Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVI, No. 529 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY March 15, 2000

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Helping hands; on the hot seat; Price is right; new chief builds on community roots; strummin’ on the old banjo.
Shocking & stunning: San Diego expands officers’ use-of-force options.
Learning from mistakes: Aim is to avoid a repeat of a fatal SWAT mission.
Changing with the times: A project once aimed at tracking a possible serial killer gets new focus.
OK, with an asterisk: NYPD crime lab gets accredited despite problems.
The price of honors: Amid awards controversy, Louisville dumps its police chief & may add a civilian review board.
Show me the money: Police force riddled with tax-dodging allegations.
First response: Omaha scraps its gang unit, reassigning officers to 911 response duties.
Forum: A drug warrior calls for peace; paying a visit to the blue wall.
Y2K bug: Computer glitch spawns jail-records mess in Georgia county.
The high seize: Connecticut police get more than they bargained for with gun-seizure law.
Getting even tougher: Despite criticism, California voters OK tough juvenile justice initiative.
Protecting the protectors: Black Secret Service agents say they’re victims of on-the-job bias.
Warts & all: Minnesota to add potentially flawed crime records to state database.

 People & Places

Helping hands

      Emeryville, Calif., police felt so badly about the tens of thousands of dollars in vandalism done to a first-time home-buyers residence, they decided to turn out in mass this month to help clean up the mess.
      Detectives are continuing to investigate the havoc wreaked on the house bought last November by 41-year-old Frances Carty. Vandals caused $24,000 worth of damage, including cut gas lines, graffiti, broken doors and windows, and cement poured down the water main...

The hot seat

      Should his nomination be confirmed, William Willett, 68, will have even less time than other police commissioners to make changes that he and county officials contend are vital to controlling soaring budget overruns at the Nassau County, N.Y., Police Department.
      Willett, a 46-year veteran of the force, would become Long Island’s first black police commissioner. He was chosen by County Executive Thomas Gulotta to replace Donald Kane, who stepped down on March 23. Willett is also strongly endorsed by the Police Benevolent Association, the county’s largest police union...

Price is right

      As the new chief of police in Leesburg, Va., Joseph R. Price took command March 1 of a department where tensions still run high nearly a year after town officials fired the former chief in a swirl of accusations and counter-accusations.
      Price, 48, came from the Montgomery County, Md., Police Department where he served for 24 years. Before his unanimous appointment by the Leesburg Town Council in January, Price oversaw the Montgomery County department’s Management Service Bureau, which included emergency communications, training, budget and finance, community outreach and technology and information systems...

Home grown

      Community policing and a greater participation in the city’s DARE program are two of the changes planned by Gloucester City, N.J.’s new police chief, William Johnson Sr., as part of his departmental restructuring effort.
      One of the department’s most significant problems is communicating with civilians, said the 48-year-old Johnson. “It is important we work on communication and understanding the problems in the community,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. The city’s small size, just 2.2 square miles, means officers are often dealing with residents they have come into contact with before. “What’s the alternative?” asked Johnson. “Locking people away?”..

Strummin’ on the old banjo Country-music trio helps COPS help others

      An autographed banjo donated by the country music trio the Dixie Chicks is being auctioned off on-line by the group Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) in order to raise funds for programs to aid the families of officers killed in the line of duty.
      The Dixie Chicks — Natalie Maines, Martie Ceadel and Emily Robison — met with some of those friends and relatives after performing last May at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day service in Washington, D.C., where they witnessed firsthand the grief inflicted on those who lose a loved one to line-of-duty death, said COPS...