Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, No. 566 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY November 30, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
A wedding in the works? Consultant backs merger in Wyoming.
Moto-photos: A CD-ROM “mug shot book” of cars makes its debut.
Red flags: Albuquerque PD rolls out early-warning system for troubled cops.
Playing with blocks: Phone service warns DWIs of police roadblocks.
People & Places: Kelly’s back in town; a change of plans; Galvin’s a goner; vertical mobility; making his voice heard; an outsider’s view.
In? Out? In? Out? Another overhaul is in store for the D.C. homicide unit.
Four-year plan: Milwaukee trims the term of office for police chiefs.
Money on the line: Fed funds are at stake over Megan’s Laws.
Broader horizons: Cincinnati will start looking outside for police chiefs.
Papers, please: Terrorism investigation focuses on college campuses.
Pitching in: S. Carolina A-G wants police cross-deputized as INS agents.
Cleaning up: Moving in after druggies move out.
Crime for the ages: Age matters when it comes to domestic violence.
Forum: Getting the drop on street gangs & terrorists.
Criminal Justice Library: Tony Bouza speaks his mind, like it or not.
Forcing the issue: More bad news for a beleaguered county force.
Attaboy: Poll finds public backing for Providence PD.

 
Can we talk?
Officials take steps to head off 9/11 post-traumatic stress

      Since September, there has been considerable speculation by local police executives that the FBI would be dropping many of its current law enforcement responsibilities in favor of a new mandate that placed counterterrorism atop the agenda. On Nov. 8, a memorandum by Attorney General John Ashcroft made it clear and made it official: the mission of the bureau would indeed be to thwart future possible terrorist attacks.
      Although Ashcroft provided few details in an address to 300 top managers at Justice Department headquarters, a strategic plan covering the next five years calls for the completion of a review of the bureau that would make foiling terrorist plots a priority.


Traditional FBI roles are history as A-G redefines bureau’s mission

      Bringing full circle two decades of research on domestic violence policies, a new statistical analysis has found that arresting batterers reduced repeat incidents of domestic violence in each of the cities previously studied.
      The research follows up on field experiments carried out from 1986 to 1991 under the National Institute of Justice’s Spouse Assault Replication Program (SARP) in Charlotte, N.C., Dade County, Fla., Colorado Springs, Omaha and Milwaukee. The experiments sought to determine whether arrest in misdemeanor domestic violence cases worked better at reducing recidivism than less formal alternatives, such as mediation by police or temporary separation of the couple...


Rampart scandal goes in the books as ‘not so bad after all’

      The worst scandal in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department turned out to be not as bad as many had feared, according to county officials, who this month put a coda to what they described as an exhaustive investigation into the misdeeds of officers assigned to the Rampart Division’s anti-gang unit.
      No evidence of widespread civil rights abuses or other criminality was found outside of the rogue squad, said District Attorney Steve Cooley. The investigations of 50 officers should be closed by the end of 2001 with no new prosecutions, he told The (Los Angeles) Daily News...


Portland just says ‘no’ to FBI

      Although a number of police departments have voiced concern at requests from the federal government that they help the FBI interview some 5,000 people in this country who are natives of the Middle East, the steadfast refusal of one department — the Portland, Ore., Police Bureau — has made it a lightning rod for intense criticism and forced it to defend its commitment to the war on terrorism.
      Shortly before Thanksgiving, Portland’s acting chief Andrew Kirkland, who was in command while Chief Mark Kroeker was away on vacation, made the decision to reject the request from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Presented with a list of approximately 200 foreign students in Oregon, 22 of whom were within the Portland city limits, Kirkland said: “I didn’t have to think too long about it. We’re not going to do it.”..


Is a police-sheriff wedding in the works?
Report backs Wyoming merger

      Although there may be resistance to the idea of consolidating the Jackson, Wyo., Police Department and the Teton County Sheriff’s Department, the concept should be fully explored as a way of realizing considerable savings in time, money and efficiency for the community, according to a report by a law enforcement consultant released in October.
      Town officials hired the consultant, Charles Reynolds, in May to examine the police department and initiate the search for a new leader in the wake of former chief Dave Cameron’s death. Cameron was killed last April in a tractor accident...


Auto ‘mug shots’ show their worth in St. Louis area

      A computerized “mug shot” book of automobiles seems like such a straightforward idea, someone must have thought of it before now, right?
      Wrong.
      For what may be the first time, law enforcement will have at its disposal a digitized data base containing 5,000 different cars made by 16 different companies, to help witnesses and victims identify vehicles connected to crimes. Auto Search Inc. was developed by Richard Schmelig, a retired engineer from McDonnell Douglas Corp., who plans to launch his product after receiving photos of the new 2002 models...


With volunteer help, Albuquerque rolls out new system for spotting troubled officers

      Using a new early warning system designed by one of the department’s senior volunteers, Albuquerque police officials are confident that they can identify officers whose behavior or performance might be slipping before it lands them before the city’s Police Oversight Commission.
      While it had long been a goal of the department to have an early warning system, its development got a push from the 18-month-old commission, said Deputy Chief Ray Schultz. Members of the oversight panel had wanted such a program in place because they were repeatedly seeing the same officers, Schultz told Law Enforcement News...


Georgia phone line warns DWIs of police checkpoints

      Police in the Athens, Ga., area say they are not too concerned about a new phone service that provides information about where drivers might be stopped by law enforcement.
      “I think we come and go so fast, by the time the information is relayed, it can’t be of any value,” said Sheriff Scott Berry of neighboring Oconee County. “We might have a road check for 30 minutes and then move it. This doesn’t bother me at all.”..


Centralize? Disperse? What day is it anyway?
DC homicide unit faces another overhaul

      Whether housed together or dispersed to locations throughout the city, Washington, D.C.’s much criticized homicide unit continues to close cases at a rate far below even its own personal best of 70.1 percent in 1997.
      The failure of the Metropolitan Police Department to raise those figures prompted Chief Charles H. Ramsey in October to introduce a plan that would revamp the squad, recentralizing a unit he had dismantled soon after assuming command of the agency in 1998...


Milwaukee chiefs are now down to a four-year contract

      Since 1984, the tenure of a Milwaukee police chief — once a lifetime appointment — has been pared down first to one of seven years, and now to a four-year term, under a proposal approved this month by the city’s Common Council.
      The ordinance will not affect Chief Arthur Jones, who is in the fifth year of his seven-year term, said Joseph Czarnecki, executive director of the Police and Fire Commission. Jones could be reappointed to a new four-year term once his current appointment is up, he told Law Enforcement News...


Federal funds at stake for 14 states with Megan’s Law problems

      Millions of dollars in federal grants are at stake for 14 states that had been warned last summer to tighten up their sex-offender registration laws or lose 10 percent of funding used to pay for community crime prevention and victim assistance programs.
      In June, the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance notified Maryland, Ohio and 12 other states that they would lose a percentage of their grants under the Edward J. Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance program if they did not make changes in their version of Megan’s Law. Since the 1994 rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka by a convicted sex offender living near the child’s New Jersey home, all 50 states and the federal government have passed some type of registration law...


Cincy PD expands its horizons in chief searches

      The Cincinnati Police Division will be able to recruit candidates for chief from outside the agency, thanks to a city charter amendment approved by voters on Nov. 6.
      A survey of 51 cities of similar size, conducted by The Cincinnati Enquirer, found that only three besides Cincinnati — St. Louis, Tulsa and Bakersfield, Calif. — do not have the option of conducting a national search for police chiefs. Said Barry Baumgarner, a consultant with a Florida-based firm that helps police departments and municipalities improve their management: “There are very few places left in the country that limit chiefs only to the inside.”..


Terrorism hunt takes to college campuses
Most schools honor FBI, INS requests for info on foreign students

      In the name of national security, and with little legal ground for opposition, the nation’s colleges and universities are by and large fully cooperating with federal law enforcement agencies seeking personal information about foreign students here on visas.
      According to a survey by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) last month, 144 institutions have been contacted by the FBI since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and 56 by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Some were contacted by both agencies, and some only by local police. Of those institutions that disclosed information, only 22 of the requests were accompanied by subpoenas. Just one college flat out refused to comply, it said...


S. Carolina A-G wants police cross-deputized as INS agents

      The specter of racial profiling was raised in October when South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon proposed that in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, state law enforcement be given the authority to enforce federal immigration laws and police be deputized as agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
      Condon, the state’s Republican candidate for governor, called illegal immigration an economic issue that has become one of public safety. “I think if you look at the terrorist situation right now, it’s been well documented that some of those terrorists were here illegally,” he said...


      The messy and delicate work of cleaning up illicit methamphetamine labs makes up nearly one-third of the business for Able Clean-Up Technologies, yet the owners of the Spokane, Wash., company say they would be just as happy to see all of that work go away.
      Business is booming for Able, one of a handful of hazardous-waste handling firms certified by the state of Washington to go in after a meth-lab bust and restore properties to a habitable condition. Over the past two years, company owners Kipp Silver and Jason Moline have cleaned up some 100 sites and have taken in over $1 million in revenue...


Domestic violence is a crime for the ages

      Age matters in violence between domestic partners, according to a new study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which found the rate of victimization of females between the ages of 16 and 24 in 1999 to be nearly three times that of the overall rate of intimate violence against women.
      The overall per-capita rate of non-fatal partner violence against females ages 12 and up that year was 5.8 per 1,000, the study reported, while those in the 16-to-24 age bracket were victimized at a rate of 15.6 per 1,000...


Speaking his mind, whether you like it or not
So many opinions distilled from so much experience — a multitude of insights amid “sesquipedalianism”

      Let’s not fool around: Tony Bouza knows whereof he speaks. He put in 24 years in the New York City Police Department, rising to the position of assistant chief and borough commander of the Bronx. On the way up he had a hand in the birth of 911, served as the one and only Inspector General of the NYPD, was a commander in Harlem, headed the planning division and in the 1960’s helped develop an internal civilian complaint review board for the NYPD. That all was before he went on to become deputy chief of the New York City Transit Police and, for nine years, the police chief of Minneapolis.
      When you add to this his regular expert testimony (he is a lawyer) on police practices, his consulting work nationwide with police agencies, and his authorship of several books on policing (including “The Police Mystique”), you have a formidable authority whose writing deserves attention...


Dark side of the force:
Study brings worse news for beleaguered police

      A pattern of racial bias detected by a federal study has lent credence to what had previously been largely anecdotal evidence of a disparity in the treatment of white and black suspects by white members of the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department.
      In a $270,000 study funded by the National Institute of Justice, which examined use of force at various sites, researchers found that in Prince George’s County resistance by blacks was met by white officers with a near equal amount of force. Conversely, when confronted with the same level of resistance by white suspects, those officers used less force...


Acts of Providence: Poll finds broad public support for cops

      Given the racial animosity provoked last year by the shooting of a black, off-duty police officer in Providence, R.I., by two white colleagues, city and department officials were pleasantly surprised last month to find that their efforts to heal that wound have succeeded to the point that more than half of city residents believed local law enforcement was doing a good to excellent job.
      Fifty-six percent of the 509 people queried in a Brown University public opinion survey in October rated the department as doing an overall good or excellent job. Thirty-one percent said the department had improved over the past year, although 46 percent said it had not changed at all...