Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, No. 588 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY November 30, 2002

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: The man in the 100-gallon hat; Murphy returns; the art of dying; border patrol for Hutchinson; growth potential; a pioneer’s passing.
Backfire: California A-G asks for a study on ballistic fingerprinting, but isn’t happy with the findings.
High-tech crime-fighting: New cyber-crime centers are set for Pittsburgh, Dallas.
Federal File: A roundup of criminal justice developments at the federal level.
Ain’t it grand? Virginia DNA database marks its 1,000th cold hit.
Exit ramp: W. Va. eyes early trooper retirement as a way to boost recruiting.
Man’s best friend: Crime-fighting applications for pet DNA.
Self-destruct button: Study questions old assumptions about officer suicide.
Thinking big: Small Texas town leads the pack in wireless technology.
Number-crunching: Denver sorts out first data on traffic & pedestrian contacts.
Doctor’s orders: Seeking answers to prescription painkiller abuse.
Gone in 60 seconds: Revived task force has auto thieves on the run in New Orleans.
Pushing the envelope: Mexican drug gangs advance northward.
Forum: Homeland security — safety in numbers; handling the news media.
Upcoming Events: Professional development opportunities.

 People & Places

Giving by the gallon

     The face on the billboard may not be as familiar as a movie star’s, but to those at Texas Children’s Hospital, deputy J.W. Vickery of the Harris County, Texas, sheriff’s office is as much of a celebrity as anyone can be.

     Vickery, a 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, is well on his way to becoming a 100-gallon blood donor. This month, when he reached the 70-gallon mark, the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center honored him as a “best donor.” In hopes that others will follow his example, Schepps Dairy is featuring his face on a billboard along the Gulf Freeway, and full-page ads with Vickery will be appearing in the December issues of Traditional Home, Food and Wine, and other magazines...

Murphy returns

     By hiring a single person, officials in Prince George’s County, Md., acquired six decades of law enforcement experience, after they signed Patrick V. Murphy this month to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the county’s police department in the hope that the legendary law enforcement reformer can turn the troubled agency around.

     The 82-year-old Murphy served as police chief or commissioner in Syracuse, Washington, D.C., Detroit and New York City. Leading the New York Police Department from 1970 to 1973, Murphy battled entrenched corruption tied to organized crime and presided over the agency during the Knapp Commission investigations...

The art of dying

     Flush with the success of having used police artists to help determine the identity of two bodies, the Charleston County, S.C., Coroner’s Office decided it needed a forensic artist of its own.

     Dottie Lindsay, an investigator with the agency, now creates drawings of the dead, something that most people find more palatable than photographs, according to Coroner Susan Chewning. “We had never really thought of this as an option before,” Chewning told The Post and Courier newspaper. “But we do have a need for this and also for someone who is OK with going into the autopsy room or the morgue to do a sketch.”..

Border patrol

     The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Asa Hutchinson, was named this month as undersecretary for border and transportation security in the new federal Department of Homeland Security.

     Hutchinson, 51, is a protégé of Attorney General John Ashcroft. A former legislator and prosecutor from Arkansas, he was in his third term in Congress when tapped by President Bush to head the DEA, a position he has held for the past 14 months. Hutchinson was in office barely a month before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks changed the DEA’s mission from combating drug cartels to targeting terrorists who traffic in narcotics to fund their activities.

Growth potential

     As the new chief of Moscow Mills, Mo., Steve Runge is getting in on the ground floor of a town poised to do nothing but grow over the next few years.

     Runge is the first chief the town of 2,500 residents has ever had. A vote by City Council members on Nov. 5 created the position, although Runge had been leading the small department since 2001...

Pioneer’s passing

     A teacher and founder of the professional organization that would eventually become the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, John Paul Kenney died on Oct. 30 at the age of 82.

     Kenney began his career as a Berkeley, Calif., police officer and parole agent with the state’s Youth Authority. He was known as an expert on juvenile delinquency and created the classic text, “Police Work With Juveniles” out of his extensive work with the Delinquency Control Institute at the University of Southern California...