that oversees the department’s administrative law judges. The commission also reviewed the summaries of 750 cases against officers that were closed from November 1998 to October 1999, and examined the files of 49 cases closed in the spring of 1999...

Good cop, bad cop
Controversial flier asks residents to report good deeds, misconduct

      A flier distributed by the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board, which on one side asks residents to report good deeds by officers and on the other, misconduct, is an insult to the intelligence and professionalism of the department, the city’s Fraternal Order of Police charged in July.
      The flier has been handed out at review board meetings since March and at other public events since early May. One side is headlined “Good Cop?” and reads “Police officers have a tough job; let them know you appreciate them…and call us with the good news about a good cop.” The other side is entitled “Bad Cop?” and says, “If you think a cop abused your rights or you know about a bad cop…call us…We can help.” Both sides list the review board’s phone number...

Is LA’s crime honeymoon over? Gangs blamed for surge in violent crime rate

      While Los Angeles, like many of the nation’s larger cities, has enjoyed record low crime rates in the past few years, significant increases in homicides and other violent crimes during the first six months of this year may be signaling an end to the relative peace.
      According to police department statistics, murders have risen by 30 percent in the first half of 2000 compared with the same period in 1999, from 192 to 250. There were 97 more rapes, 106 more robberies and 1,437 more aggravated assaults, all contributing to a 7.5-percent jump in the city’s overall violent crime rate from last year...

Not everyone wants deputies keeping the peace in Compton

      In a transfer of responsibility notable for the acrimony it has generated within the community, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has taken up law enforcement duties for the city of Compton after City Council members in July voted to disband the local police department.
      The LASD has moved into police headquarters, although the full transfer of power will not be complete until September. Compton is the third city in the county in the past 20 years to disband its force in favor of an LASD contract. While the issue has caused an ugly rift in the city’s political life, officials said that the move will not only shave $7.7 million a year from a $20-million police budget, but will help the city get a handle on its skyrocketing murder rate and entrenched gang problems. There were eight murders in July during one 10-day period...

The right to remain silent takes on a new meaning

      A card handed out by Fairfax County, Va., detectives to victims involved in high-profile or sensitive cases, informing them of their right to refuse interviews by reporters, has caused concern among some journalists who believe the practice has the potential to interfere with news gathering.
      The so-called victims advisory cards read: “You have the right to refuse or grant interviews,” and, in another section: “You will be given advice important to protecting yourself and this investigation, but there is no legal requirement to contact police before an interview.”..

Racial slurs are cause(way) for alarm

      Timothy Fondren, chief of the Lake Pontchartrain, La., Causeway Police, abruptly resigned July 12, in the aftermath of a private watchdog group’s release of tape recordings of his second-in-command making racial slurs and telling officers he would help them dodge civil rights complaints.
      The emerging scandal also toppled the causeway’s assistant general manager, Will Griffin, who announced his retirement...