Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXIX, No. 594 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY February 28, 2003

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Valor in Vegas; Clark hits the mark; building on Hope; mushing off into the sunset; high on High; Santiago’s back to work.
Beyond Rampart: LAPD wants to put some gusto back in anti-gang efforts.
High hopes: Portland has cops focusing solely on quality-of-life issues.
Anteing up: Foundation pumps millions into E-911 system development.
Federal File: Bush’s mixed-bag budget; FBI computer upgrade called a “disaster”; weeding out virtual victims in kiddie porn.
Passing lane: Speeders use the Web to pay up (and avoid their insurance companies).
“Atrocious”: Report rips Houston’s DNA lab over work quality, procedures, training, physical facility and more.
Easing the restraints: Judge gives the NYPD a freer hand in intelligence-gathering.
Calling in the cavalry: Persistent violence outweighs fears of racial profiling as Baltimore gets set to bring in state police.
Graduation day: First alumni are due to leave California’s treatment program for sex predators.
Forum: Homeland security — safety in numbers; handling the news media.
Family matters: More Florida sheriffs are taking over child-protection investigations.

 People & Places

Valor in Vegas

     Acts of great heroism are performed every day by law enforcement officers, but the nation’s leaders this month chose one to honor: a Las Vegas officer who took a shotgun blast to the forehead in the course of responding to a domestic dispute.

     Las Vegas Officer Keith Borders, 36, was shot on April 28, 2001, when he got between Donald Charles Mettinger and his girlfriend. With blood gushing from his forehead, Borders shielded the woman, and returned fire, killing Mettinger...

Clark’s mark

     Having left his mark on the New York City Police Department as the commander of two tough precincts, Kevin P. Clark hopes to make his next mark in Baltimore as the Charm City’s new police commissioner.

     Clark, 47, picked up the department’s reins on Feb. 3. He replaced Edward T. Norris, also an NYPD veteran, who was named superintendent of the Maryland State Police...

Building on Hope

     He has a master’s degree in theology, but on a full-time basis, J.R. Wilson Jr. ministers to a much broader flock — the entire city of Hope, Ark.

     Wilson took over as his hometown’s new police chief in January after serving with the FBI. He sees police work as a “ministry of service,” he told The Associated Press. “I have always though of police work as a ministry.… There are opportunities to serve the community, and to serve the person who you may have to arrest by protecting his rights and assuring due process...”

One last ‘mush’

     At the end of each episode of “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon,” actor Richard W. Simmons would put his arm around his trusty Husky, and say, “It looks like this case is closed.”

     Sadly, Simmons closed his final case on Jan. 18 when he succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 89 and had been living at a nursing home in Oceanside, Calif. As a movie and television actor, Simmons’ Hollywood career spanned 40 years...

High on High

     While he had his critics within the rank and file of the Norfolk, Va., Police Department, nobody could say that Chief Melvin High did not improve relations between the agency and the community during his tenure there. In Prince George’s County, Md., where High was chosen this month to head the jurisdiction’s troubled department, officials are hoping for the same transformation.

     If confirmed by the County Council, the 58-year-old High will replace Chief Gerald Wilson within the next two months. A veteran officer who began his career in 1969 with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., then went on to lead the Norfolk force for a decade, High was picked by County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his consultant, long-time police executive Patrick V. Murphy...

Back to work

     Joseph Santiago, who last year served for seven months as head of the New Jersey State Police, in a tenure marked by controversy from rocky start to abrupt finish, has been hired by Trenton officials as the state capital’s police director. But as in the past, the confirmation this month did not come without a fight.

     His appointment by Mayor Douglas Palmer was approved by a 5-to-2 City Council vote. During a contentious hearing, Len Cipriano, president of Local 11 of the Policeman’s Benevolent Association, called Santiago “unworthy” and questioned his leadership ability. He is someone, said Cipriano, whom rank-and-file officers could have trouble supporting due to his controversial past...