Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, No. 584 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY September 30, 2002

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Still No. 1; back to square one; a chief’s heavy lifting; personal problems; learning new tricks; the chief of chiefs; talking a blue streak.
Say “when”: Self-diagnosis for would-be DWIs.
Sweet idea: Making it easier to tell diabetics from drunks.
Trouble in the air: Is the sky marshal program riddled with problems?
Hard choice: Portland PD takes a bite out of community policing effort.
Moving messages: Agencies consider private advertising on squad cars.
Numbers game: UCR & BJS agree to disagree.
Any takers? Little interest in free DNA tests.
Point & shoot: Police under fire over photos.
Keeping hope alive: Web site tries to link remains with names of missing.
Raising funds, but for whom? PAL pulls the plug on fundraiser.
Where’s the money? DoJ calls tribe on the carpet over COPS grant.
Forum: Secrets of strategic decision-making.
In a crossfire: Crowd-control tactics criticized from two sides.
Flying solo: Oklahoma HP gets ready to do its own crime investigations.
Upcoming Events: Opportunities for professional development.
Little to go on: Hunt pressed hunt for serial killer.

 People & Places

Still first

     In the late 1970s, she paved the way for other women to become patrol officers in Seabrook, Texas. Now Nona Holomon has been tapped as the city’s first female police chief.

     Holomon, 53, was sworn in on Sept. 3 by Judge Joe Pirtle, who as mayor in 1978 had first appointed Holomon to the force. “I got a lot of criticism before it happened, and none since,” he told The Houston Chronicle...

Starting over

     The city of Durham, N.C., is no closer to finding a chief than it was last month, after an embarrassing series of mishaps involving poorly conducted background checks led to the elimination of two of the three top contenders.

      Interim Chief Steve Chalmers, who was widely believed to have a lock on the post, was knocked out of the running when The Oldani Group, the Bellevue, Wash.-based firm hired to conduct the search, said he lied about previous arrests and convictions. Chalmers was charged with domestic abuse 20 years ago by his former wife. The charges were later dropped. He claimed that he had misunderstood and thought he only needed to reveal past convictions...

Heavy lifting

     Anyone who believes that those over the age of 60 can’t put on muscle had better hope not to run into Traverse City, Mich., Police Chief Ralph Soffredine. “That’s just not true,” said the 65-year-old chief, who won his age class in the U.S.A. Powerlifting Bench Press Nationals in Bedford Heights, Ohio in late August. Soffredine, who is due to retire in 2003, lifted 365 pounds — just 20 pounds short of the record for 65- to 70-year-olds.

     In December, he hopes to set a national record when he competes at a state weightlifting championship. He’s also hoping to earn an invitation to participate in the International Powerlifting Competition in Prague next year.

Strictly personal

     Coverage — in both the law-enforcement sense and the clothing sense — was at issue last month in the small town of Powers, Ore., when its police chief’s scantily-clad photo showed up on an Internet dating service’s Web site.

      Rhett Davis, 45, is a controversial figure. The town’s only full-time officer, he has been given kudos for the RIDER program, which pairs kids from broken homes with horses, but others complain that he has not done a sufficient job of protecting the 700-resident town. So when a picture of Davis wearing only sunglasses, boots and a cowboy hat covering a place other than the top of his head appeared on the Web site, it all hit the fan...

New tricks

     You might not be able to teach them to an old dog, but apparently, it was Washington County, Ore., acting Sheriff Rob Gordon’s demonstrated ability “to learn new tricks” that won him the post permanently in September.

     Gordon, 46, was unanimously voted in by the county’s Board of Commissioners this month after a debate that took just 13 minutes...

Chief of chiefs

     Law enforcement veteran Harold L. Hurtt, chief of the Phoenix Police Department, was elected president of the Major City Chiefs Association in August.

     Hurtt has led the Phoenix force since 1998, although he has been a member of the department for 25 years. Prior to his appointment as Phoenix’s chief, he led the Oxnard, Calif., Police Department for six years. He holds a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix...