Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, Nos. 555 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY May 15, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Empty saddle in Jackson; lucky number; LA law, part 1 & 2; heroes’ welcome; museum pieces.
Super models: DoJ names 9 model sites for community policing approaches.
Freeh at last: FBI director heads for the exit.
Sounds of silence: Portland PD hears concerns of deaf residents.
Sign of the times: DARE officer uses her hands to reach the hearing-impaired.
Split decision: Supreme Court divides sharply on arrest powers.
Good in theory: Subsidizing cops to live on state land — a good idea gone bad?
Thumbs up: Pawnshop customers may have to leave a fingerprint.
Upping the ante: Paying bonuses to cops who recruit viable candidates.
The Pitts: Complaint-review panel in Pittsburgh isn’t measuring up.
New watchdog: Aggressive prosecutor will head review panel for LA sheriff.
Giving notice: Judge’s order can’t stop chief from issuing sex-offender alert.
Handoff: Special prosecutor gets case that sparked Cincinnati rioting.
Less than meets the eye: Casting doubt on eyewitness testimony.
Third time’s the charm? Black FBI agents win another round in court.
Forum: A new challenge for cops; leadership & the bond of trust.
Reasonable doubts: Oklahoma City lab work is under scrutiny.

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.


With crime down, cops face new challenge

      A recent Quinnipiac University poll brought good news to New Yorkers and their new police commissioner. Since April 2000, police approval ratings jumped from 17 percent to 31 percent in the African American community, from 33 percent to 39 percent among Latinos and from 43 percent to 50 percent overall. Bernard Kerik, the commissioner since August, quickly claimed credit, saying improving public confidence is the cornerstone of his policing strategy.
      Indeed, if done carefully, Kerik’s ambitious citizen-oriented program for police managers could set a national example. But success depends on understanding what is needed to bring confidence levels up...

Leadership’s bond of trust

      The old military dogma, one also quite familiar to many areas of the private sector, was “I am the boss, you are the subordinate, just do what I tell you to do. You don’t have to trust me, in fact you don’t even have to like me. Just follow orders.” Many old adages support this paradigm: “Leadership is a lonely position.” “A manager’s job is to manage, not run a popularity contest.” “If you are going to lead, then lead.” “When I tell you to jump, just go up, I’ll tell you when to come down.”
      This autocratic approach worked well for America for 200 years, but that was back in the days when life was simple. Back then if you did not work, you did not eat. Today if you don’t work, you can make a pretty good living. We are not economically or financially bound by a job today as we were then. Back then, having a job was only a means to an end (providing for your family). Today, having a meaningful career is an important end in itself. Back then, we worked for someone; today we want to work with someone. (Today there are no “employees”; everyone is an “associate.”) Back then, work came first, then family. For many workers today, family is first and work second. Back then there was little, if any, civil rights laws, today, everyone has rights...

Work on demand

      To the editor: It is sad to see that, like most of our “modern” print news media, you put your editorials on the front page in the guise of unbiased news articles.
      Your article on the D.A.R.E. program [“DARE to Be Different,” LEN, Feb. 28, 2001] is extremely biased and unbalanced. You make little if any effort to tell both sides of this story. You made no mention of the 17-plus research studies that show that D.A.R.E. does have an effect on students. You made no mention of the fact that D.A.R.E. America has continually revised its curriculum over the years to keep current of the newest teaching trends and to stay culturally relevant. You point out that D.A.R.E. funding was cut by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools because it is not “scientifically proven.” Can you name one program that is scientifically proven?...