Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXIX, No. 613 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY January 2004

[LEN Home] - [Masthead] - [Past Issues] SUBSCRIBE

In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
Brame blame: Searing report finds troubles aplenty in Tacoma P.D.
Compstat consequences? “Cooking the books” costs five cops their jobs.
Say what? Denver P.D. ends “insensitive” phonetic transcriptions.
Crash aftermath: Who should investigate pursuit-related crashes?
Learning to dust: Little Rock P.D. stretches its ’print capabilities.
“A nightmare”: New H.P.D. lab debacle.
View from the top: Summit planned to look at internal affairs.
Defective squad: Finding fault with police body armor.
Color-bind: Concern over device that can change traffic lights.
Candid camera: Police racism videotaped.
People & Places: Over for Olson; banner effort; cops put on notice; St. Paul secret is out; back to school; explosive cases.
Food for thought: Lunchtime program looks at domestic violence.
LEN Interview: Renae Griggs, founder of the National Police Family Violence Prevention Project.
Short Takes: Easy-to-swallow news bites.
Forum: Killers & victims in a suicide-by-cop.

Note to Readers:

The opinions expressed on the Forum page are those of the contributing writer or cartoonist, or of the original source newspaper, and do not represent an official position of Law Enforcement News.

Readers are invited to voice their opinions on topical issues, in the form of letters or full-length commentaries. Please send all materials to the editor.

 
 Forum

Gina Gallo:
Decedent as perpetrator, killer as victim

     Later, she’d describe it as a cop’s worst nightmare. But on that rainy October afternoon, it started out as a routine call for Chicago Police Officer Mary Westphal. “Disturbance with the man” is as frequent an assignment as domestic disturbances or traffic accidents, and just as deceptive. It’s the kind of call that can escalate into something much more dangerous and, in this case, deadly.

     “The call was updated twice before I got to the location,” Officer Westphal recalled. “It went from ‘disturbance with the man’ to ‘weapons involved’ to ‘woman stabbed.’ And when I pulled up to the address, there was a screaming woman on the porch, bleeding from the gash inflicted by the man who watched me from the sidewalk. At that point, there was no visible weapon in his hand, and he only smiled when I ordered him to put his hands up. A smile that got bigger when faced with the barrel of my gun. His eyes had that glazed, fixed stare — the kind I’d seen before from mental patients.”...