Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, No. 569, 570 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY January 15/31, 2002

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: From FOP to the top; prime Meridian; coming full circle; the power of a hug; Oliverís travels; just call him ďDave.Ē
Truth decay: NJ troopers admit to lying in Turnpike shooting case.
The face is familiar: British cops hope to use biometric technology to ID child-porn victims.
Record numbers: Does NYCís homicide total for 2001 deserve an asterisk?
Unfit for duty? Some Omaha cops were hired without doctorís physicals.
Federal File: Criminal justice developments at the federal level.
Unavailable for comment: Interviews with Middle Easterners in Michigan arenít going as well as expected.
Two-way street: Kentucky judges makes waves with ruling on protection orders.
Tough medicine: New Mexico has a new prescription for chronic DUIís.
Let the sun shine in: San Antonio use-of-force reports arenít confidential, a judge rules.
Forum: A new way of doing business at NIJ; rethinking community policing.
Upcoming Events: Opportunities for professional development.

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 new way of doing business at NIJ

     I am not a criminologist; Iím a practitioner. I have been for over 20 years. And I have primarily focused on policy matters in criminal justice. This is what my love is ó trying to figure out how we can improve criminal justice in our country. Yet even though I am not a criminologist, I know how important the work is that criminologists do in that regard. Criminologists have sparked the debate, and have been involved in things from changing arrest policies in domestic violence to talking about coerced abstinence ó all creative policy. This work has really changed the way we do business in this country.

      As good as that is, though, I think the thing to remember is that there really is more that can be offered. Thereís a lot of work out there that is not getting translated to the field. This is something that we all need to work on, and certainly at NIJ this is something that I plan to work on...

A new way of doing business at NIJ

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the community policing fan club. The definition of community is too vague and the obligations placed upon the police are too broad. The concept of a police-community partnership is fundamentally flawed. The public is not a single entity and mutually exclusive objectives often compete for public attention. Asking individual police officers to build community consensus, identify latent problems, resolve conflicts, find appropriate solutions, coordinate community response, and apply an appropriate remedy is quite an undertaking. Asking an officer to solve persistent problems in spare time, when not responding to citizen calls for service, is totally unreasonable.

      In theory, policing is relatively easy, and there is little need for a police force when the distinction between good and evil is clear and widely accepted as valid. But actual policing is seldom that simple. When two or more rights come into conflict and individuals reject the controlling legal authority, prompt police intervention may be required to prevent violence. The officer maintains order while the issue in dispute is presented for judicial review to haggle over the meaning of words, the intent of the parties involved, and the application of existing legal precedents...