Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, Nos. 547, 548 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY January 15/31, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
No quick fixes: The LA County sheriff unveils a 30-year overhaul plan.
Mutual affection: Police & criminals alike in New Orleans love their Glock 40s.
Warming up to cold cases: Future forensic scientists aid investigators.
Tip of the hat: NAACP salutes NHSP.
People & Places: Cop-hating legislator cops out; woman at the helm; crocheting a tangled web; a pioneer’s passing; C-OP is a two-way street; hot wheels; sticking around; now you see them, now you don’t.
Boy, oh Boise: Landlords are targeted in drug crackdown.
Toxic export: A Massachusetts molester is suspected as Montana cannibal.
Vote-rocking: Town wants cops to show their voter IDs.
Forum: Community prosecution is the real deal; putting the drug war’s folly on the silver screen.
Trial & error: Simulations avoid real-life mistakes.
DC, we have a problem: Homicide unit overhaul is planned.
Info at the ready: FDLE expands its Web offerings.
Criminal Justice Library: “Tired Cops: The Importance of Managing Police Fatigue.”
Doffing their suit: Gun makers hope for a better deal from Bush.
R.I.P.: Police deaths surged in 2000.
Staying in: Court says sex offenders can still be held after prison terms are up.
Border crossing: Mexico court OKs drug suspect’s extradition.

 People & Places

Cop-hater cops out

      Facing a mounting storm of public outrage, a New Hampshire state legislator who espoused the view that killing law enforcement officers is justifiable agreed to step down last month. Although the freshman representative, Tom Alciere, had said that he would resign only if legislators agreed to sponsor his bills and bring them to a vote before the full House, his departure in January was unconditional.
      Alciere, a 41-year-old inspector of printed circuit boards, had kept his opinions to himself during his campaign last fall, although he posted them frequently on the Internet. “I didn’t mislead anybody,” he said. “I didn’t really defraud them in any way because they didn’t ask about my positions on the issues.”..

Woman’s work

      For the first time in the organization’s 78-year history, a woman is leading the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
      Mitzi Grasso, a 14-year veteran of the force, won election easily in December after having served as a full-time director of the union for four years. While Grasso said she doesn’t consider herself a feminist per se, she is committed to addressing issues that will affect women as well as the entire league membership...

Tangled web

      Reading the police department’s rules and regulations was the only available activity permitted during slow times, so it is no wonder that a Romeoville, Ill., emergency dispatcher began crocheting one night to keep herself awake. But as the village tried to uphold the suspension of the department supervisor who allowed the practice, it found itself instead opened up to civil rights litigation.
      Lieut. John Jarecki was suspended in 1998 for violating a village rule that bars dispatchers from any personal activity while on the job. The suspension was overturned, however, by an appellate court which also reinstated a civil rights suit filed against Romeoville. When the Illinois Supreme Court in December refused without comment to hear the village’s appeal, Jarecki went back to Will County Circuit Court to pursue his civil rights case, in which he alleged that he was singled out for enforcement of the rule banning personal activity...

Death of a pioneer

      When the New York City Police Department refused to allow Felicia Shpritzer to take the sergeant’s exam in 1961, she took the city to court and won, paving the way for her own advancement and that of female officers around the nation. Shpritzer, who retired from the force in 1976 at the rank of lieutenant, died on Dec. 26. She was 87.
      “I’m sure there were a lot of women before Shpritzer who sought advancement in the department then gave up, figuring it was not worth the risk,” said Patrick V. Murphy, who served as police commissioner in the early 1970’s. “But Shpritzer was determined and very professional. I had great admiration for her.”..

Two-way street

      Ideally, community policing is supposed to be a two-way street, and in Baton Rouge, La., it will be that way or else, the new police chief vowed this month.
      Pat Englade, who was sworn in on Jan. 17, said the department would not concentrate law enforcement activity in areas where citizens do not show an interest in following up with other improvements...

Hot wheels

      Pull over to the curb, Mario Andretti. Take a pit stop, Jeff Gordon. Dawn Odoi, a Bloomington, Ind., police detective, is curently tearing up the track.
      Odoi, 33, is a reigning national champion, having won the Sports Car Club of America’s Solo II National Championship event in the Pro Solo II category. Racing against the four top women racers in the nation, she won the championship by four-tenths of a second last September driving a 1965 Solo Vee Bobsy. It was the first year, and only the sixth time overall, that she had ever driven the car...

This one’s a keeper

      After going through four chiefs in eight years, city officials in Largo, Fla., are hoping that Lester Aradi, who was chosen this month to head the police department, will decide to stick around for a while.
      Aradi, 49, had served as deputy chief of the Buffalo Grove, Ill., Police Department since 1998. Last year, he and his wife purchased a vacation home in nearby Clearwater, Fla., intending to retire there eventually. But when the chief’s job opened up in Largo, Aradi said he could not pass it up...

Now you see them, now you don’t

      It was an odd retirement for Bobby Burgess — from DeKalb County, Ga.’s long-time chief of police to its director of public safety. But when Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown was ambushed and shot dead in his driveway in December, someone had to fill his place in the interim. With Public Safety Director Thomas Brown taking up that post, Burgess stepped into what had been his boss’s job.
      The shift was one of many that took place at the start of the new year among law enforcement executives. It was, however, the only one prompted by a murder...