Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVI, No. 542 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY October 31, 2000

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: McCaffrey eyes the exit; art imitates life; Sherman rules; in like Flynn; down by the Riverside; tales of 2 cities; a quick study.
End of the line? With crime dropping yet again, criminologists wonder if the upturn is just around the corner.
Partners against crime: Public & private entities tackle the problems of low-income housing.
Who’s who: If these homeless have their hands out, they’re likely to get fingerprinted.
New life: The LAPD revives a popular community-policing program.
Bum rap: Law enforcement finds a new reason not to like rap artists — and vice versa.
Biting the bullet: LA accepts a consent decree for police reform.
Like they never left: Serial killers may be less notorious, but they’re still part of the crime scene.
Some good news: Monitors sees progress toward reform by NJ State Police.
Number-crunching: What do the civilian complaint data mean in Columbus?
Career-killers: LA police union sues over letters in cops’ personnel files.
Criminal Justice Library: Two thumbs up for this “Command Performance.”

 People & Places

Eyeing the exit

      After managing the nation’s war on drugs for nearly five years, White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey said this month that he would be stepping aside on Jan. 6 so that whichever candidate becomes president would have a clean slate to form his own policies on substance abuse.
      Since his appointment by President Clinton in 1996, McCaffrey, 57, has overseen a dramatic increase in the level of funding for prevention, education and treatment. During those years, the federal budget for treatment alone grew by 35 percent, or to more than $3 billion. At the same time, money for prevention and education expanded by 52 percent. As director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), McCaffrey heads an agency with a budget of $500 million, as compared with $35 million five years ago. ..

Imitating life

      Television is paying homage to the crime-fighting philosophy of former New York City deputy police commissioner Jack Maple, who during the tenure of Police Commissioner William Bratton developed a number of techniques, known collectively as Compstat, that have been credited with lowering crime in the Big Apple and numerous other jurisdictions.
      The CBS-TV program, called “The District,” is set in Washington, D.C., where a flamboyant police chief, played by Craig T. Nelson, is brought in from Newark, N.J., to shake up a troubled department. Although the idea of a white person hired to clean up a largely minority agency in a largely minority city has raised some hackles, the show’s producer, Terry George, said it is nonetheless truthful...

Top of the heap

      The American Society of Criminology has elected Dr. Lawrence W. Sherman as president of the organization for a one-year term beginning in January.
      Sherman, who is the Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations and director of the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, has produced research on higher education for police, gun crime and domestic violence, among other issues, which have influenced public policy and criminology theory for the past 30 years...

Dan’s the man

      Telling his new colleagues and subordinates very simply, “I commit to doing my best” and “I’d like to get started,” former Metro-Dade Police Maj. Dan Flynn was sworn in last month as the new police chief of Savannah, Ga. — a swift wrap-up to nearly a year of searching by officials.
      Flynn, 49, was chosen to succeed David Gellatly in a closely watched competition with interim chief Maj. Dan Reynolds. Gellatly, who retired on Dec. 31, was chief for nearly 19 years...

Down by Riverside

      The Riverside, Calif., Police Department badge will be a good badge, vows Russ Leach, who was sworn in last month as the agency’s new chief.
      With the fatal shooting of Tyisha Miller two years ago, an event that led to the establishment of a civilian review board and other changes in the department, the RPD picked up a reputation for being unmanageable. That is not the case, said Leach...

Tales of 2 cities

      Trevor A. Hampton did not become chief of Elizabeth City, N.C. to be liked — which is probably wise, given the controversy surrounding his selection by the City Council this summer.
      Elizabeth City’s first black police leader, Hampton had previously served as chief in Flint, Mich., and Durham, N.C. As a captain in Greensboro, N.C., in 1979, he was in charge of a section of town where a communist rally ran afoul of a group of Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis. Five were killed and nine wounded, according to newspaper reports...

Quick study

      Since the unexpected death of Bloomington, Ill., Police Chief Dennis O’Brien this past summer, his successor, Roger Aikin, has been playing a game of catch-up while getting used to his new responsibilities.
      “From my perspective, Roger’s doing fine,” said City Manager Tom Hamilton. “He’s been awful busy trying to pick up the pieces and trying to put them back together. I’ve heard good things from city staff about his administration. He just needs to make sure he doesn’t burn himself out,” he told The (Bloomington) Pantagraph...