Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXV, No. 514 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY June 30, 1999

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: East Orange color clash; out with the old; the right to bear arts; riding into the sunset.
By their own hands: Police suicide rate climbs, and agencies seek answers.
Trouble on the line: Problem-solving gives way to finger-pointing in NYC 911 snafus.
Not-so-petty cash: Memphis tightens use of undercover drug fund.
Do-it-yourself approach: Phoenix-area police tire of delays in rape exams.
In the lurch: High-tech company folds, leaving behind a high-tech mess for Louisiana PD.
At your fingertips Microchip puts DNA evidence analysis as close as your cruiser.
Forum: Police critics need the “blue wall of silence”; hats off to the Police Corps.
Federal File: A roundup of criminal justice developments at the Federal level.
Looking askance: For some jurisdictions, racial profiling is driving the police agenda.
Upcoming Events: Professional development opportunities.

 People & Places

Wright & wrong

     A black police sergeant in East Orange, N.J., has drawn the wrath of other minorities on the force who contend he is a traitor whose damaging testimony in a reverse-discrimination lawsuit last year resulted in the ousting of the city’s first black chief in favor of one who is white.
     Last October, the city settled a potentially multimillion-dollar suit filed eight years ago by Police Chief Richard C. Wright. The suit charged that Wright, who is white, had been passed over for promotion to the top post, despite having the highest score on the Civil Service exam, because of a racially-motivated political deal that guaranteed a black appointee...

Clean sweep

     Members of New York City’s Patrolman’s Benevolent Association recently were presented with their first opportunity in nearly 20 years for a real change in leadership, and they made the most of it, sweeping into office a group of insurgent delegates led by Officer Patrick Lynch in the union’s first contested election since 1980.
     A 35-year-old delegate from Brooklyn’s 90th Precinct, Lynch used his outsider status to powerful advantage on June 5 when he won the presidency with 38.5 percent of the vote. Unlike his rivals, including acting president James “Doc” Savage, Lynch has no connection to the former PBA leadership which had negotiated the despised “double zero” contract — a five-year pact that provides no raises during its first two years...

Right to bear arts

     “Guns turned into plowshares” is both a sculpture and a metaphor for a Carrboro, N.C., exhibit last month in which artists took firearms collected during a gun buyback program and turned them into thoughtful works of art that explore the effects of firearms-related violence.
     More than 200 guns collected by Chapel Hill authorities in 1995 were handed over to William Moore, a local artist. He used half to create the arresting, 10-foot-tall sculpture that is the centerpiece of the show, and gave the remainder to 10 other artists who turned in their own artistic interpretations...

Hog wild

     It was a case of like meeting like — a small town that lived life in the slow lane and a young officer who believed bigger did not necessarily mean better. Now, after 34 years of service with the Ocean Township (Waretown), N.J., Police Department, Chief William Sneddon decided to retire last month and take advantage of that comfortable pace as a civilian.
     Sneddon came to law enforcement in 1965, becoming Ocean Township’s first police officer. He was drawn to the area, he said, because beat patrolmen were paid $800 a year more there than in Dover Township, where he had also been offered a job. In 1978, he was made Chief. The “low-key” style of Waretown suited him, he told The Asbury Park Press. I was always a low-key person myself, Sneddon said...