Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVII, No. 564 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY October 31, 2001

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Command presence; cop rock; shooting gallery; early departure; agency heads among the WTC dead.
Lost in the shuffle: Report card gives 911 systems a ‘B.’
Taking a back seat: Privacy of officers’ personnel files takes a hit in court.
The last full measure of devotion: Law enforcement personnel dead or still missing at the World Trade Center.
Drop in the bucket: FBI says hate crimes are a small fraction of reported offenses.
Facing up to profiling: Supreme Court takes a pass on appeal.
Gangland on-line: Gangs use Web sites to tout their lifestyle, recruit new members.
Payback: Despite austerity, sheriff says he’ll honor a debt to watch out for elderly.
Forum: It’s time to arm pilots, among other steps.
Under the radar: Local agencies suffer, almost unnoticed, from the strain of stretched resources.

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The military’s job — and law enforcement’s

      As someone who had a 35-year career in policing, for a time working for the NYPD near the World Trade Center, and who now does research on criminal justice issues including terrorism, I was heartened to hear the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff say, “The military is ready,” and President Bush describe the terrorist murder of thousands of Americans on September 11, 2001, as an act of war. I was further encouraged by the President’s promise that those responsible will be hunted down and punished, and that, “We will not differentiate between the terrorists and those who harbored or assisted them.”
      Law enforcement agencies clearly have a role in identifying the perpetrators, responding to such tragedies that do occur and taking part in security and target-hardening measures. But make no mistake. Although state and federal laws were violated, the terrorist attacks of September 11 were acts of war, not crimes to be handled by our legal system. We should all unite behind our government’s military retaliation. It would be a mockery of our legal system to put Osama bin Laden and his cohorts through years-long legal trials that they would use to further their anti-American propaganda, simultaneously creating security and potential terrorism nightmares...