Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, Nos. 554 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY April 30, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Bush’s tough choice; okey-dokey in Holyoke; the doctor is in; stars of Bethlehem; the St. Pete beat; now you see them, now you don’t.
Vicious cycle: Diminished prospects for abused & neglected children.
Sweetening the pot: Chicago wants more cops to take assignments in public housing units.
Making tracks: DEA works with Amtrak to get the drop on rail passengers.
Spreading the word: E-mail bulletins do the job for a small department.
In the spotlight: Omaha publicizes its chronic domestic violence offenders.
Free ride? What some people will do for free medical care — get arrested.
Blowing the call: Newspaper reports a bias “killing” that never happened.
Imbalance of power: Why does Detroit have so few homicide clearances, yet plenty of arrests per case?
Turning up the HEAT: A different approach to community policing.
The color of profiling: Black cops as both victims & users of the practice.
Playing it safe: County drops “most wanted” list from its Web site.
Forum: A realistic, close-range look at nonlethal munitions gives users & manufacturers plenty to think about.

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.


A close-range look at nonlethal munitions

      In a confrontation late last November, a patrol officer with the Los Angeles Police Department shot a woman with a beanbag round. The officer fired three shots, missing once, hitting the woman in the shoulder, and finally, hitting her in the eye. Headlines the following day screamed, “Police Clash May Cost Woman An Eye.” A subsequent letter to the editor likened Los Angeles to a banana republic and asked, “Where do they get their training? The School of the Americas?”
      But the problem may not have been with the officer’s marksmanship or training. A study published in early April by Pennsylvania State University and its Institute for Emerging Defense Technologies found that less-than-lethal, also known as nonlethal munitions are often unreliable and inaccurate even at close range. (Rather than confuse the reader with various definitions of “nonlethal” vs. “less-than-lethal,” the word “nonlethal” is used in all instances.)..