Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVI, No. 544 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY November 30, 2000

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: An OK chorale; exiting in protest; working without Annette; smaller pastures; outside track; tough top cop.
Olympic undertaking: Finding enough cops to police the 2002 Winter Games.
Paying up: College settles suit over false promises to CJ students.
Partners against crime: College & industry team up to fight cyber-crime.
Domestic help: Rethinking the merits of mandatory arrest & restraining orders in fighting domestic violence.
Candid cameras: In-car video recorders may not be working out.
Quality counts: IACP honors three cutting-edge programs.
Cleaning up their act: Solutions to nagging graffiti problems.
Quota, unquota: Is 19 years long enough for hiring decree?
A ruse is a ruse: Albuquerque says “oops” over wiretap subterfuge.
Power of suggestion: Few teens are counseled to think of police careers.
Forum: Random thoughts on the KC patrol study; the Wardlow ruling takes flight.
Criminal Justice Library: Gender & community policing; a guide to selecting a police chief.
All aboard: Model railroaders help police with tabletop simulations.

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.


Random thoughts on the KC patrol study

      Policing in the United States has been hampered for the past 25 years by the misinterpretation of the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Study. The oversimplified sound bite “random patrol brings random results” has inhibited meaningful analysis of police performance. Critics of the police, including political powers-that-be, can point to the 1973 study in opposing or diverting funding for patrol services in favor of seemingly promising new programs. Too many police initiatives have started from the flawed premise that traditional policing must be rejected, reorganized and/or reinvented. These new programs receive a great deal of attention as they start up, but gradually the programs fade as the need for traditional police service reappears.
      Studies of police practices over the past 100 years can be grouped into three broad categories. The first, and perhaps the oldest, may be called operational research, a scientific approach to the management of work to maximize productivity. The internal analysis of performance typically focuses on division of labor, span of control, fixed responsibility, commensurate authority and accountability. A second type of police analysis is driven by reform, as individuals outside the police agency observe abuse of police authority and set about to correct misconduct. These studies are normally short-lived and narrowly focused. Results can often be predicted as soon as the investigative panel’s membership has been identified. The third and most recent is the academic study, wherein individuals outside the police agency examine police performance, with no particular agenda or responsibility for the results produced...

Flee collars & the police

      Historically, criminologists have quickly separated into two polarized factions anytime the issue of suspect flight hit the agenda. In one camp you would find those who abide by the axiom that “the wicked flee when no man pursueth.” On the other end of the continuum, an equally fervent group will assert that the “righteous are as bold as a lion.” When the United States Supreme Court was asked to established a “bright-line rule” to establish once and for all how law enforcement may respond to the fleeing suspect, they found the vehicle from which to rule, in the case of Illinois v. Wardlow, decided on Jan. 12 of this year.
      In a nutshell, Wardlow fled upon seeing police officers patrolling an area known for heavy narcotics trafficking and other illicit activities. Two officers gave chase, overtook Wardlow and patted him down for weapons. The officers found Wardlow to be in possession of a .38-caliber handgun and subsequently arrested him. Much to the chagrin of many civil libertarians and constitutional scholars, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who delivered the majority opinion, found that the stop did not violate the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. This after the Illinois Appellate Court reversed a trial court ruling that served to deny Wardlow’s motion to suppress, a decision that was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court...