December 9, 2013
"WHY SO MANY bad cops?" I asked in October. That column brought a lot of reaction, from citizens and current and past officers, some with questions, some with suggestions. In the light of continuing personnel problems - it seems to fall short of a crisis (or does it?) - and in an effort to clear up misconceptions about the Philadelphia Police Department, I requested some time with Commissioner Charles Ramsey. I wanted to know about the quality and training of recruits, and more. I hate to explode widespread myths, but the Police Department does not hire high-school dropouts, nor does race play a role in hiring, Ramsey told me. Let's start with race, that evergreen and explosive topic.
June 17, 2013 |
It was time to put up or shut up. I had been talking about moving to Canada for nearly a decade. Nine months after leaving my job, I was too distracted to finish my latest writing project. A friend suggested I hole up in British Columbia for a couple of months to complete the work and get a taste of life north of the border. After my meteorologist friend in Omaha told me it wasn't downright crazy to attempt a drive to Western Canada in the dead of winter, I started planning. Using Craigslist, I found a pet-friendly rental for February and March in Powell River, a small city on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.
April 3, 2013 |
Warsaw in 1937 was a city full of intrigue. A city crawling with spies. A city on the brink of war. Its story is told in BBC America's superb, gorgeously shot mini-series Spies of Warsaw , which premieres Wednesday. It's one of two major new TV dramas this week, along with Rogue , a gritty, violent cop series from DirectTV's Audience Network, which also begins Wednesday, with a feature-length pilot. Spies of Warsaw is a lush, classic spy yarn starring David Tennant ( Doctor Who , Hamlet )
February 1, 2013 |
A former Camden City police officer who admitted his role in a corrupt antidrug unit and cooperated with federal authorities was sentenced today to 46 months in prison. Jason Stetser was the last of four former police officers convicted as a result of the investigation to learn his fate. The case has resulted in payouts totaling more than $3.8 million to some of those who had been arrested by the rogue group. Standing before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kugler in Camden, Stetser, 34, apologized to all he had hurt and said, "I am ashamed of my actions.
May 4, 2012 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Parking Authority is spotlighted in an A&E cable TV show titled "Parking Wars. " If A&E were to do one on the Philadelphia Police Department, I suggest the title "Fireproof. " Just what do you have to do to get yourself fired, if you're a Philadelphia cop? Just how bad to the bone must you be? The latest awful example is Officer Michael Paige, 45, driving a patrol car marked with the words "Honor, Service, Integrity" — the Philly cops motto — but his honor is besmirched, his service suspect, his integrity questioned.
April 2, 2012 |
Nearly a dozen low-level Camden drug dealers and users whose convictions were overturned because of potentially tainted evidence gathered by corrupt city police have been awarded $340,000 in damages by the state. And that could be just the first in a series of payments totaling millions of dollars. Civil suits in New Jersey Superior Court filed by 75 people, and similar litigation in federal court from almost as many, offer the possibility of big paydays for some of Camden's chronic street-corner criminals.
December 14, 2011 |
NOTE: This story has been modified from an earlier version. The mother of a 14-year-old high school student has charged in a lawsuit that an Allentown cop grabbed her daughter from behind after school let out in September and fired a taser at her pelvic area. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last week, alleged that Police Officer Jason Ammary did not identify himself as a lawman or accost two companions Keshana Wilson was walking with side by side at the time of the alleged incident.
June 16, 2011 |
The large families that packed the courtroom during the sentencing hearing yesterday for two former Philadelphia cops caught in October in a drug sting inadvertently helped to make the prosecutor's point: They knew better. Not only were Sean Alivera, 31, and his partner, Christopher Luciano, 23, sworn officers and family men, but they came from good families and had no excuse for their conduct, said Assistant District Attorney Erica Wilson. "Today is a dark day in the CJC [Criminal Justice Center]
December 30, 2010
A newly released report detailing city police arbitration cases sheds new light on an old problem: getting rid of the bad apples on the force. A review of 46 cases over the last decade reveals an ineffective disciplinary system that seems to favor bad conduct. Officers dismissed for serious violations often get reinstated by arbitrators with back pay. The decisions were made outside of public scrutiny, and the outcomes probably would have remained secret. But a Common Pleas Court judge rightfully ruled in favor of the Daily News, which waged an 18-month legal battle to obtain police grievance arbitration decisions.
November 10, 2010
Not all rogue cops get caught Re: "Crooked cops," Tuesday: Let me preface my comments by categorically stating I believe the great majority on the police force are honest, hardworking individuals doing a thankless, dangerous job, just as the majority of citizens are honest and hardworking. Nonetheless, every law-enforcement entity will attest to the fact that most felons are never apprehended. Likewise, it is my unalterable belief that there are many more rogue cops than are ever exposed because of the infamous "blue wall of silence.