Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXIX, No. 613 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY January 2004

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
Brame blame: Searing report finds troubles aplenty in Tacoma P.D.
Compstat consequences? “Cooking the books” costs five cops their jobs.
Say what? Denver P.D. ends “insensitive” phonetic transcriptions.
Crash aftermath: Who should investigate pursuit-related crashes?
Learning to dust: Little Rock P.D. stretches its ’print capabilities.
“A nightmare”: New H.P.D. lab debacle.
View from the top: Summit planned to look at internal affairs.
Defective squad: Finding fault with police body armor.
Color-bind: Concern over device that can change traffic lights.
Candid camera: Police racism videotaped.
People & Places: Over for Olson; banner effort; cops put on notice; St. Paul secret is out; back to school; explosive cases.
Food for thought: Lunchtime program looks at domestic violence.
LEN Interview: Renae Griggs, founder of the National Police Family Violence Prevention Project.
Short Takes: Easy-to-swallow news bites.
Forum: Killers & victims in a suicide-by-cop.

 People & Places

It’s over for Olson

     As he enters his last several weeks as chief of the Minneapolis Police Department, Robert Olson said he does not consider the strides made by the agency to be “his legacy,” but rather the legacy of a force that he has been fortunate enough to lead for the past nine years.

     Olson, 57, will be moving on in January after the expiration of his third term. Too young to retire, he told Law Enforcement News, he does not yet know where he will be going. So far, Olson’s career has taken him to Yonkers, N.Y., where he survived a car-bomb attempt on his life, and to Corpus Christi, Texas, among other jurisdictions. Olson also serves as president of the Police Executive Research Forum, a post he would relinquish once he is no longer a chief...

A banner effort

     Raised on stories that his U.S. Marine father told him of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima, Connecticut State Trooper Eric Murray felt that after 100 years, his agency deserved its own. So he created one.

     “I always knew that a flag was a rallying point for soldiers on battlefields, and countries, particularly our country,” said Murray, a 13-year veteran who is an instructor at the state police academy in Meriden...

Cops put on notice

     To a force seemingly overjoyed with a sudden change in management at the Detroit Police Department, interim Chief Ella Bully-Cummings issued a stern reminder in November: There may be a different face at the helm, but the goal of professionalism will stay the same.

     Although Bully-Cummings was named interim chief, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has said he will not conduct a search...

His secret is out

     It might have been the poorest-kept secret in town, but St. Paul, Minn., Police Chief William Finney waited until November to make the long-expected announcement that he would be calling it a career next July.

     Finney, 54, was the state’s first black chief. A native of St. Paul, he was appointed by Mayor Jim Scheibel in 1992, and kept on by Mayor Norm Coleman in 1998. His relationship with Mayor Randy Kelly, however, has been more contentious, and some say it was arguable whether he would have been reappointed for a third term...

Back to school

     The federal government’s Office of Domestic Preparedness is offering a graduate degree in homeland security for law enforcement officers and others in the public safety field.

     The program will run for 18 months with all expenses paid with federal funds, including transportation. Students are required to live at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where the program is being held, for two weeks each quarter...