Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXX, No. 624 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY October 2004

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
No (over)time for sergeants: How much are supervisors worth?
Last call: Tough countermeasures for officers’ off-duty drinking.
People & Places: Love is in the air; doing without; zapping the chief; head case; confronting a chief’s past; early exit.
Wives’ tale: Polygamist cops face loss of certification.
Garbage in, garbage out: Cities tackle “chronic nuisances.”
Improvement by decree: Court orders lifted for state police agencies.
Leaving the light on: LA squad tackles motel crime.
Thinking outside the box: Baltimore “CitiStat” hailed as innovation.
All in the family: Violent juveniles & their victims.
Hasta la vista: No licenses for illegal aliens.
Short Takes: Police news in easy-to-swallow capsule form.
As safe as ever: BJS says crime remains at 30-year low.
Forum: Police fatigue as an ethical issue.
Other Voices: Editorial views on criminal justice issues.
Upcoming Events: Professional development opportunities.

 People & Places

Love is in the air

     A U.S. Forest Service Officer in Utah recently asked his girlfriend, a Utah County dispatcher, to become his wife — with an untold number of police and CB-radio operators listening in on the proposal.

     Officer Jason Parker had received permission from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to make his proposal over the police radio. He was given 25 seconds of air time. It was either that, said Parker, or rent a plane to tow an airborne message. He had also considered sky diving onto the department’s front lawn. ...

Doing without

     San Jose, Calif., Police Chief Rob Davis will fast for the entire month of Ramadan this year, just as the Muslims in his community do.

     Davis, 47, said he made the decision last year while addressing some 7,000 Muslims who live in the Bay Area. It dawned on him, said Davis, that they were hungry when he was not. If he was ever to understand the nuances of their religion, he told The San Jose Mercury News, then he would have to join them in their fast....

Oh, what a feeling

     In a demonstration that he later described as “very painful,” Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske last month allowed himself to be stunned with a Taser so that he could experience the jolt of 50,000 volts of electricity for himself.

     The demonstration, performed before a packed house at police headquarters, came on the heels of complaints that the police department and the city’s chapter of the NAACP had been receiving about police abuse with the Taser. ...

Head case

     A rookie Tampa police officer is facing the loss of his job and five years in federal prison, after commenting to his dry cleaner that he would kill President Bush and Bush’s father, the former president, if someone were to give him the bullets.

     Joseph Mazagwu, 35, the son of a Nigerian police officer, was indicted on charges of threatening the president and lying to investigators. There is no evidence that Mazagwu tried to make good on his threat, said the federal prosecutor. ...

Past imperfect

     Calhoun, Tenn., officials were shocked last month when a homeland-security background check conducted by federal authorities turned up a fugitive warrant for Chris Nicholson, the town’s police chief.

      Nicholson, 36, is wanted in Georgia for a 1989 burglary. He is also awaiting trial on theft charges in Grundy County, Tenn. State Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Nicholson on Sept. 9....

Early exit

     Although he had more than a year to go before his term expired, longtime Santa Cruz County, Calif., Sheriff Mark Tracy announced this month that he would retire as of Dec. 1.

     Tracy, who has served 33 years in law enforcement — almost 12 of those as sheriff — denied rumors that a lawsuit involving a former KCSO radio host, Richard Quigley, had led to his decision. Quigley claims that Tracy had tried to run him off the air because he was critical of the sheriff’s department....