Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVIII, Nos. 589, 590 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY December 15/31, 2002

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In this issue:

Don’t tell New York City, but the nationwide crime rate is going up.
Once again, it’s a year for serial killers.
Child-snatchings are big news, but are they a big problem?
Amber Alert is getting nationwide green light.
Police wipe a smile from mailbox bomber’s face.
Beltway snipers continue to confound police expectations.
Legislative probes point to FBI, CIA lapses.
Police catch terrorist “sleepers” napping.
Homeland security is demanding still more of local police agencies.
The courts are wrestling with anti-terror issues in various forms.
Is there a new federal perspective on consent decrees?
Agencies try harder to fill depleted ranks.
Bottom lines will get worse before getting better.
The Cabinet is about to get a new anti-terror look.
Justice by the Numbers: A numerical profile of criminal justice in the United States in 2002.
Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.

Justice by the Numbers
A statistical profile of criminal justice in the United States, vintage 2002.

0.1: Estimated percentage of people who would have serious reactions to smallpox vaccination, which the federal government is considering resuming as an anti-terrorism measure. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 1 in 19,000 people would have life-threatening reactions to the vaccine, including ongoing skin infection with potentially fatal tissue destruction, and inflammation of the brain.

1: Number of Somali-American police officers in the United States. Abdiweli Heibeh, a member of the San Diego Police Department, is a former military police officer in his native country, who was granted political asylum here in 1997.

$1: Cost of a new police cruiser from Government Acquisitions LLC, a North Carolina firm, which provides the cars to departments that agree to let them be festooned with commercial advertising.

1.3: The percentage increase in major crime in the first half of 2002, according to the Uniform Crime Reports, including increases of 2.3 percent in murder and 1.8 percent in rape. Burglary and motor-vehicle theft were both up by 4.2 percent.

2: The number of Sept. 11 hijackers whose student visas were approved the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the months after the terrorist attacks.

2.7: The percentage of black drivers in New Jersey identified as speeders, compared to 1.4 percent of white drivers, according to a racial profiling study by the State Police.

3.6: The number of times in every 10,000 calls for service in 1999 that police used force, according to the final report from IACP’s National Police Use-of-Force Database.

4: The percentage increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2000, compared to the previous year — the first increase in 13 years — according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

8: The number of cents out of every dollar spent by state and local governments in 1999 that was directed to justice activities, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

11.5: The percentage pay increase in a new two-year contract tentatively reached between New York City and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. The pact would raise rookie officers’ starting salaries to $34,514, from $31,305.

13: The number of sniper shootings in Maryland and Virginia during a 23-day murder spree that left 10 people dead.

14: The number of states in which domestic violence misdemeanor records have not been automated in a way that would make them accessible by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Thirteen states have failed to automate the records of domestic violence restraining orders, according to an audit by the General Accounting Office.

15: The number of pounds overweight that could disqualify a Florida Highway Patrol trooper from receiving a $500 performance bonus. The FHP is believed to be the only major state police agency to have a weight-restriction policy.

18: The number of pipe bombs allegedly planted in rural mailboxes by Lucas Helder, 21, in a five-state spree that injured six people.

18: The number of years that William Moulder served as police chief of Des Moines, Iowa — the longest tenure in department history. Moulder, 64, announced his retirement in October, effective May 2, 2003.

22: The number of federal agencies, comprising roughly 170,000 employees, that will be merged into the new Department of Homeland Security. The new department will include the Customs Service, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Federal Protective Service, Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

25: The percentage of New York City officers surveyed by a consulting firm who said they were unsatisfied with their supervision on Sept. 11, 2001.

38: The percentage of full-time officers in big-city departments who were members of racial or ethnic minorities in 2000, compared to 30 percent a decade earlier. The Bureau of Justice Statistics said the ranks of Hispanic officers grew most sharply, from 9 percent to 14 percent.

56: The percentage decline in violent-crime victimization of Hispanics from 1993 to 2000, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The violent-crime victimization rate for all U.S. residents during that period was 51 percent.

61: The percentage of Nevadans who voted against a referendum to legalize the private use and possession of marijuana by adults.

67: The number of victims that may be attributed to accused Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton.

69.5: The percentage decrease in the number of federally licensed firearms dealers from 1993 to 1998. There were 67,900 licensed dealers active in 1998.

74.8: The percentage of disciplinary actions by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission over a five-year period that were imposed on police officers with only a high school diploma. High school-educated officers make up just over half of the state’s overall law enforcement ranks, according to a preliminary study of possible links between discipline and educational levels.

84: The age of Kam Fong Chun, the actor who played Detective Chin Ho Kelly on “Hawaii 5-0,” who died of lung cancer in October.

95: The percentage of the $4.2 million raised for the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues in 2000 that a Milwaukee-based telemarketing firm kept as its fee. The PAL voided its four-year fundraising agreement with the firm, American Trade and Convention Publications.

145: The percentage increase in the number of people injured or killed by police gunfire in Washington, D.C., in 2001 — 17, compared to 7 in 2000. The number of times police fired at suspects rose by 45 percent, to 29 from 20.

147: The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the United States in 2002, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. The total included 55 who were shot, 44 who died in motor-vehicle accidents, 14 who were hit by cars while outside their own vehicles, 8 who died of job-related illnesses, 7 who were killed in motorcycle accidents, 7 who were killed in aircraft accidents, 3 who drowned, 2 who were hit by a train, 2 who were beaten to death, 2 who were fatally stabbed and 1 who died in a bomb-related incident. In addition, one officer was struck by a falling object, and one was killed in a horse accident.

235: The estimated number of police departments nationwide that are linked to the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, a database of “ballistic fingerprints.”

250: The bonus paid to Chicago police officers for passing a voluntary physical fitness exam. Only about 2,600 of the city’s 13,600 officers have taken the fitness challenge.

682: The number of FBI agents to be assigned to counterterrorism work over the next two years, compared to 153 currently, according to an overhaul plan announced in June by Director Robert W. Mueller III.

1,000: The number of “cold hits” generated by the state DNA database run by the Virginia Division of Forensic Science — more than any other state.

1,491: The number of wiretap intercepts authorized by federal and state courts in 2001, a 25-percent increase over the previous year, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

1,805: The number of women killed by a single male offender in 2000 — 62 percent of whom were the wife or intimate acquaintance of their killer, according to a study by the Violence Policy Center.

>15,000: The number of security personnel covering the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, far outnumbering the 2,345 athletes competing in the Games. The security contingent included 5,000 military troops and nearly 6,000 federal, state and local law enforcement personnel.

35,825: The possible staffing level of the New York City Police Department — down from a peak of 41,000 — under a “doomsday plan” of budget cuts suggested by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

203,000: The estimated number of current missing-child cases in the United States. Kidnappings by biological parents make up three-quarters of the total.

$226,000: The total value of the compensation package offered to Richard Pennington to take the job as police chief of Atlanta. Pennington had resigned as police superintendent of New Orleans in March, saying he wouldn’t work in municipal law enforcement again unless someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

400,000: The estimated number of Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors on the road in the United States. At least 13 officers nationwide have been killed in the past 20 years in gas tank explosions stemming from Crown Victoria crashes.

1.7 million: Approximate number of firearms reported to police as stolen between January 1993 and August 2002, according to a study by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. The number has been dropping, from 221,322 reported stolen in 1993 to 138,035 in 2001.

$7.3 million: The projected budget savings in a proposal by the San Antonio Police Officers Association that would lop off top posts in the department and demote all deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs to captains. The savings would be used to pay for police raises.

9 million: The estimated number of Americans each year who drive while under the influence of marijuana or cocaine, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

24.2 million: The estimated number of crime victimizations in 2001, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, down from 25.9 million in 2000 and continuing a downward trend that began in 1994.

$200 million: The amount of money to provided for DNA analysis over the next two years under provisions of the Debbie Smith Act, a bill that would standardize the collection and preservation of fluid and tissue samples in sexual assault cases.

$1.5 billion: The amount of law enforcement and anti-terrorism funds allocated by Congress to local police departments and emergency services, but withheld by the Bush administration pending passage of broader spending bills in 2003. Included in the money is funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which the White House wanted to cut and restructure, but unable to do under the stopgap spending measure.

$2.1 billion: The increase in security-related spending by local governments in 2002, according to a projection by the United States Conference of Mayors. Most of the money would go toward equipment, the mayors’ group said.