No place like home

To the editor:

In your Oct. 31, 1996, issue, one of your articles (“N.J. police force knows what it feels like to be homeless”) caught my eye. A review of the piece makes it clear that the title was a clever way of attracting attention, but in truth, the police force in question has absolutely no idea of what it “feels like to be homeless.” While the police department in Fort Lee, N.J., is temporarily inconvenienced and between permanent quarters, to attempt a parallel between that situation (even in a presumed light-hearted way) and the circumstances of most truly homeless individuals is insulting.

In the Supervision Schools and Management College at the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute, students have an opportunity to complete a class project by spending time working with a public service organization including, in some cases, a local homeless shelter. Incidentally, a number of other law enforcement organizations have also worked very hard to create avenues of understanding with the homeless. People who spend time interacting with the homeless report learning a number of things, but they have never come across anyone who describes himself or herself as “homeless” while waiting for construction of their $4.5-million home to be completed.

Associate Director
Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute
Richardson, Texas


Policy is no secret

To the editor:

On Oct. 31, 1996, Law Enforcement News published an article entitled “Getting the Inside Dope.” The writer stated that the Louisville Division of Police “declined to disclose their current policies on prior drug use by recruits.”

I’m not sure who the writer spoke with, however, our policy on this subject is a matter of public record. It is contained in our formal job description, which is distributed to all applicants:

“The Division reserves the right to disqualify anyone who is a current user of illegal drugs; who has bought, sold or possessed marijuana within three years prior to time of application; or who has bought, sold or possessed any controlled substance or narcotic drug without a prescription within six years prior to time of application. The candidate must pass a blood or urine test for drug detection.”

These standards have been, and will continue to be, rigidly applied.

Thank you for allowing us to correct this misinformation.

Chief of Police
Louisville, Ky.

people nation | home

Published in Law Enforcement News
Dec. 15, 1996.
© 1996, LEN Inc.