Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXV, Nos. 511, 512 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY May 15/31, 1999

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Taking it personal in Littleton; TV crimefighter is cut down; belated honors; DEA museum is something to snort about; guns from the sky.
Painful admission: Hartford chief admits to racism in the department.
Casting a wider net: Running from the law gets harder in KC.
Anteing up: Union banks on better educated cops.
Change of tune: With prisons crammed, drug treatment gets a second look as alternate sanction.
Counterfeiters’ best friend: The advantage of sophisticated computers, printers & copiers.
“I cannot tell a lie”: Even if you could, would a cop be able to tell the difference?
Change of tune, Part II: Canadian chiefs say it’s time for marijuana decrim.
LEN interview: Prof. George Kelling, co-author of “Fixing Broken Windows.”
Advice & consent: New Jersey avoids a civil rights suit over racial profiling.
A group of their own: NJ’s minority troopers say their union doesn’t represent them.
Forum: After Littleton, we’re all on the hook; confronting school violence by doing what works.
Upcoming Events: Opportunities for professional development.

 People & Places

Personal stake

     Matt Depew, the 16-year-old son of a Denver police veteran and former SWAT officer, believes the law enforcement tactics he learned from his father allowed him to survive the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on April 20 and to save 17 others.
     Matt said he was eating lunch when he saw the first victim of teen-age gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris get shot just outside the cafeteria’s window. Grabbing a friend by the shirt, Matt dropped to the ground and knocked to the floor several others who had stood up to look outside. Searching for a phone, he found one inside an L-shaped storage room. Matt crawled in there followed by 15 other students and two adults. He closed the door just as Klebold and Harris entered the kitchen...

Cut down

     A popular BBC newscaster who had become closely identified with crimefighting through her four-year affiliation with England’s “Crimewatch” television show — much like this country’s “America’s Most Wanted” — was found shot to death on the doorstep of her London home in April, The New York Times reported.
     Scotland Yard said 37-year-old Jill Dando had just arrived in her car when she was attacked. She died from a single gunshot wound to the head. While Dando had reported being stalked by an obsessive fan last year, he was discounted as a suspect after police verified that he had been working in his garden when the incident occurred...

Belated honors

     It might be 83 years after the fact, but the death of Anna Hart, a Hamilton County, Ohio, jail matron was honored during Police Memorial Week in May as perhaps the nation’s first line-of-duty death of a female law enforcement officer.
     Hart, whose name will be added to the memorial to slain officers in Washington, D.C., was a seamstress before taking on the job at the jail. On the afternoon of July 24, 1916, the 45-year-old Hart was ready to leave work when power to the elevator in the women’s quarters was turned off, blocking her exit. Heading for the men’s tier where the inmates were supposed to be at dinner, she was ambushed by an inmate and hit on the head with a 20-inch iron bedpost. She died of a skull fracture...

Something to snort at

     From a benign pharmacist’s storefront, circa 1940, to a head shop in the 1970s offering bongs and rolling paper, to a crack-house door through which rocks of cocaine were sold in 1990, the exhibits at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s new museum trace the course of illegal drug use in the United States.
     The museum, which is open to the public by appointment, opened in May at the agency’s headquarters in Arlington, Va. While not in keeping with the low profile the DEA generally assumes about its work — much of it undercover — the museum is consistent with the agency’s message, said Special Agent Terry Parham, the agency’s chief of public affairs. “We try to get understanding from the American people on what the problem is all about,” he told The New York Times...

Blown away

     Guns were literally falling from the sky in Oklahoma in early May, after a series of devastating tornadoes hit Oklahoma City and its surrounding suburbs, destroying homes and leaving firearms scattered throughout the debris.
     In the days following the twisters which hit on May 3, 41 guns were recovered by police in Oklahoma City and 18 by Del City police. The weapons were found by searchers as they looked for survivors...