Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, No. 575 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY April 15, 2002

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Blood ties; air heads; heading home; in the thick of things.
Now you see them, now you don’t: Departments make changes at the top.
First aid, not worst aid: Getting smart about medical response.
The truth is out there: FCC admits cell-phones interfere with police radios.
Red faces in Denver: Police intelligence practices are criticized.
Hold the line: DoJ officials say ‘no’ to easing penalties for crack.
It’s not over yet: Crime continues to drop in some cities.
If it’s not broken: IACP wants bank heists left in FBI’s hands.
Later for loitering law: Madison will let anti-drug ordinance expire.
Let’s do lunch: A new dimension in cultural diversity training.
Hit the road, Grandma: Supreme Court upholds controversial drug eviction policy.
Forum: A model of collaboration to fight domestic violence.
Letters: Feedback from our readers.
Spurred into action: As robberies rise, British cops will expand stop & search practices.

 People & Places

Blood ties

      While there would seem little that a Wyoming lawman and a convicted criminal serving a life sentence could have in common, Stephen Watt and Mark Farnham share a friendship that was forged in blood — each other’s.

      On March 18, 1982, Farnham shot Watt five times. Deeply in debt after drug dealing and other misadventures, Farnham had just robbed the Alpine Savings and Loan in Craig, Colo. Watt, who was then a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer, had pulled over Farnham’s brown compact to ask him if he had seen a red sports car, the vehicle described as the getaway car...

Air heads

     Eight of the country’s “best and brightest” in the fields of security and policing were sworn in last month as the Transportation Security Administration’s first federal security directors responsible for overseeing airport safety.

      “Our search for applicants for the new position of federal security directors began with a simple premise: find the highest caliber of candidate, with the highest possible level of experience, integrity, honesty and reliability,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. “The men and women you see here today — Marine Corps generals, Navy admirals, Secret Service agents and police commissioners — exemplify each and every one of these characteristics.”...

Heading home

      Although he is a long-time Nassau County resident, James Lawrence chose to make his law-enforcement career in New York City. But now the NYPD’s chief of personnel is coming home.

      Lawrence was tapped this month to be Nassau’s police commissioner by County Executive Thomas Suozzi. He will replace William Willett, 70, who is retiring in June.

The thick of things

      During the late 1980’s, when he was commander of the San Antonio Police Department’s homicide unit, Albert Ortiz recalls, he was on the hot seat as murders rose to record levels. Now, as chief of the department where he has spent his entire career, Ortiz finds himself once again in the thick of things, as the city experiences its first rise in violent crime in nearly a decade.

      Sworn in on March 29, Ortiz is the first Hispanic chief to come from within the agency’s ranks. He succeeds Al Philippus, who observers say hand-picked Ortiz to succeed him. Philippus retired in March after seven years as chief, to take a position as head of security for Valero Energy Corp.