People & Places

Full-court press

Retired Washington, D.C., police sergeant Ron Clarke says he watched with dismay as the neighborhoods he used to patrol deteriorated into havens for crimes, which also tainted once-placid Charles County, Md., where Clarke makes his home.

Not content with standing by and letting the inevitable take its course, Clarke decided to get involved once more in fighting crime this time as co-publisher of “The Capital Crusader,” a monthly tabloid-style newspaper that reproduces mug shots of fugitives, violent criminals and deadbeat dads wanted by authorities in several Washington-area jurisdictions. The publication also lists the names and addresses of sex offenders paroled in Virginia.


What’s in a name?

The New York Police Department recently welcomed eight new members to its Mounted Unit  the four-legged variety in a special ceremony in which the new mounts were named for officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Police Commissioner Howard Safir and other department officials joined members of the Mounted Unit and survivors of the honored officers at the ceremony, which was held Dec. 10 at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, an old airfield now used primarily by various Police Department units. “We made a pledge never to forget them,” Safir told those who gathered for the event. “This is just a small way of carrying on the memory of what they did for the city.”


Second thoughts

You’ve got to know when to hold, and know when to fold.

That’s a truism that one candidate for sheriff of Muskogee County, Okla., must have realized when he abruptly asked election officials to stop a recount, clearing the way for a retired Muskogee police sergeant to be declared the winner of the race.

Democratic candidate Loyd Bickel, who serves as superintendent of the county jail, called off the recount he’d requested after the votes from less than half of the county’s 38 precincts had been retabulated. An election board official said Bickel gave no reason for his change of heart, but noted that the recount was giving Bickel’s Republican opponent, Clifford Sinyard, a slightly larger margin of victory in the neck-and-neck race.


New chief’s background comes to the fore

Houston’s new Police Chief, Clarence O’Neal Bradford, says his background as a labor lawyer will come in handy as he tries to use his influence to end long-simmering disputes over promotions that have left the department with a shortage of supervisors.

A 17-year veteran who had been assistant chief in charge of the 5,170-officer agency’s West Patrol Command for the past six years, Bradford was nominated to succeed Sam Nuchia by Mayor Bob Lanier in November. Nuchia, a former Federal prosecutor who had served as chief since 1992, has returned to the courtroom this time as a judge  following his election to the 1st Texas Court of Appeals. Bradford officially began his new duties on Jan. 1.

Ending the continuing legal wrangling over promotions, which has frozen sergeant and lieutenant promotional lists for nearly a year, is Bradford’s No. 1 priority. The situation has “impacted morale…and, very shortly, it’s going to have an impact on productivity,” he told Law Enforcement News.

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Excerpted from Law Enforcement News
Jan 15, 1997. 
© 1997, LEN Inc.  [ Subscribe.]