Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, Nos. 549 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY February 14, 2001

[LEN Home] - [Masthead] - [Past Issues] SUBSCRIBE

In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Getting the boot; leapfrogging to the top; staying home in Hawaii; an act of Providence; now you see them, now you don’t.
New hand on the tiller: Ashcroft survives Senate confirmation to become the new A-G.
Cancer problem: Oxycontin is a drug of choice for cancer patients — and substance abusers.
Keeping tabs: Tampa cops look for bad guys in the Super Bowl crowd.
Carrot & stick: Boston PD’s approach to dealing with prisoner re-entry.
Time for change: NY gov pushes overhaul of harsh drug laws.
Fingertip control: Hand-held DNA test kit will soon be ready for British cops.
Feeding the fire: Racism fuels most hate crimes.
Heavenly help: Arming police with the power of prayer.
Forum: What real police leadership entails.
Change of heart: NYC mayor gives civilian board power to prosecute police misconduct.
Murder in mind: Two rogue cops were targeting a fellow officer.
A sharper edge: Fatal stabbings are a problem in Boston.

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.


Real leadership is more than just a walk in the park

      “If you think you’re a leader, but nobody is following you, then you are just out for a walk.”
      Bosses have subordinates, but true leaders have followers regardless of their rank or title. Historically, when individuals thought of leadership, they thought of rank. For rookies, it was the field training officer and for everyone else it was the level(s) above their rank. That perception, along with a top-down chain of command, caused a lot of people to believe that they cannot or should not do anything about reoccurring or organizational problems. Organizational problems were beyond their authority, even if they saw departmental problems and solutions; they simply waited for those above them to resolve it...

Another voice
On racial profiling

      In Los Angeles some big-name male African-American athletes and entertainers, as well as other successful young-to-middle-aged black men, say they save time and avoid being hassled by police if they give their local police the tag numbers of the expensive vehicles they drive. Police patrols can then check to see which black-driven cars to leave alone. The issue here, of course, is racial profiling — the practice of police pulling people over, usually young male blacks and Hispanics, for questioning if they fit a particular criminal profile.
      Racial profiling has now become the latest cause célèbre for civil rights activists. Legislation is being introduced in Congress and many state legislatures to curb the practice. Most bills call for collecting data to determine if police patrols create a racial pattern in stopping people. The problem is the datum not only adds another layer of paperwork, it could also be exploited as a first step to write laws that ban all profiling and, ultimately, tie the hands of police...