Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, No. 549 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY February 14, 2001

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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.

 People & Places

Getting the boot

      Los Angeles Police Commission president Gerald Chaleff was apparently not forceful enough to suit Mayor Richard Riordan when it came to urging police officials to boost morale, recruitment and community policing efforts. This month Riordan fired the commissioner in a controversial move that left some wondering whether the ouster was an attempt to prevent implementation of reforms mandated by a federal consent decree.
      “As much as any current commissioners are reformers, Gerry Chaleff would be chief among them,” former commissioner Gary Greenebaum, who served as Riordan’s first Police Commission president, told The Los Angeles Times. “I don’t see what problem is solved by firing Chaleff. Whenever the politicians start muscling the Police Commission, something bigger is up.”..

Popular choice

      Anchorage Police Lieut. Walter C. Monegan, a 27-year veteran, was tapped last month as the city’s new chief, much to the delight of the agency’s rank-and-file, who had been early supporters of his selection.
      He was among a half-dozen top candidates interviewed for the post, including Deputy Chief Mark Mew. “This was not an easy decision,” Mayor George Wuerch told The Anchorage Daily News. “I wanted to make some changes. I wanted to take a little risk, to step outside the box a little bit.” ..

Looking within

      While Hawaii County officials were urged to select an outsider who suffered no taint from a promotion rigging scandal that led to the retirement of Chief Wayne Carvalho last year, they chose acting Chief James Correa last month to lead the county police department on a permanent basis.
      Correa, 47, said he had no plans for a major overhaul of the 300-member department. A 25-year veteran of the agency, he was appointed deputy chief in 1995. Among the tasks that he said will top his agenda will be earning national accreditation and developing a new hiring and promotional system. Big Island Mayor Harry Kim imposed a temporary freeze on all such personnel actions until a new plan can be approved by the county’s civil service department...

An act of Providence

      Providence, R.I., has a new police chief, but whether he serves on an interim or permanent basis depends on whether one asks the mayor or state officials, who persuaded the city to conduct a nationwide search for an outsider who would have no risk of tarnish from numerous recent scandals.
      In an effort to quickly fill the leadership vacuum left by former chief Urbano Prignano Jr., Maj. Richard T. Sullivan was sworn in on Feb. 1, the choice of Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. There is widespread support, however, even within the city’s police union, for a broader search, although it is unclear whether the City Charter will permit an outsider to take the post...

Now you see them, now you don’t

      Local officials in Dinosaur, Colo., believe that it was former police chief Darrell Murphy’s lack of training, not avarice, that led him to break the law.
      Murphy, hired in 1998 with just several months of law-enforcement certification training and a short stint as a volunteer reserve officer in Fort Collins under his belt, was sentenced in February to two years probation after he pleaded no contest to charges of embezzlement, official misconduct and illegally issuing concealed-weapons permits...