Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, No. 552 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY March 31, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Money talks, but not much; a prophecy fulfilled; worth the weight; car tunes; just press “clear”; now you see them, now you don’t.
It takes a county: Fla. sheriffs get good reviews for handling child abuse.
Just the facts: Police agencies & the media square off over information access.
Anybody home? Amid abuses, HUD suspends the Officer Next Door program.
More than a number: Young Mass. troopers seek return of mandatory retirement age.
The dead pool: Line-of-duty deaths drop sharply.
Outdoing themselves: American Indians pay a disproportionate price in violent-crime victimization.
Stormy petrol: Gasoline-sniffing is a worrisome craze in Canada.
You’ve got hate mail: Vulgar & racist e-mails bedevil DC police.
Riverside oversight: The California A-G will have a look-see.
Ending the abuse: Federal monitor gets the call in NY town.
Forum: Old & new paths to achieving justice.
Eager beavers: Florida town pulls in the reins on overzealous police volunteers.

 People & Places

Money talks

      If they were reclusive before, winning a record $85-million Texas lottery jackpot this month has done nothing to make Austin Police Officer Robert Chody and his wife, Beverly, any more willing to talk about the details of their lives.
      “There’s really not any fears of everybody knowing,” Beverly Chody told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We just wanted to make sure that our stability was taken care of first.”..

Prophecy fulfilled

      When Janice Freehling applied for a job with the Altoona, Pa., Police Department in 1976, she told city officials that one day she planned to be running the agency. It is hard to know now which surprised them more — that an applicant would have the gumption to make such a claim, or that a female would presume to think that she had the right stuff to run an all-male department.
      Freehling was hired as an officer, becoming the first sworn female member of the force. A little more than 24 years later, she made good on her earlier bold prediction when she was appointed police chief in March. “I just thought that any job I was hired at…there was no reason not to be as good as I can be.”..

Worth the weight

      Wurtland, Ky., Police Chief Phil Piercy has returned to a familiar old hobby — weightlifting — with a familiar degree of success. A former Marine who competed successfully during the 1980s, he claimed the natural division crown at the Power Sports National Championships competition in Nashville last month.
      “I just competed on and off for a while when I was in the Marine Corps and I stopped weightlifting and started boxing,” said Piercy. “I didn’t like losing the weight so I went back to weightlifting.”..

Car tunes

      They may sound like the alternative rock-rap band Limp Bizkit, but the message that a Newark, Calif., police trio sends to teenagers is pure public safety.
      While they have not as yet named their group, Officers Will Palmini and Shawnacy Nauroth, along with their boss, Lieut. Lance Morrison, have two songs on the “Cops on Patrol” CD released in March by several San Francisco Bay area law enforcement agencies. The disc was made in conjunction with the Chief Operator Teen Driver program, an organization founded by Palmini’s father, Albany police Lieut. Bill Palmini, which recently received a three-year, $1.1-million grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety...

Now you see them, now you don’t

      After getting fired and then reinstated three times during his seven-year tenure, Rockton, Ill., Police Chief Richard Meacham said he is finally leaving for good on May 25. The village will pay for four years of health insurance coverage for Meacham, as well as provide early retirement incentive that would buy him out for five years of service. The package could cost the village more than $100,000.
      Meacham is unsure what he will do next, but one thing is certain, he said: “I am not going to be back as a police chief…. It would have to be something part-time, maybe a greeter at Kmart or something, definitely something less stressful.” ..