Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, No. 577, 578 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY May 15/31, 2002

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Soul man; lethal rivalry; time to move on; intent to kill; holding hands; now you see them, now you don’t.
Briefly noted: DoJ green-lights expansive view of 2nd Amendment.
Hell on wheels: Police force says “no thanks” to high-tech scooter.
The booze wall of silence: NYPD gets tough with DWI cops.
Disarming development: Texas sheriff halts ride-alongs for armed civilians.
One into two: Will form follow function for the INS?
Red-flagging: Arkansas rethinks handling of youngest sex offenders.
The Russians are coming: Denver-area citizens’ police academy keys on Russian community.
She’s a what? LEN salutes the new Miss Universe. (Find out why.)
Nothing to fear? Child killer takes notification matters into his own hands.
Forum: The problem of divergent state firearms laws; the hole truth & nothing but.
Criminal Justice Library: LEN explores “Critical Issues in Police Training.
Decisions, decisions, decisions: A roundup of recent court rulings.

One last hurrah
Issuing its final report, IACP halts data collection on use of force

      With the release this month of its final report on police use of force, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is getting out of the data collection business and leaving further number crunching to federal agencies.

     The association pulled the plug last October on its National Police Use of Force Database, a project launched in 1995 in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Under the program, local law enforcement was asked to use a software prototype distributed by IACP to capture and maintain its use-of-force data. Once analyzed, the information provided a picture of how, why, and when force was being applied in jurisdictions around the country...

Homeland security seen as a patchwork riddled with holes

      With states developing a patchwork of individual anti-terrorist plans, laxity at federal facilities where deadly pathogens are stored, and government and private computer networks consistently targeted by hackers, the nation’s homeland security seems at this point to be more holes than fence.

      “The states are grabbing what they can and sewing it all together,” said Eileen Preisser, a professor of homeland and national security at the New Mexico Institute of Mines and Technology, whose comments appeared in USA Today last month. “What happens, though, when you need it to work and it all collapses or spins out of control?”...

Going to the source:
FLPD knows no bounds in Haitian outreach

      When the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Police Department wanted to recruit Creole-speaking Haitian Americans as part of its effort to respond to the area’s Caribbean community, it went straight to the source.

      Sgt. Alfred Lewers Jr. was accompanied by Officer Michael Stitt, one of two Haitian Americans on the force, and the department’s community relations specialist, Junia Jeantilus, on a trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in April to speak with hundreds of high school seniors at two American schools. The teenagers, mainly American citizens, are the children of diplomats, missionaries and others living in Haiti, said Lewers...

DoJ briefs slip in new spin on Second Amendment guarantees

      The Second Amendment broadly guarantees the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms, the Justice Department asserted this month in a position which falls in line with that held by the National Rifle Association and the personal opinion of Attorney General John Ashcroft.

      The Justice Department’s position, discreetly expressed in footnotes attached to each of two briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on May 6, states: “…the Second Amendment more broadly protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any militia or engaged in active military service or training, to possess and bear their own firearms, subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of types of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse.”...

Department likes its two-wheelers to have pedals & seat

      It was fun while it lasted, but the Manchester, N.H., Police Department has no intention of purchasing the high-tech scooters that officers from the community policing and parking control units tried out this month during a 10-day evaluation.

      “Like everything else in the public sector, we’re dealing with a tight budget and we have different tools we currently use, like the mountain bike,” said Sgt. Shawn Fournier...

Following DWI deaths, NYPD gets tough with drunken cops

      Just days after a Brooklyn jury returned a guilty verdict in the case of an off-duty New York City police officer who ran down a family of four, including a pregnant woman, after an extended drinking binge, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly declared a new get-tough policy against drunken driving on and off the job.

      The protocol codifies and strengthens existing regulations, as well as adding new provisions. It is intended to make the consequences “clearer” for police, said Kelly. Under the policy, those involved in drunken driving accidents in which a third party is seriously injured will be terminated. Officers who admit during a departmental trial to being intoxicated behind the wheel, but who have not caused injury, will be placed on a one-year probation. During that period, they must submit to random Breathalyzer tests...

Citing liability, Texas sheriff halts ride-alongs for armed civilians

      A program that had allowed armed citizens to ride along with Chambers County, Texas, sheriff’s deputies was suspended in April after county officials raised concerns about liability.

      While civilians had to signed a consent form prior to accompanying deputies, the county had no protection against lawsuits by third parties in the event an injury occurred, County Judge Jimmy Silvia told Law Enforcement News. “We have no protection for someone who is armed, we’re wide open if something happens,” he said...

And the one shall become two:
For INS, form may follow functions

      While the fate of the troubled Immigration and Naturalization Service remained undecided by lawmakers, new legislation that will put teeth in existing immigration law as well as create new requirements for foreigners and the agencies that monitor them was signed into law on May 14 by President Bush.

      The border security bill sailed through both houses of Congress without a dissenting vote. Under the new law, the INS will have until 2004 to set up a so-called entry/exit system to record the arrival and departure of visitors. Although mandated in the past, the system has never been installed...

Arkansas rethinks dealing with young sex offenders

      Children under the age of 10 who sexually abuse other youngsters while in state foster care will be identified as offenders and kept segregated, under a new policy adopted by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

      State law had previously barred children that young from being listed as offenders in the DHS computer system and that of the Arkansas State Police. The abuser was deemed a victim and the child’s victim a witness, according to DHS spokesman Joe Quinn. At the time, DHS officials reasoned that young offenders had learned the behavior by being sexually abused themselves...

Colo. citizens’ academy taps Russian residents

      Capt. Jacob Kopylov of the Denver County, Colo., Sheriff’s Department is still the only Russian-born lawman on the Front Range, but he hopes to change that with a Russian Citizens Police Academy that may yet yield new recruits for area law enforcement.

      The academy, run by the sheriff’s office and the Denver and Glendale police departments, will graduate a class of 30 at the end of May and plans to hold another session in the fall. It is the second Russian citizens police academy in the nation; the first was launched last October by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in its West Hollywood division...

Saluting a winner

      The newly crowned Miss Universe 2002, Oxana Fedorova, is more than just another pretty face — she’s also a lieutenant with the St. Petersburg, Russia, police. Fedorova, who is studying for a doctorate in law, was crowned May 30 in San Juan, P.R.


Child killer takes notification matters into his own hands

      Charging that police and prosecutors have been harassing him since his move to South River, N.J., five months ago, convicted child killer Glenn H. Barker has taken matters into his own hands by posting fliers to assure residents that they have nothing to fear from him.

      “I have no desire for your children, wives, husbands, pets, or anything else you have,” said the two-page handbills left on the windshields of some 80 vehicles in Milltown, where Barker has worked for a sign company for the past five years. “All I want is a normal life without the community being scared for no reason, by the powers that are.”..

Training regimen:
Where it’s been, where it’s at, where it should to go

      This book is an ambitious effort to review, assess and suggest improvements in police and public safety training. Its 15 chapters provide a critical view of contemporary training in the United States, along with prescriptions for more effective programs. Insightful observations and thought-provoking nuggets are scattered throughout the book, giving the reader the incentive and means to reflect systematically on the current state of police training.

      The book’s overview of training, which includes a brief history of policing, describes current practice in a variety of jurisdictions and compares the reality of training with what might best be understood as an ideal. The book is as much an argument for reform in police training as it is a primer on the current state of the art. Haberfeld has a vision of professional policing and the training requirements of American police into the next century that informs her selection of topics and coverage of issues...

Decisions, decisions, decisions:
What to search, where to search, and how

      OPEN RECORDS — Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that while police misconduct records may include some personnel issues, the city of Worcester may not decide “unilaterally, without any oversight,” which documents may be exempt from public disclosure. The ruling stems from an attempt by The Worcester Telegram & Gazette to obtain misconduct records in the case of a man who alleged that he was injured when local police responding to a car alarm ordered him to the ground. The decision will also affect the newspaper’s efforts to gain access to files involving more than 100 alleged misconduct cases from 1997 to 1999. [Worcester Telegram and Gazzette Corporation v. Chief of Police of Worcester, 436 Mass. 378; 764 N.E. 2d 847]

      PURSUIT PROCEDURE — In a 5-2 decision, the Georgia Court of Appeals found that a Winder police officer involved in a high-speed pursuit in 1999 acted with “reckless disregard for proper police procedure,” thereby leading to the death of a 14-year-old girl. The ruling allows a lawsuit against the city by the victim’s family to go forward. The girl, Ashley McDougald, had taken her parents’ car without permission and led the officer on a chase before fatally crashing into a utility pole. [City of Winder v. McDougald et al., No. A01A2386]...