Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, Nos. 557 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY June 15/30, 2001

[LEN Home] - [Masthead] - [Past Issues] SUBSCRIBE

In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Out of uniform; happy campers; within & without; back in the saddle; no excuses; comings & goings.
Going up? Surveys agree to disagree on latest direction in crime.
A more favorable profile: NJ calls for profiling summit, new policing institute.
Blue-ribbon findings: Ideas for improving the Providence police.
Buckling down: Boosting seat-belt use, especially among blacks.
The beat goes on: Across America, new developments on the racial profiling beat.
Two fields to tend: A sitting police chief is called on to monitor another department.
Out of steam? The militia movement is seen as a shell of its former self.
De-specializing: Community policing spells an end to public housing outreach units.
Forum: Don’t rush to judge police actions; the re-education of anti-truancy efforts.
Criminal Justice Library: Smoke & mirrors in policing.
Hurting the one you love: Intimates are more injurious than strangers.
Under a new microscope: Stepping up the scrutiny of the FBI.
Aftercare, not an afterthought: Rethinking juvenile justice.
A blind eye: London police ease enforcement of pot possession.

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.


Before rushing to judge cops for their actions...

Start by spending a few hundred nights in a squad car

      Six months into what became a four-year ethnography of police work, and after two years of being a reserve officer myself, I killed my first unarmed suspect.
      He was lying 10 feet away on a Minneapolis park bench, his back to me when I asked, “Are you OK?” He rolled over suddenly, rambled toward me, and started pulling something out of his pocket. He didn’t obey my command to “freeze and drop it.” A few seconds later, it was over. I had shot four times, hitting him twice...

Karen Dahood
Creating an anti-truancy effort that runs like a Swiss watch

      Truancy is one of the worst problems today’s high schools face. It cheats school budgets, and it is becoming epidemic. With allocations based on attendance, some administrators have taken extreme measures, such as investments in bar code technology that scans students’ I.D. cards when they arrive and tracks them through the day. One town pays “truant hunters” $300-500 to return a child to the fold.
      In Tucson, Ariz., (pop. 850,000), a program has been designed as a kind of Switzerland, an enclave of neutrality and tranquility, to do the job. For the past several months, Pima Community College has given a hand to Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, who is concerned about losing otherwise good kids to the streets. LaWall served on the state’s commission on juvenile delinquency and understands the slippery slope between truancy and crime. Truancy may be a mere status offense, like running away or breaking curfew, however, more than 90 percent of the state’s inmates have chronic truancy records...