Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, No. 551 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY March 15, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Pulling his weight; diamond setting; return of the native; comic relief; back on top; Conway, his way.
Sounds of silence: Cell-phone towers create dead zones for police.
Get it in writing: The LAPD finally spells out misconduct penalties.
That’s why they call it ‘dope’: Study looks at long-term brain damage in meth users.
History lessons: Poring over old police blotters for clues to new violence.
Playing keep-away: Tracking system for violent offenders may be going off-line.
Doing the wave: Customs Service watches as stolen cars head south.
Piqua-boo: Scaring up an easy answer to a report-writing burden.
Good news, better news: An encouraging picture of police use of force.
Marked for identification: Maryland SP to ‘fingerprint’ handguns.
School daze: Nationwide, school violence keeps erupting.
Missing link? Study challenges the ‘Broken Windows’ thesis linking crime & disorder.
Getting out of hand: Big-city chiefs assess Mardi Gras violence.
Forum: Crime by the numbers; defending ‘Broken Windows.’
High-tech help: New Mexico police get a hand in tracking missing kids.

 People & Places

Pulling his weight

      When the Make-a-Wish Foundation first heard about a Hamilton, Ohio, police lieutenant who planned to pull a homemade rickshaw 300 miles from Canada to Cincinnati to raise funds for children with potentially fatal diseases, the idea seemed “off the wall,” according to a foundation spokeswoman.
      But then the spokeswoman, Tracy Beckman, met Lieut. Mike Martinsen, the father of a severely retarded daughter, and realized that he was determined enough to make it happen. “We have never had anybody give that much personal effort or go to that extent for Make-a-Wish,” she said...

Diamond setting

      Lakeland, Fla., city officials last month swore in Cliff Diamond as police chief, capping a search and interview process that had lasted five months.
      Diamond, 47, is a former deputy chief from Scottsdale, Ariz. His reputation there helped seal the deal, said Lakeland City Manager Roger Haar. “He is highly ethical and respected by the community and has worked his way through the ranks,” he told The (Lakeland) Ledger. Haar was also impressed by Diamond’s enthusiasm for his new city. After being chosen in January, he wasted no time in purchasing a house in Oakbridge...

Bratton returns

      Randy Scott Bratton is not a veteran of the local police department, but he is a native of Paducah, Ky., where city officials last month selected him as the new police chief.
      Bratton, 37, will be returning to his hometown after serving 16 years with the St. Petersburg, Fla., Police Department, where he was a major in command of the youth resources division. In a 3-2 vote, he was chosen over three other candidates, including a Paducah police captain, Gary Reese. Despite the closeness of the vote, Mayor Bill Paxton said Bratton would have his and the department’s support...

Fun & games

      As a rookie officer in Nashville, Det. Dan Whitehurst’s beat was Broadway, an area of the city then known mostly for street people and winos. “You know, my car would always smell like stale urine,” he said. “I guess I just frightened too easily.”

Back on top

      Six years ago, Lieut. Jed Dolnick of the Washington County, Wis., Sheriff’s Department filled in briefly as interim chief of the Jackson Police Department. He returned to the job this month, but this time the transition will be permanent.
      olnick, 45, assumed command on March 12, replacing Chief Peter Habel, who last year announced his intention to step down. Dolnick’s first few days in Jackson, he told Law Enforcement News, have been spent trying to make the adjustment from a sheriff’s department with more than 100 employees to an agency with eight officers, a sergeant and a chief...

A man with a plan
Aragon brings his management style to Arkansas

      Although he arrived in town just days after a major ice storm hit the area, the new police chief of Conway, Ark., Randall Aragon, has received a warm welcome from city officials who chose the 26-year veteran from a pool of five finalists for the post.
      Aragon replaced Capt. A.J. Gary, who was serving as interim police chief. After serving for 16 years as chief in three North Carolina localities, Selma, Whiteville and Lumberton, Aragon left policing early last year to care for his ailing mother. It was his experience as a police manager coupled with his “dynamic personality” that led to his appointment in Conway, said Mayor Tab Townsell...