Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXIX, Nos. 591, 592 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY January 15/31, 2003

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: FOP in mourning; Flynn gets it; time for change; doing more with less; Timoney’s Miami welcome; Norris’s new challenge.
Me & my big mouth: Use of force linked to a suspect’s backtalk to police.
Less bang for the buck: Impact of new “smart-gun” laws questioned.
Lightening up: The weight of the law eases for some Connecticut juvies.
Shades of gray: Traffic-stop data doesn’t answer profiling question.
A clearer picture: Sioux Falls seeks insight into police aggressiveness.
Lights, camera, interrogation: DC gets set to videotape suspects.
Game over: Unconscious bias may guide shoot/don’t shoot decisions.
Who’s the felon? Cracking down on bounty hunters with criminal records.
On the attack: DC reworks the data to bring down aggravated assaults.
Sticking to its guns: The NYPD believes it was right in 1989 jogger assault.
Flag flap: Why a Utah cop is seeing red, white & blue.
Easing the crunch: Michigan ends mandatory minimum drug terms.
Forum: Talk is a problem, so DC takes action; wrongful convictions hurt everyone.
Finger-pointing: NYPD prepares pilot test of new high-tech ID cards.
More women wanted: LAPD eyes mentoring program to boost female ranks.

 People & Places

FOP mourns

     The National Fraternal Order of Police is mourning the loss of its leader, after the organization’s president, Steve Young, succumbed to cancer on Jan. 9 at the age of 49.

     Young, a lieutenant with the Marion, Ohio, Police Department, was elected national president in 2001. At the time he already had a reputation as an innovative leader, having helped to create the Ohio Labor Council, an 8,000-member group that helps improve the effectiveness of labor negotiations within law enforcement agencies. It has been used as a model in 14 states...

Flynn gets it

     Ask anyone about former Arlington County, Va., police chief Edward A. Flynn, who in December became the Massachusetts state secretary of public safety, and they will say he is a police leader who really gets it — who can make the connection between counterterrorism and community policing. Combining street smarts with a keen intellect, Flynn is seen as one who has always been ahead of the curve.

     The 54-year-old Flynn, who began his career in Jersey City, N.J., as a street cop, previously served as chief of two local Massachusetts departments, in Braintree and Chelsea, where he gained a reputation for putting his ideas about community involvement into action...

     The swearing in of a new chief often brings the promise of change, particularly when the agency has been as troubled over the years as the Providence, R.I., Police Department. But the ceremony that transferred power this month to Dean Esserman, a nationally recognized law-enforcement leader, was as near to a celebration as such functions get.

     Addressing a crowd that included local officers of all ranks, state and city officials, and brass from around the region and the nation, Esserman said he would deliver to them the “best police department in America,” and that he would do so “on the shoulders of the men and women of this department...”

More with less

     After a seven-month search within the ranks of the Rockford, Ill., Police Department, city officials in December promoted Deputy Chief Steven Pugh to the top job.

     Pugh, 52, was chosen by the Rockford Police and Fire Commission from a field of 11 candidates, including fellow deputy chief Dominic Iasparro and assistant deputy chief Jeff Morris. He will inherit a department facing possible budget cuts of up to 10 percent, totaling more than $3 million. There is also the matter of two sexual harassment claims and an investigation into an off-duty officer’s firing of a personal weapon across the street from the mayor’s house in December...

Welcome to Miami

     He says he will support the officers under his command, but John Timoney, Miami’s new police chief, also vowed that those who commit criminal acts and misconduct will find no safe haven in the department.

     Timoney, the former Philadelphia police commissioner who was sworn in as Miami’s top cop on Jan. 6, took command of an agency plagued by scandal. On the very day he was sworn in, jury selection began in the federal corruption trial of 11 members of the Miami force accused of covering up misconduct in five shootings that took the lives of three black men...

Another challenge

     The Maryland State Police has been an underutilized resource in the state’s urban areas, but the new head of the 1,600-trooper force, former Baltimore police commissioner Edward T. Norris, pledged last month to strive for better collaboration between the state agency and municipal law enforcement.

     Norris, 42, was tapped in December by newly elected Gov. Robert Ehrlich as superintendent of the state police. A former New York City police commander, he was recruited to lead the Baltimore department in 2000 by Mayor Martin O’Malley. A pension increase for Norris that was approved in July by the city Board of Estimates failed to keep him until 2004.