Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, No. 583 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY September 15, 2002

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Bumpy road ahead; putting on a game face; pressing concerns; Orlando’s real McCoy; ex-con job; a PERF-ect pair; now you see them, now you don’t.
Registration blues: More questions than answers over sex offenders on college campuses.
Just say “oops”: Nevada cops mix up their signals on pot-decrim initiative.
Going back in time: NJ prosecutor’s office puts 178 years of history on display.
New era for policing: Amid 12 months of changes following 9/11, law enforcement is still struggling to find its place.
Body of evidence: Twitches, tics & blinks can say more than words, to cops who know what to look for.
Ante up: Fed auditors want Albuquerque to come up with millions for misspent COPS grants.
Forum: There’s nothing small-time about pickpockets.
Other Voice: Editorial views on criminal justice issues.

 People & Places

Bumpy road

     He may have the support of community leaders, county officials and the rank-and-file, but the new chief of the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department, Gerald M. Wilson, still faces a demoralized force and a burgeoning crime rate — either of which could undermine even the most auspicious beginnings, observers have noted.

      The County Council unanimously voted to confirm Wilson’s appointment on July 30. The 39-year-old Wilson had been serving as acting chief since February, following the abrupt and still-unexplained resignation of John S. Farrell...

Game face

     A scientist as well as a cop, Col. Julie Jones of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was selected the agency’s new leader in August and in the process became the first woman to head one of the state’s major law enforcement agencies.

     Jones, 45, has served as an FWC officer for 14 years. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s in biology from Florida Atlantic University...

Pressing concerns

     It’s almost frightening for mere mortals to contemplate, but Police Officer Bill Simms says he recently bench-pressed 515 pounds — roughly three average-sized co-workers — on one of his bad days.

      There’s nothing average-sized about Simms, a 5-foot-10-inch, 330-pound cop from Unalaska, Alaska, whose effort won him a silver medal at the Can-Am Police and Fire Games, held in Spokane, Wash., in July. For reasons he can’t quite put his finger on, people seem to be intimidated by Simms. “I don’t know why…,” he said. “I’m a pretty nice guy”...

Real McCoy

     After nearly four years as head of the Orlando Police Department, the city’s first black police chief, Jerry Demings, is calling it quits.

      Demings said he would be taking another job, but has not yet revealed what that position might be. His replacement will be Sanford, Fla., police official Michael McCoy, who is the second-highest ranking officer in that department and a former second-in-command with the Orlando agency...

Bullets & ballots

     Phillip Morris NaPier, an ex-convict and candidate for governor of Maine, is tapping a base of support that other contenders might shy away from — his fellow ex-convicts and those still serving time.

     The founder of Felons United, NaPier, 56, of Windham, is taking advantage of Maine’s status as only one of two states, along with Vermont, that allow prisoners to vote. Through his Web site,, he is urging ex-cons to move to Maine, establish residency and vote for him. NaPier would also like to see prisoners sending in their absentee ballots...

PERF-ect pair

     The Los Angeles Police Department’s first female commander, Betty P. Kelepecz, was a co-winner this year of the Police Executive Research Forum’s highest honors, the Gary P. Hayes Memorial Award.

      Kelepecz, a 22-year veteran, was one of two female law enforcement officials to receive the Hayes award, which in the past has frequently been presented to police managers and administrators who later go on to become prominent agency heads. This year’s other recipient was Minneapolis Police Department Insp. Sharon Lubinski...