Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXIX, Nos. 611, 612 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY December 15/31, 2003

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In this issue:
DNA sometimes makes for bad-fitting genes.

Alarming developments.

Wheel-y big news.

Drunk as a skunk.

Another fine meth.

Stirring the pot.

Violence is all in the family.

Sex meets violence.

When good cops go bad.

Looking for warm bodies.

Wolves in cops’ clothing.

Crime’s ups & downs.

A few good anti-crime ideas.

Research looks for answers.

Facing up to profiling.

Order in the court.

Banking on ill-gotten gains.

Taking advantage of high-tech advances.

Changes at the top.

That’s just too weird.

Justice by the numbers.

A statistical profile of criminal justice in the United States:
Justice by the numbers

     $1: Price of police vehicles offered to departments nationwide in exchange for the right to place advertisements on their sides.

     4: Number of female victims of suspected Baton Rouge serial killer Derrick Todd Lee.

     8 years: Prison sentence imposed on a Pontiac, Mich., man who attacked a sheriff’s deputy with a blow dart during a traffic stop.

     10: The number of hours that a Hartford, Conn., woman waited for police after calling 911 to report that her estranged husband had kicked in her door, doused her with gasoline and lit a cigarette.

     16: Years that the crime-fighting program “America’s Most Wanted” has aired on television.

     23: Number of female bicyclists who claim they were strip-searched and forced to undergo body-cavity searches after illegally blocking a thoroughfare during the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. County officials offered $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a total of 69 plaintiffs who claimed mistreatment by sheriff’s deputies.

     25 percent: Increase in the number of misconduct allegations leveled against New York City police during the first three months of 2003. The rise is attributed to a massive anti-war demonstration in front of the United Nations on Feb. 15.

     35 percent: Projected decrease in the number of drivers likely to be killed in a traffic crash 12 to 16 weeks after having received a ticket, according to a study by American and Canadian researchers.

     47 hours: Time spent by U.S. Park Police negotiating with disgruntled tobacco farmer who drove his tractor into a shallow pond on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

     66: Percentage of rape cases solved by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, the highest figure among the nation’s 10 largest cities.

     75: Percentage of Americans who buckle up while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

     88 percent: Proportion of small-time methamphetamine makers who said they preferred to cook the drug on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, according to a study by the Inland Narcotics Clearing House in California.

     90 percent: Reduction in number of false alarm dispatches by Salt Lake City police after implementing a “verified response” policy.

     92.48: Number of crimes per 1,000 Dallas residents in 2002. The number was the highest overall per-capita crime rate among the nation’s largest cities.

     95 percent: Proportion of Durham, N.H., residents who approve of the job their police department is doing, according to a University of New Hampshire poll.

     96.9: The percentage of snipers who were male in 327 incidents categorized as sniper attacks between 1982 and 2001, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.

     100: Estimated number of pairs of shoes dangling over utility lines removed by Los Angeles city crews. The shoes are believed to be used by gangs or drug dealers to mark territory.

     146: Record-setting number of immigrants who died in Arizona while trying to cross the border.

     163 percent: The increase in the likelihood that force will be used when suspects are uncivil to police, according to a National Institute of Justice study.

     377: Names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

     400: Number of times Virldeen Redmon of Anderson, Ind., has been arrested on drunken driving charges since 1947. Redmon has had his license suspended 33 times. His license was revoked for life in July.

     429: Square miles that Meigs County, Ohio, Sheriff Ralph Trussell will cover by himself after budget cuts forced the layoffs of 13 dispatchers and deputies.

     1,000: Number of pairs of shoes donated in one month by Las Vegas Metro police officers under an initiative launched by one of their own, called “Save Our Soles.” The shoes are distributed to the needy.

     1,200: Estimated number of men who had their mouths swabbed by Baton Rouge investigators hoping a DNA sample would lead them to the serial killer responsible for the deaths of four women.

     1,300: Number of cases being reviewed after an audit revealed that analysts at the Houston Police Department’s DNA lab lacked sufficient training and may have allowed samples to be exposed to contaminants.

     17,970: Number of traffic fatalities related to alcohol in 2002.

     24,000: Estimated number of federal law enforcement officers now working under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security.

     $37,500: Value of the 3-carat diamond ring swallowed by a thief who robbed a Chicago jewelry store.

     59,000: Names and Social Security numbers stolen by computer hackers from current and former students, faculty and staff at the University of Texas at Austin.

     $50 million: Grants made available through the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation to scientists and researchers exploring the national security ramifications of work in chemistry, biology and nuclear physics.

     $117 million: Amount awarded by the federal government to localities for initiatives under the Project Safe Neighborhoods gun-violence reduction program.

     $174 million: Cost of upgrading the Forensic Biology Laboratory for the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.