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April 1999

Volume 68
Number 4
United States
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of
Washington, DC
Louis J. Freeh
Director Features
Contributors' opinions and
statements should not be
considered an endorsement by
the FBI for any policy, program,
or service. The Fugitive Task Force A different approach to standard task
The Attorney General has
determined that the publication
By Milan L. Buhler 1 force procedures proved successful in
of this periodical is necessary in
the transaction of the public
business required by law. Use of
funds for printing this periodical Preserving Police History When law enforcement agencies
has been approved by the
Director of the Office of
Management and Budget.
By Phillip D. Schertzing 11 document their histories, they unite
current employees and constituents and
lay a foundation for future generations.
The FBI Law Enforcement
Bulletin (ISSN-0014-5688) is
published monthly by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has
GHB: Grievous Bodily Harm
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Enforcement Bulletin, FBI
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Regulate Off-duty Relationships 26 challenged a number of departmental
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By Michael J. Bulzomi
violate their First Amendment freedom
Editor of association.
John E. Ott
Managing Editor
Kim Waggoner
Associate Editors
Glen Bartolomei
Cynthia L. Lewis
Bunny S. Morris
Art Director 5 Crime Data 17 Book Review
Brian K. Parnell
Crime Decreases in 1997 The New Ethnic Mobs
Assistant Art Director
Denise K. Bennett
Staff Assistant 6 Perspective 18 Research Forum
Linda W. Szumilo The Deterrent Effect Police Enforcement
of Three Strikes Laws of Traffic Laws
Internet Address

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Bulletin, FBI Academy, Madison
Building, Room 209, Quantico,
VA 22135.

ISSN 0014-5688 USPS 383-310

The Fugitive Task Force as an
Alternative Organizational Model

forces exist in the United States.1

T he use of task forces in law time, police departments allocate

enforcement has grown This figure does not include opera- labor and resources by the necessity
steadily over the last de- tions that focus on other offenses, of addressing either acute criminal
cade. The ability of multiagency op- such as organized crime or stolen activity or a perceived problem.
erations to effectively investigate vehicles, but it does suggest the ex- Therefore, law enforcement agen-
drug trafficking and other crimes tensive use of the task force concept cies often find common interests
that cross jurisdictional boundaries by law enforcement agencies and and cooperative incentives that eas-
has led to other applications. To- the value placed on its role in ad- ily suit task force formation.
day, police departments across the dressing widespread problems and Because the hierarchical struc-
country pool personnel and re- enhancing the effectiveness of po- ture most law enforcement agencies
sources to address concerns from lice in general. employ provides an adaptable and
automobile theft and asset forfei- Law enforcement agencies re- common model, most task forces
ture to juvenile gangs and serial main largely identical in structure, adopt this same design. Although it
murders. and for the most part, they use the seems practical, this approach uses
According to Bureau of Justice same enforcement, investigation, features similar to most police de-
Assistance data, over 1,000 and prevention techniques to fulfill partments (e.g., same command
multijurisdictional antidrug task their missions. At any particular structure) but ignores other issues

April 1999 / 1
“ Several factors
affect the degree
of success or
failure task
combined-agency setting. In fact,
smaller groups from similar
organizations frequently do not
adjust to a larger integrated con-
figuration; they tend to retain their

forces can Specifically, despite emphasis
achieve. on a shared goal and administration,
agency affiliation and influence

may negatively impact task forces
in the following ways:
• Input from governing boards
Lieutenant Buhler serves with the Salt Lake County
Sheriff's Office in Salt Lake City, Utah.
and department heads can
interfere with task force
administration, depending
upon the level at which it is
of organizational behavior in command, and control, most task made. Administrators who
mixed-group settings. In order to forces do not necessarily function directly communicate with
provide for both its success and that way. Division of labor, juris- subordinate officers in a task
continuing existence, a task force dictional focus, and personnel per- force, or vice versa, damage
must identify and eliminate poten- formance issues can destroy the the integrity and effectiveness
tial negative influences, as well as equal and common aspects of the of the unit chain of command.
promote positive ones. operation. Conflict among mem- • Disproportionate staffing, with
bers working in a traditionally one department providing
TRADITIONAL TASK structured task force remains the more members than another,
FORCE PROBLEMS most frequent problem that arises in reinforces department affilia-
Several factors affect the de- this environment. Conflicts can oc- tions, creates partisanship, and
gree of success or failure task forces cur because of unequal workloads, polarizes unit members.
can achieve. Dissension among competition over case credit and
members within the unit may de- seized assets, or alliances that de- • Line supervision creates its
velop along formal (agency) and in- velop among agencies or personnel own level of competition,
formal (personal) lines. These prob- for control or influence in the unit. influence, and representation
lems affect any group undertaking Unit effectiveness eventually within a task force. Supervi-
to some degree but especially those deteriorates as factions emerge sors, like rotating command-
where each participating entity may along formal lines and informal ers, can promote departmental
represent a different type of organi- groupings by rank, experience, and interests as they interact with
zational bureaucracy and culture. assignment. other supervisors and exert
First, mixing personnel from Moreover, police departments, influence over subordinates.
different agencies usually requires generally well-defined bureaucra- • Despite strategic and opera-
that each individual officer work cies, are rank-oriented from their tional agreements, multijuris-
with, or for, someone from another overall administrative structure to dictional units function in an
department under a common orga- the smallest subunit. Because this environment of competing
nizational structure. Although style of organization works for interests and special agendas.
agencies may agree on equal individual agencies, it often Group priorities may be based
representation in participation, appears equally effective in a on an individual jurisdictional

2 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

demand rather than a compre- Office detectives, two detectives approach, this unit became a model
hensive approach to the from the Salt Lake City Police De- for similar groups sponsored by the
problem. partment, and one West Valley City FBI throughout the country and re-
• Task force administration may Police Department investigator. In ceived recognition as one of the
require that members operate addition to supplying personnel, most successful task forces in coor-
under different payroll, record each department provided access to dinating and focusing efforts to pur-
keeping, and report format their information and record sys- sue fugitives.
systems. For example, policies tems. The FBI served as the lead
between agencies might vary agency, furnishing administrative Administration and Design
regarding overtime pay after support and facilities.
Administrative oversight of the
a certain amount of hours Based on a similar operation
FTF remained the responsibility of
worked, causing significant sponsored by the FBI in Detroit,
one FBI supervisory special agent
inequities and conflict between Michigan, the FTF approached fu-
(SSA) who dealt directly with the
officers doing the same work. gitive apprehension under a memo-
heads of the participating agencies.
randum of understanding (MOU)
Problems in task force operations This SSA coordinated MOUs, fa-
between participating agencies. De-
develop at many levels and range cilitated participation, and served as
signed to take advantage of the
from personality differences to the representative for the FBI–the
combined resources of several
competition between political enti- sponsoring agency. The SSA coor-
agencies and to target fugitives
ties. Each problem remains distinc- dinated with a second agent respon-
tive but also has similarities gener- sible for the division of labor and

ated by joining together organ- day-to-day administrative manage-
izationally unrelated individuals ment of the group. Functionally,
and otherwise autonomous groups unit members worked on their own
in a specific enterprise. Yet, law
For the department’s pool of arrest war-
enforcement agencies can avoid pit- successful task rants, prioritized cases, and opened
falls commonly associated with force, one size investigations within the task force.
task force operations by trying an- does not fit all. Below this level of supervision,
other approach. FTF members maintained indi-

vidual responsibility for specific
A DIFFERENT APPROACH duties, including gathering in-
Several years ago, the FBI and telligence information, tactical
the Utah State Department of Cor- most likely involved in ongoing planning, operating computer sys-
rections began a task force in Salt criminal behavior, the FTF also im- tems, conducting surveillance, and
Lake City, Utah, focusing on the pacted unlawful activity in general. making interstate contacts, as
apprehension of fugitives. Within a Agencies established the FTF as an well as maintaining investigative
few months, the number of partici- umbrella fugitive operation to caseloads, spread equally within the
pating local law enforcement agen- supplement existing individual unit. All members were investiga-
cies grew from two to five with the agency efforts by providing liaison tors who held no other formal rank
addition of the Salt Lake County between intelligence resources, in their departments. Although the
Sheriff’s Office and the police de- thus expanding existing investiga- FBI had administrative oversight,
partments of Salt Lake City and tional operations. no supervisory positions existed
West Valley City. Known as the A year after its inception, the within the task force. In fact, mem-
Fugitive Task Force (FTF), it in- FTF had arrested over 700 fugitives bership in the unit excluded anyone
cluded three FBI agents, three Utah in Utah, throughout the United holding rank and required that
Department of Corrections officers, States, and across international an investigator transfer out if
two Salt Lake County Sheriff’s borders. Because of its innovative promoted while assigned.

April 1999 / 3
For Further Reading
R. Bocklet, “DEA-State and Local Task Forces: A Body The FTF proved successful by
for Law Enforcement,” Law and Order, January 1991, departing from the traditional task
272-279. force format and structure. The
Arnold I. Burns, deputy attorney general, address before the most innovative aspect was not sim-
Southeast Region Drug Task Force Conference, ply its focus on fugitives but rather
Gatlinburg, TN, January 28, 1987. the nontraditional law enforcement
Kenneth R. Coyle, “An Implementation Study of Coopera- organizational structure it imple-
tive Law Enforcement Narcotics Control Task Forces,” mented. The FTF highlighted lim-
Evaluating Drug Control Initiatives, Conference Proceed- ited supervision, group achieve-
ings, (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, June ment over individual performance,
1990). and delegation of authority on an
equal basis among all unit mem-
Bill Gordon, “The W.A.N.T. Task Force,” FBI Law bers, not just by officer rank or
Enforcement Bulletin, April 1990, 2-5. agency size and jurisdiction. This
National Office of Drug Control Policy, Office of the particular task force worked be-
President, National Drug Control Strategy (Washington, cause it allowed members to make
DC: January 1992). command and administrative deci-
Judy O’Neal, “Performance Evaluation of the Anti-Drug sions normally delegated only to a
Abuse Program,” Evaluating Drug Control Initiatives, superior. This democratic approach
Conference Proceedings (Washington, DC: National successfully relied on the ability of
Institute of Justice, June 1990). each working officer to recognize
problems, determine needs, and
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, implement courses of action.
“Law Enforcement Task Force Evaluation Projects: Through equal delegation of au-
Results and Findings in the States,” April 1992. thority, task force members consis-
tently met group goals and
exceeded expectations. In this
regard, the FTF not only operated
This unusual approach to staff- allowing the group to function with- successfully by conventional task
ing was based on balancing out the typical oversight of depart- force standards, but it also created
individual workloads, group re- ment administrators or immediate an environment in which its mem-
sponsibilities, and agency represen- control of line supervisors. To ad- bers could function without the
tation. Accordingly, the combina- dress any issues of equal investment competitiveness, territoriality, dis-
tion provided an atmosphere of and participation, task force mem- trust, and self-interest often inher-
equal commitment and cooperation bership originated on a specific ent in other groups.
and required that each participating commitment and remained limited
agency carefully select only those to those departments with a signifi- CONCLUSION
officers who could work in such a cant fugitive caseload. In addition, Task force operations represent
group situation. each individual assigned to the unit intraorganizational relationships in
Built on a participative man- took on a specific responsibility an interorganizational context, re-
agement premise, in which every- within the task force (e.g., tactical sulting in both positive and negative
one contributes to the decision- responsibilities, surveillance duties, consequences. Because the working
making process, the FTF approach etc.). Judged by general group environment of a task force is deter-
limited the competitive influences output, the task force did not mined by the relationships that exist
of individual departments from compare work production between between different participating
inside and outside the unit by members. organizations, individual behavior

4 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

becomes as much a function of de- Fugitive Task Force may not suc- should give equal attention to the
partment culture as of officer per- ceed in all task force applications. organizational design that best fits
sonality, and both interact in this The pursuit of fugitives does not the chosen objective, rather than as-
multiagency context. While the for- include many of the inherently com- suming that one administrative
mation of a task force successfully petitive and self-interest influences structure that serves the component
addresses several larger issues (du- that drug investigation, gang sup- parts will suffice for the whole. For
plication of services, coordination pression, and many other law en- the successful task force, one size
of effort, economies of size, etc.), it forcement endeavors contain. How- does not fit all.
creates other smaller, discrete, or- ever, understanding the innate
ganizational problems, such as dis- problems and issues that result from Endnotes
proportionate staffing, differing bringing together autonomous law 1
U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of
pay rates, and varying operational enforcement agencies remains one Justice Assistance “Law Enforcement Task
procedures by federal, state, and lo- of the most important factors in Force Evaluation Projects: Results and Findings
cal agencies. forming any multiagency unit. The in the States,” April 1992, 1.
Based on the author’s experience.
The participative management time and effort spent in gathering
structure that worked in the support for a task force venture

Crime Data

Crime Decreases in 1997

According to FBI Uniform Crime enforcement agencies throughout the
Reporting (UCR) final 1997 reported crime United States. The 1997 Crime Index total
statistics, violent crime totals decreased 3 of approximately 13.2 million offenses
percent and property crime totals declined 2 represented a 2 percent decline from the
percent from 1996 levels. By offense, the 1996 total.
violent crimes of murder and robbery each Overall, cities experienced a 3 percent
decreased 7 percent in 1997, while aggra- decrease while crime increased by 1
vated assault was down 1 percent and percent in rural areas. Regionally, the south
forcible rape showed a slight decline. had 40 percent of the reported crime in
Property crime decreases included 3 percent 1997; the west, 24 percent; the midwest, 22
for motor vehicle thefts and 2 percent each percent; and the northeast, 15 percent.
for burglary and larceny-theft incidents. Complete crime information is con-
These statistics are based on a Crime tained in the FBI’s Crime in the United
Index of selected violent and property States, 1997, which is available on the
crimes submitted to the UCR Program by FBI’s Internet site at http://www.fbi.gov.
more than 17,000 city, county, and state law

April 1999 / 5
But questions remain: Will the advent of three
The Deterrent Effect strikes laws deter crime, and, more important, will
of Three Strikes Law offenders become more likely to kill victims, wit-
By John R. Schafer, M.A. nesses, and police officers to avoid a life sentence?
These questions represent important concerns as the
cost of implementing mandatory sentencing laws may

S ince their inception, societies have attempted

to control their members in one form or
another. The particular behaviors that become the
well include human lives in addition to monetary
California’s Experience
focus of that control can vary from one culture to The deterrent effect of three strikes laws can be
another; however, the mechanisms that regulate the measured best by examining the law’s impact on
behavior remain constant. Essentially, punishment or crime in California, which aggressively prosecutes
the threat of punishment for social noncompliance offenders under the provisions of the state’s three
represents the mechanism that deters individuals from strikes law. Moreover, because young adults remain
engaging in deviant activity.1 The penalty for un- responsible for the majority of the crimes, any deter-
wanted behavior can take the form of legal prosecu- rent effect of this group should significantly reduce
tion, social sanctions, or a combination of both. the crime rate.
Researchers have labeled this phenomenon perceptual In 1996, the overall crime rate in California
deterrence.2 dropped 9.9 percent from the previous year.8 In the 4
The concept of deterrence can be divided into two years since California enacted its three strikes law in
categories: general deterrence and specific deter- 1994, crime has dropped 26.9 percent, which trans-
rence.3 General deterrence occurs when potential lates to 815,000 fewer crimes.9 While the three strikes
offenders see the consequences of other people’s law cannot be given sole credit for the drop in crime,
actions and decide not to engage in the same behav- in many cases it proved an essential missing piece of
ior. Specific deterrence is triggered when offenders the crime control puzzle. Furthermore, in the year
realize the consequences of their own past behavior
and decide not to commit the same acts.4
Building on the deterrence principle, three strikes Special Agent Schafer
laws often are seen as the answer to crime problems is assigned to the
in America. Such laws attempt to reduce crime either Lancaster Resident
by incarcerating habitual offenders or deterring Agency of the FBI's Los
Angeles Field Office.
potential offenders from committing future crimes. By
1997, 24 states, as well as the federal government,
had enacted some form of mandatory sentencing.5
Although all of these laws are referred to as three
strikes laws, the provisions and enforcement of each
vary greatly from state to state.
In California, for example, offenders accrue
strikes when they get convicted of serious or violent
felonies, and offenders with two strikes receive a third
strike when they get convicted of any subsequent
felony, violent or nonviolent.6 As of December 1996,
the state prosecuted over 26,000 offenders for their
second or third strikes.7

6 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

prior to the law’s passage, California’s population of held accountable for their actions and thus are not
paroled felons increased by 226, as felons from other motivated to change their criminal behavior.
states moved to California. In the year after the law’s In 1899, Illinois passed the first Juvenile Court
enactment, the number of paroled felons plunged as Act in the United States. This act removed adoles-
1,335 moved out of California.10 Though not conclu- cents from the formal criminal justice system and
sive, this decrease may portend the deterrent effect of created special programs for delinquent, dependent,
the state’s three strikes laws. and neglected children.17 Over the ensuing century,
Critics of the three strikes law cite the fact that juvenile justice has remained cyclical.18 The cycle
the overall crime rate in 1996 declined nationwide typically begins when a juvenile or group of juveniles
and, more germane, that crime fell in states with no commits an unusually heinous crime that evokes a
mandatory sentencing laws. These critics attribute the public outcry. In turn, lawmakers pass stronger
drop to demographics and cite the unusually low legislation for reform. After the tempest subsides,
number of males in their mid- society once again retreats to a
teens, the crime-prone years. position of indifference, only to be
Researchers predict that the crime aroused by yet another reprehen-
rate will increase dramatically in sible act. This cycle is punctuated
the near future because the number
of juveniles currently in their
preteens far exceeds the normal
demographic expectation.11
“ ...when offenders,
especially gang
by attempts to rehabilitate juvenile
offenders; however, these attempts
largely have failed. No evidence
exists to indicate that traditional
members, have two
one-on-one or group psycho-
The Juvenile Factor or more strikes, the
therapy reduces the recidivism
In truth, crime remains an likelihood of violence rate.19 Other variables—such as
activity for the young, particularly increases substantially. education, vocational training,
young men. In 1996, males under social worker intervention—or any
age 25 made up 45 percent of the
individuals arrested in the United
States for index offenses.12 This
group also committed 46 percent of the violent crimes
” other methods tried to date have
not proven effective in deterring
In short, the current juvenile justice system does
and 59 percent of property crimes.13 Another well- little to rehabilitate or deter young offenders from a
replicated study found that approximately 6 percent of life of crime. This lack of success has frustrated the
all juveniles commit more than half of the crimes in public to the point where long-term incarceration
the United States.14 appears to be the only solution. For this reason, under
Not surprisingly, although the overall crime rate the provisions of some three strikes laws, an offender
in the United States has declined, the juvenile arrest could enter prison as a juvenile and, after a long
rate for the 5-year period from 1992 to 1996 increased sentence, be paroled as a middle-aged adult. Long
by 21 percent, while adult arrests rose only 7 percent prison sentences incapacitate chronic offenders during
during the same time period.15 A more frightening their crime-prone years and allow them to reintegrate
statistic reveals that each generation of juvenile into society when they have grown less likely to
offenders has been more violent then the generation commit additional crimes.
that preceded it.16 The data suggest that a small In an effort to measure the perceived deterrent
number of young offenders commit numerous unpun- effect of California’s three strikes law, the author
ished crimes because the courts, especially the administered an 18-question survey to all of the 604
juvenile justice system, provide the offenders with offenders housed at Challenger Memorial Youth
countless “second chances.” These offenders are not Center (CMYC), an all-male, residential lock-down

April 1999 / 7
Survey Questions and Responses
Maybe Yes No
probably would not commit a
Do you agree with this statement: “Since I am going to prison for life if I 13% 54% 33%
get caught, I may as well kill any witness(es) because I have nothing to
serious or violent crime if they
lose and I may go free if there is no one to testify.” knew their prison sentence
If you know your prison sentence would be doubled, would you commit 21% 18% 61% would be doubled; 70 percent
a serious or violent crime? said they would not or prob-
Do you think someone else would commit a serious or violent crime if 37% 31% 32%
ably would not commit the
they knew their prison sentence would be doubled? crime if they knew they would
receive life in prison, thus
If you knew you would receive life in prison with the possibility of parole 13% 17% 70%
after serving 25 years, would you commit a serious or violent crime? demonstrating a specific
deterrent effect. By compari-
Do you think someone else would commit a serious of violent crime if 31% 27% 42% son, these percentages de-
they knew they would receive life in prison with the possibility of parole
after serving 25 years? creased to 32 percent and 42
percent, respectively, when
Do you think the three strikes law will stop you from committing a 19% 35% 46% offenders were asked if they
serious or violent crime?
thought someone else would
Do you think the three strikes law will stop someone else from 19% 33% 48% commit a crime facing similar
committing a serious or violent crime? prison terms, illustrating a
general deterrence effect.
However, when offenders
facility under the authority of the Los Angeles County viewed the law in general terms, no deterrent effect
Probation Department, in Lancaster, California. Five existed. That is, when the question asked if offenders
hundred and twenty-three juvenile offenders chose to thought the “three strikes law” would stop them or
complete the survey over a 3-day period in March someone else from committing a serious or violent
1997. crime, most offenders said no. These findings suggest
that when offenders are confronted with the severity
The Survey of their punishment in specific, personal terms, the
The author designed the survey to measure the law has a deterrent effect, but if the law is defined in
offenders’ experiences with the consequences of their general terms, the deterrent effect wanes.
own crimes (specific deterrence), the offenders’ In addition, the survey found that 54 percent of
vicarious experiences with the consequences of other the offenders indicated that they would kill or prob-
people’s crimes (general deterrence), and the likeli- ably would kill witnesses or law enforcement officers
hood that the offenders would kill to avoid a life to avoid a life sentence. This figure rose to 62 percent
sentence.Three questions measured general deter- among offenders who claimed gang membership.
rence, three measured specific deterrence, and one These findings should serve as a warning to all law
measured the offenders’ intent. The data was sorted enforcement officers that when offenders, especially
according to the following variables: race, age, gang members, have two or more strikes, the likeli-
education, family upbringing, offspring, and gang hood of violence increases substantially.
membership. The survey also determined that race, age,21
and education did not significantly impact the specific
Results or general deterrent effect of the law. Rather, family
The survey found that 78 percent of the offenders upbringing, gang affiliation, and offspring proved
surveyed understood the provisions of California’s the most important variables related to deterrence.
three strikes law. The questions that addressed the The family had a positive influence on offenders,
individual components of the law demonstrated both a while gang affiliation produced a negative effect.
specific and general deterrent effect. Specifically, 62 Offenders raised in a home with both parents said
percent of the offenders said they would not or they would be less likely to kill witnesses to avoid life

8 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

in prison and more likely to be deterred by the three deteriorated slowly over the past few decades. Many
strikes laws. children grow up in broken homes with few, if
Interestingly, offenders with children were less any, role models to teach them right from wrong,
likely to be deterred by the three strikes law than much less instill them with the courage to make
offenders without children. Conventional thinking morally correct decisions. Indeed, gang rituals have
would suggest that offenders with children of their replaced family traditions; gang violence has replac-
own would lead more responsible lives in an effort to ed family values. Thus, crime prevention strategies
care for their children; however, this was not the case. that target entire families and intervene early,
One explanation for this finding is that individuals combined with swift and sure punishment for law-
who do not foresee the consequences of their actions breakers, including aggressively enforced three
routinely engage in risky behavior and so become strikes laws, may produce the greatest deter-
more likely to have children as juveniles. rent effect.
An overwhelming majority of the offenders who
responded to the survey believed that the three strikes Conclusion
law was not fair and that offenders should receive Many offenders who have been through the
more than three chances. During the postsurvey criminal justice system repeatedly have learned
discussions with the offenders, most believed that the through experience that the punishment for their
number of chances afforded offenders should equal actions is not severe enough to deter them from
one more than the number of crimes for which they reaping the rewards of future criminal acts. Juvenile
themselves had been convicted. offenders learn the same lesson at
an age that may make them
Recommendations destined for a life of crime. Yet,
In view of the findings of this
study, additional data should be
gathered from offenders in Cali-
fornia, as well as other states, to
“ In the 4 years since
California enacted
its three strikes law
the results of a survey of a group
of juvenile offenders in California
suggest that when young criminals
face specific, long-term sanctions
determine if the results of this for repeated offenses, they may be
study are part of a greater phe- in 1994, crime has deterred from committing future
nomenon or specific to the offend- dropped 26.9 acts. Thus, strictly enforced three
ers surveyed. If these findings percent.... strikes laws may break the cycle
hold true, the consequences of of crime that often begins early in
three strikes law should be ex-
plained to offenders in specific
terms, in order to maximize their
deterrent effect.
” a youth’s life.
Scholars and practitioners
alike continue to debate whether
criminals are products of their
In addition, as more states enact and enforce three genes or their environments. Those who believe
strikes laws, the number of offenders willing to use criminals are born advocate incarceration as a means
violence to escape arrest likely will increase as well. of incapacitation, while those who think criminals are
Accordingly, law enforcement officers should ap- made favor rehabilitation. The continuing contro-
proach suspects with extra caution and, whenever versy of whether the purpose of incarceration is for
possible, should run National Crime Information rehabilitation or incapacitation will continue for
Center and criminal history checks prior to confront- some time to come. Until this debate is resolved,
ing suspects. offenders, at least in states with three strikes legisla-
In many respects, the findings in this survey are tion, will have fewer opportunities to prey on inno-
not surprising. The family unit in America has cent victims.

April 1999 / 9
Offender Demographic and 1
Robert F. Meier and Weldon T. Johnson, “Deterrence as Social
Socioeconomic Data Control: The Legal and Extra-legal Production of Conformity,” American
Sociological Review 42 (1977), 292-304.
Daniel S. Nagin and Raymond Paternoster, “The Preventive
Effects of the Perceived Risk of Arrest: Testing an Expanded
Category Number Percent Conception of Deterrence,” Criminology 29, no. 4 (1991): 561-587.
Raymond Paternoster and Alex Piquero, “Reconceptualizing
Deterrence: An Empirical Test of Personal and Vicarious Experiences,”
Sex Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 32 (August 1995): 252-
Male 523 100 4
The concept of deterrence also includes certainty and swiftness of
Female 0 0 punishment. For a more in-depth review of the literature, see Raymond
Paternoster, “Decisions to Participate in and Desist from Four Types of
Age Common Delinquency: Deterrence and the Rational Choice Perspective,”
Law and Society Review 23, no. 1 (1989): 7.
Under 10 2 .4 5
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National
11 to 14 36 7
Institute of Justice, “Three Strikes and You’re Out: A Review of State
15 to 17 375 72 Legislation,” Research in Brief (Washington, DC, September 1997), 1.
18 to 20 105 20 6
California Penal Code, Section 1170.12.
Over 20 5 1 7
Supra note 5.
Race U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime
in the United States 1996 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office,
White 49 9 1996), 70.
African American 118 23 9
Attorney General Dan Lungrin, press release no. 97-072, July 31,
Hispanic 323 62 1997.
Asian 23 24 10
Other 10 2 11
John J. Dilulio, Jr., “Arresting Ideas: Tougher Law Enforcement Is
Driving Down Urban Crime,” Policy Review 74 (Fall 1995): 5.
Education 12
The FBI classifies the following crimes as index offenses: murder
and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated
Elementary school 9 2
assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Supra note
Middle school 97 19
8, 214.
Some high school 348 67 13
Supra note 8, 214.
High school diploma/ 14
M.E. Wolfgang, R.M. Figlio, and T. Sellin, Delinquency in a Birth
general equivalency 62 12 Cohort (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), 67.
Some college/ 15
Supra note 5, 213.
technical school 7 1 16
James Wootton and Robert O. Heck, “How State and Local
College degree 0 0 Officials Can Combat Violent Juvenile Crime,” The Heritage Founda-
Children tion, State Backgrounder, no. 1097/S, October 28, 1996, 2.
Anthony M. Platt, The Child Savers (Chicago: University of
Yes 131 25 Chicago Press, 1978), 9.
No 392 75 18
William E. Thornton, Jr. and Lydia Voigt, Delinquency and Justice
(New York: McGraw Hill Inc., 1992), xxv.
Gang Membership 19
Charles E. Silberman, Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice (New
York: Vintage Press, 1980), 247.
Yes 273 52 20
No 250 48 21
This survey did not examine differences by age, which may have a
Family Upbringing deterrent effect when offenders consider the likelihood they will be
transferred to adult court for prosecution.
Both parents 245 47
Single parent 227 43
Other 51 10

10 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Preserving Police History
Benefits for the Present and the Future

I n a memorable scene from the records of hundreds of individual claim to promote professionalism,
film Amistad, former president departments—from small rural vil- esprit de corps, and community
John Quincy Adams (played lage police or county sheriff’s of- service.
by Sir Anthony Hopkins) elo- fices to large metropolitan or state As the late speaker of the house
quently lectures the justices of the police forces. Furthermore, it is not Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neil was
U.S. Supreme Court on the impor- uncommon today for young law en- known to say, “All politics is local.”
tance of a sense of history and fa- forcement officers to shrug when The same holds true for history—at
miliarity with American ancestors. asked about their departments’ ori- least the history that proves mean-
To understand ourselves as a na- gins, past leaders and heroes, ingful for the average person.
tion, he argues, we must remember proudest traditions, or greatest ac- People feel a stronger connection
that “who we are, is who we were.” complishments. At the same time, with a past that includes familiar
This same message applies to students, journalists, and interested names, places, and events. Cer-
American law enforcement agen- citizens who inquire about their lo- tainly, local law enforcement insti-
cies as they prepare for the 21st cal police agency’s history often are tutions profoundly have influenced
century. disappointed by the lack of useful the history of every city, county,
While broad histories concern- references. Such evidence of apathy and state in the nation. Therefore, it
ing the evolution of law enforce- or ignorance about their own his- seems worthwhile to preserve and
ment in the United States exist, tory seems especially ironic for communicate the history of every
voids remain in the historical semimilitary organizations that agency.

April 1999 / 11
“ The way a
handles its
own history
Further, in this technological
age, police work has become more
depersonalized. Patrol officers
complain about “chasing the radio,”
while citizens fault the police for
being unresponsive and unfamiliar.
points to its The recent trend toward commun-
organizational ity policing represents at least a par-
maturity. tial effort to reclaim some of the
traditional, close relationship be-

Inspector Schertzing serves as assistant division

commander for the Michigan State Police’s
Emergency Management Division in Lansing.
” tween the beat officer and the
In light of these concerns, law
enforcement leaders face serious
challenges when trying to achieve
unity, harmony, and a common
vision within their departments
Many law enforcement leaders Spurred by rapid and continu- and with their communities.
already have discovered how a ing developments in technology, in Vision statements suggest looking
small investment in preserving their addition to changes in organiza- ahead, but clear vision requires
department’s past can yield signifi- tional structure, legislation, labor perspective.
cant benefits. An appreciation for a relations, and public demands, The 19th century English theo-
police agency’s unique history and many police agencies have become logian John Henry Cardinal
traditions can help promote a sense highly bureaucratic, specialized, Newman believed that “essential
of cohesion and common purpose and diverse. Competition for scarce unity” comes from a common his-
within the agency, provide its lead- resources, ambiguous or multiple tory and common memories.2 An
ers with useful lessons and perspec- missions, and parochial interests di- organization can make progress
tives for future direction, and foster vide sworn officers from civilian only when it protects the vital ele-
positive public relations. support staff, uniformed officers ments of its past and maintains con-
from detectives, labor from man- tinuity with the vision of its
WHY HISTORY MATTERS agement, road patrol from correc- founders. By constantly reaffirming
tions officers, and headquarters its past successes, an organization
History Promotes Unity staff from field officers. Veteran furthers its current aspirations.
Across the country, law en- officers have trouble relating to In short, history and traditions
forcement administrators struggle rookies, and the expanding pool of represent “intangibles” that stimu-
to implement clear and meaningful retired police personnel often feels late a police organization’s spirit
vision statements to fulfill their forgotten or unappreciated by those and unity.3 Educating officers about
public safety mandates and guide still in active service. With equal their department’s heritage can pro-
their departments into the future. employment opportunity in law en- mote a positive organizational cul-
Yet, as the 20th century slips into forcement largely a phenomenon of ture and help officers identify with
history, American law enforcement only the last three decades, officers their department’s mission.
agencies sometimes seem more dis- who served as pioneers for their
abled by internal fragmentation and race or sex in the police profes- History Teaches Lessons
discord, as well as interagency turf sion often feel ignored by outdated History also provides many les-
battles, than empowered by any uni- police traditions and historical sons for law enforcement leaders
fying vision. literature. who wish to avoid falling prey to

12 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

the old adage that those who forget historical archive or resource, old respect accrue when that responsi-
the past are condemned to repeat mistakes may be repeated. bility is accepted, while a failure to
it. While such current issues as Second, police agencies are no- set the record straight invites
community policing, gang violence, toriously reluctant to admit failures trouble.
drug abuse, computer crime, road or blunders. Before police agencies Every major department has its
rage, and domestic terrorism cer- can learn from the past, they must critics, eager to advance their own
tainly remain serious concerns, his- recognize and acknowledge that personal or political agendas by
tory demonstrates that many of mistakes, embarrassments, and publishing exposés. Whatever the
today’s problems have been faced, growing pains prove inevitable in merit of their views in specific
in some form and to some degree, any organization. No one likes cases, are they the proper custodi-
before.4 criticism or adverse publicity, but ans of police history? Whether in its
Yet, a combination of factors official history or new employee
that seems inherent in most police orientations, a department can ad-

agencies hampers the ability to mit frankly to past mistakes without
learn from history. First, police diminishing its broader history of
agencies face a rapid turnover of ...every law professional progress and noble,
personnel. Many officers can retire enforcement public service—a story that other-
relatively young—often after only agency can wise would remain untold.
20 or 25 years of service, and in our begin now to While the potential value of
mobile society, young officers may preserving a police agency’s history
jump from one department to an- save the past. and traditions may seem clear, it

other several times in the pursuit of may prove no easy task. Many
better pay or career opportunities. challenges and obstacles present
At the top, a revolving door of lead- themselves.
ership occurs as chiefs and sheriffs no police department honestly can
are ousted or move on to more lu- claim to have a perfect record. The CHALLENGES
crative positions. Thus, a wealth of way a department handles its own AND OBSTACLES
tested experience that can help history points to its organizational To begin with, history is a very
solve current problems continually maturity. Historical “puff pieces” broad subject, with many different
drains away. filled with propaganda and denial levels or categories of interest.
Many of the World War II and lack credibility; they do the de- Some people want to be titillated by
Korean War veterans who led po- partment, and the public, a great bizarre or unsolved criminal cases
lice departments through the turbu- disservice. from bygone years. Others prefer to
lent 1960s and early 1970s have re- collect old patrol cars, uniforms,
tired. Even the wave of returning History Fosters badges, or patches. Looking up old
Vietnam veterans who worked the Positive Public Relations photographs or personnel files of
streets as young officers in those The public wants and deserves ancestors who served with the po-
years have begun to draw pensions. an honest, balanced, accurate ac- lice department provides fascina-
What they learned about handling counting of how their police have tion for many, while scholarly re-
major civil disorders may have been served them over the years. They searchers may want to read
incorporated within departmental have invested considerable finan- administrative histories or learn
policies and procedures, but who cial and moral support in their law how police tactics and procedures
will provide historical context when enforcement agencies. In return, ev- have evolved. Therefore, achieving
it comes time to implement those ery department bears a responsibil- broad appeal with sufficient scope
policies during future crises? With- ity to legitimate that investment. and balance in a historical record or
out a comprehensive, user-friendly Tremendous public support and display remains difficult.

April 1999 / 13
help people connect with the past,
the Ingham County Sheriff’s De-
partment in southern Michigan de-
signed an impressive historical dis-
play in its front lobby. Visitors and
department members can view pho-
tographs of nearly all of the former
sheriffs dating back to the 1840s,
and a display case shows off old
photos, uniform items, and other
memorabilia. The Maryland State
Police headquarters compound in-
cludes a full-fledged departmental
museum with regular hours and
group tours. Using modern technol-
ogy to communicate their histories
Second, much history has al- Perhaps the most unfortunate to a broader audience, dozens of
ready been lost. Due to lack of cli- reality remains that usually only the police agencies have established
mate-controlled storage space or largest law enforcement agencies Internet Web sites or home pages,
funding, damage from flood or fire, can afford the time, staff, budget, or which include historical narratives
normal deterioration, routine purg- space to implement a historical and images.
ing, or lack of interest or foresight, archive or museum. The vast major- Important anniversaries often
vast amounts of old records and ar- ity of police agencies in the United provide the impetus for historical
tifacts no longer exist. The transi- States are relatively small and often preservation efforts. The Onondaga
tion to a paperless office may leave underfunded. In these days when County, New York, Sheriff’s De-
fewer historical records for future resources are limited and agen- partment marked its bicentennial in
generations. Paper documents can cies must justify every expenditure 1994 with a historical publication
survive for hundreds of years, but to a governing body, historical and special public events. The Inter-
even the best computer disks, CD- preservation efforts may be neces- national Association of Chiefs of
ROMS, and magnetic tapes deterio- sarily pushed low on the scale of Police launched a program to begin
rate in one to three decades.5 priorities. preserving its history on the occa-
In human terms, as well, the Yet, despite these very real sion of its centennial anniversary in
passing years have taken their toll. challenges and obstacles, every law 1993. To observe the 100th Anni-
Many American police agencies enforcement agency can begin now versary of the Lansing, Michigan,
have reached the century mark. to save the past. To do so, the Police Department in 1993, the wife
Their original members have long department’s executive leadership of a retired deputy chief published
since passed away, and the memo- must make a commitment to pre- an illustrated history book and
ries of the few surviving veterans serving history, while developing made a number of public slide-show
who experienced policing in the an organized plan. presentations, complete with arti-
early decades of this century have fact displays.
dimmed with age. If their stories SAMPLE APPROACHES Although a relatively large
were not preserved through written Examples of police agencies’ agency (2,200 sworn officers and
memoirs or recorded personal inter- saving and sharing their history ex- 750 civilians), the Michigan De-
views, the organizational culture ist across the country. Recognizing partment of State Police cannot af-
has been deprived of the rich nutri- that artifacts and old photographs ford a full-time historian or archives
ents of folklore and anecdote. put a human face on history and unit in the existing political and

14 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

economic climate. Yet, the name in honor of the department’s films, and artifacts to deter-
department’s leadership has long anniversary. mine what remains and what
recognized that history and tradi- The campaign generated enthu- has yet to be recovered or
tions represent vital elements for siasm and pride within the depart- saved. Historical preservation
socializing and orienting all depart- ment and fostered positive public or research grants may be
mental members into the organiza- relations. None of these efforts available from the government
tional culture. How to expand that could have succeeded without the or from private foundations.
process beyond the standard in- commitment and active support of Retirees and their families may
struction on departmental history the department’s top leadership. donate scrapbooks and memo-
and organization given to each new rabilia, and local newspaper
recruit class presented a challenge. clipping files may also yield

The department’s 75th anniver- valuable material.
sary in 1992 provided the motiva- • collect oral histories through
tion for a renewed official commit- Important video- or audiotaped inter-
ment to reviving the department’s anniversaries often views with retired officers and
rich historical heritage. The director provide the impetus other key figures. The Ameri-
appointed a committee of both
sworn and civilian members to pub-
for historical can Association of State and
preservation Local History publishes guides
lish an updated yearbook and orga- for collecting oral history, and
nize a number of special events. efforts. college media departments

Celebrations that year included an may help with the technical
open house and family picnic for all aspects.
active and retired department mem-
bers, press conferences, displays of • publish a comprehensive,
RECOMMENDATIONS illustrated, official department
artifacts, and public tours of state
police facilities. Crowds of parade- In recent years, an increasing history book, covering a broad
goers thrilled to see troopers wear- number of law enforcement leaders range of topics and including
ing vintage uniforms and riding on have acted to save and share their first-person anecdotes and
horseback or in restored patrol ve- department’s history. Others lack memoirs, as well as a bibliog-
hicles, including a 1937 Ford guidelines for how to proceed or raphy of official archives and
Model A, a 1940 Harley-Davidson wish to expand their historical pres- other sources for further
motorcycle, and a 1975 Plymouth ervation programs. The following research. Local journalists,
Fury. suggestions may spark new ideas to graduate students, history
Committee members also com- match the department’s needs, professors, or historical society
piled oral histories by videotaping goals, and resources. Departments members may agree to assist
interviews with the department’s interested in preserving history with the research and writing
oldest retired officers. Using this could involved.
material along with old photo- • appoint a committee or • publish annual reports and also
graphs and film clips, the commit- qualified individual to pursue a periodically publish depart-
tee produced a historical documen- historical preservation cam- ment yearbooks with photos of
tary video, published several paign. If using on-duty person- all personnel. Executive
historical booklets and articles, and nel presents a problem, retired meeting minutes, departmental
made presentations to local service officers or family members policies and organizational
clubs and historical societies. A lo- may have the time, talent, and charts, and other official
cal entertainer composed and sang enthusiasm for such a project. reports or memoranda also
“Blue Diamonds” for a modern • survey existing records, may have significant historical
public relations video of the same documents, photographs, value.

April 1999 / 15
• produce a historical documen- of fallen officers and narrative
tary videotape or slide pro- accounts of their sacrifices. Wanted:
gram, which can be broadcast • formally educate and orient all Photographs
on local access television new employees regarding the
channels or shown at public department’s history, tradi-
presentations. tions, and organizational
• establish and keep updated a culture.
departmental Web site or
home page on the Internet, CONCLUSION
including a concise historical Preserving the proud historical
segment. heritage of a law enforcement
• publish a retiree newsletter, agency represents an effective
means for uniting and motivating
arrange annual retiree ban-
quets or golf outings, and
invite retirees to special events
today’s highly specialized and di-
verse work forces. History estab-
T he Bulletin staff is
always on the lookout
for dynamic, law enforce-
and ceremonies or even lishes benchmarks and context for ment-related photos for
informal coffee meetings. setting goals and developing vision possible publication in the
statements, provides useful lessons magazine. We are interested
• establish a departmental for police executives, and helps link
museum, if possible, or in photos that visually depict
the police agency with the commu- the many aspects of the law
assemble a permanent or nity it serves.
rotating display of historical enforcement profession and
Every agency is limited by the illustrate the various tasks
photographs, artifacts, and staffing and resources it can devote
other memorabilia in public law enforcement personnel
to historical preservation, but many perform.
areas of the police facility. helpful resources and creative
Local public historical muse- We can use either black-
methods remain available. The ef- and-white glossy or color
ums also may agree to display forts law enforcement agencies
temporary exhibits on local prints or slides, although we
make today to restore and perpetu- prefer prints (5x7 or 8x10).
police history. ate their history and traditions can Appropriate credit will be
• celebrate special anniversaries inspire current employees, while given to contributing photog-
and events with open houses, endowing a lasting legacy for future raphers when their work
departmental picnics, press generations. appears in the magazine. We
conferences, and special suggest that you send dupli-
displays. Restored vintage Endnotes cate, not original, prints as
patrol cars (antique car buffs 1
J. Patterson, “Community Policing: we do not accept responsibil-
may donate them) and officers Learning the Lessons of History,” FBI Law
Enforcement Bulletin, November 1995, 8.
ity for prints that may be
in vintage uniforms (using 2
See, J.H. Newman, An Essay on the damaged or lost. Send your
reproductions to preserve Development of Christian Doctrine (London: photographs to:
originals) prove sure hits at Longmans, Green & Co., 1920).
parades and fairs. 3
William Westfall, “The Leader as Brian Parnell, Art
Visionary,” unpublished paper presented to the Director, FBI Law
• observe Police Week with Michigan State Police Command Officers
Enforcement Bulletin,
dignified ceremonies to honor Conference, October 1997.
Supra note 1, 5. FBI Academy, Madison
the department’s fallen offic- 5
L. Tangley, “Whoops, There Goes Another Building 209, Quantico,
ers; maintain a permanent CD-ROM,” U.S. News & World Report, VA 22135.
memorial in the department’s February 16, 1998, 67-68.
lobby, including photographs

16 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Book Review

The New Ethnic Mobs: The Changing those who grandly pronounce the Italian Mafia
Face of Organized Crime in America by dead due to recent federal convictions of top
William Kleinknecht, published by The Free leaders.
Press (Simon and Schuster), New York, New Which emerging 21st century criminal
York, 1996. group should law enforcement scrutinize the
The faces, makeup, sophistication, and most? The author believes that Chinese gangs
worldwide activities of organized ethnic crimi- have emerged as the organizations to watch.
nal groups have changed since the days when They possess numerous overseas members,
law enforcement associated only the Mafia with strong ethnic ties, cultural secretiveness, busi-
organized crime. Using greater cultural appre- ness sophistication, violence, and a lack of
ciation, foreign language usage, and sophisti- respect for outside authority. Additionally, the
cated penetration techniques, law enforcement author believes that with strong central leader-
must handle the new challenges posed by these ship and greater unity, large black street gangs
increasingly violent groups. could become a formidable, national criminal
The New Ethnic Mobs provides more than threat after the year 2000.
just a growing list of organized crime in Readers will appreciate the book’s docu-
America. The author presents a detailed, histori- mented, historical analysis of each criminal
cal view of each major emerging group (e.g., group and the author’s articulation of powerful,
Asian, Russian, Italian, black, and Caribbean) new, ethnic-based criminal organizations,
and describes their current activities. This book regardless of whether they agree with the
is an updated, comprehensive study of the author’s reasoned conclusions. In fact, accord-
evolving underworld of the 21st century. Law ing to the author, “The view, then, is hardly
enforcement must prepare for the globalized optimistic for the nation. Tomorrow’s chief
syndication, now underway, of criminal groups racketeers will not be Italian, Chinese, black,
connected by strong ethnic ties (Chinese), large Hispanic, or Russian. They will be all of the
numbers (black gangs), sophistication (Russian), above. Even more than today, organized crime
and drug-related violence (all of the above). will be a diffuse threat that challenges law
With more formal education and financial enforcement from a host of different nationali-
resources than their street gang ancestors, these ties, regions and activities.”
criminals use increasingly sophisticated means, The New Ethnic Mobs presents a sophisti-
including the Internet and cryptography, to ply cated collection of updated research into emerg-
their trades. ing criminal groups. For law enforcement
The author discusses specific, active, illicit officers, it offers an exhortation to update
groups in the United States—from Chinese priorities, review investigative strategies, and
Triad and Tong activity to the Italian La Cosa adapt training to a changing criminal environ-
Nostra’s demise from the pedestal of traditional ment. This book offers excellent information for
organized criminal power. Additionally, the investigators of any organized crime activity.
author describes the growing 21st century
global, ethnic, and criminal alliances between Reviewed by
various street gangs. These powerful new SSA Norman C. Couns
organizations have diverted law enforcement’s Investigative Training Unit
attention from the Mafia, allowing time for it to FBI Academy
regroup. At the same time, the author criticizes Quantico, Virginia

April 1999 / 17
Research Forum
© PhotoDisc

Police Enforcement
of Traffic Laws
A Cost-Benefit Analysis
By John Moffat and Philip Salzberg, Ph.D.

L aw enforcement remains an essential compo-

nent of traffic safety. Traffic laws serve many
purposes—primarily to discourage unsafe driving and
collisions far exceeds that of criminal acts. To a
degree, the public has become accustomed to traffic
collisions and accepts these losses as normal.
to remove those drivers who pose a hazard from the Furthermore, it seems that experts often do not
roads. By reducing such violations, fewer motor take into account the relative costs and benefits of
vehicle accidents may occur. traffic versus criminal enforcement. Societal costs of
Effective traffic enforcement depends on the traffic collisions are very high. A key consideration
allocation of sufficient manpower and resources. when discussing the cost/benefit of traffic law en-
However, traffic duties must compete with other forcement remains the fact that it generates revenue
police tasks for funding, as limited budgetary alloca- for a jurisdiction—whereas general crime enforce-
tions often tilt toward property crimes and violent ment usually does not.
criminal activities. Additionally, the media attention Those administrators who make police manpower
to criminal activity commands public interest. assignments often ignore the revenue implications of
Police budget decisions often reflect the assump- traffic law enforcement. Police agencies do not
tion that the public remains more concerned about directly receive the revenues derived from such
intentional criminal acts than about the accidental enforcement; instead, these proceeds typically are
property damage and injury resulting from motor placed into the city’s general fund account. A police
vehicle collisions (i.e., the police should focus on chief easily can shift an officer from traffic to general
catching the criminals rather than writing speeding duties with no impact on the police budget. However,
tickets). Thus, it remains difficult for a police agency, a direct loss of revenue to the city’s general account
with a finite budget, to assign resources to the preven- would occur, due to the loss of revenue generated
tion of motor vehicle violations. from the tickets that the officer would have written. In
This assumption, however, fails to take into many cases, the revenue from the tickets issued would
account the fact that the amount of damage, pain, and have fully recovered the costs associated with keeping
suffering caused by traffic law violators involved in this officer in the field. While the assignment shift has

18 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

no effect on the police budget, it has the same nega- the courts either dismissed the citation or found the
tive effect on the general fund as hiring a new em- driver not guilty. The remaining 1,008 citations were
ployee because of the loss of revenue from the assessed an average of $100.30 in penalty fines,
citations. totaling $101,107. At the time the authors examined
An important empirical question arises concern- the court records, the court had received $66,022 in
ing the amount of revenue generated by traffic fine revenues leaving $35,085 of the total assessments
enforcement. If the revenue from traffic citations outstanding. The average amount of revenue received
received and retained by a jurisdiction equaled or per citation written was $62.58, based on all citations,
exceeded that jurisdiction’s cost of putting a traffic including those that courts dismissed or found the
officer on the road, the issue of defendant not guilty.
diverting resources from crime to Washington State splits the
traffic could become moot. traffic fines and forfeitures three
The Study
The authors conducted the
study in Spokane, Washington.
“ ...experts often do not
take into account the
ways. They allocate the first
$10.00 to the State Administrator
for the Courts. The local jurisdic-
tion retains 52 percent of the
The Washington Traffic Safety relative costs and balance and the State Public Safety
Commission funded a full-time benefits of traffic and Education Account receives
traffic officer dedicated to traffic versus criminal the remaining 48 percent. Using
law enforcement in one corridor of enforcement. this distribution formula, the city
the city. With the assistance and of Spokane yielded a total of
cooperation of the Spokane Police
Department and Spokane Munici-
pal Court, the authors used a
system to track the citations from
” $29,089.84 in revenue during the
1-year study period.
Additional revenue was likely
received after the time that the
the individual officer to the municipal court in order authors examined the court records because of time
to identify the citation revenue received by the court payments being made by the drivers or through
and retained by the city. Periodically, the police collections. Many of the court records indicated that
departments sent copies of the written citations to the the driver had made partial payment of the total
Washington Traffic Safety Commission where the amount assessed.
authors entered information from these citations into a The authors believe that the citation data analyzed
database. After 3 to 4 months, the authors sent a for this study represent a substantial underestimation
listing of citation numbers and driver’s names from of the actual productivity of this traffic officer.
each batch of citations to the court. There, employees Problems with incomplete reporting of activity appear
retrieved case dispositions, fine assessments, and fine as the major distortion to the data.
payments from the court record system for a 1-year Discussions with supervisory personnel from the
period and entered these items on the citation listing. Spokane Police Department, as well as other experts,
The authors then entered these data into their database indicate that the minimum expected productivity of a
and further analyzed the information to determine the traffic officer is 10 citations per work shift, regardless
fine revenue amounts received by the city. of other duties, such as responding to emergencies,
testifying in court, conducting crash investigations, or
The Results providing motorist assistance. Police managers report
The data obtained for this research project that common daily production averages are between
showed a total of 1,055 citations issued for the time 12 and 15 citations.
period of July 1995 through June 1996. In 47 (4.5 The authors estimate officers work approximately
percent) of the cases, no fines were assessed because 230 days per year (adjusting for holidays, vacation

April 1999 / 19
leave, sick leave, and training days); thus, the 1,055 special event, police often cannot handle the addi-
citations issued during the 1-year study represent an tional workload. Administrators must bring in extra
average productivity of 4.6 citations per day. The officers from other jurisdictions, or pay their officers
reasons for this low productivity level remains overtime.
unclear. The Spokane Police Department believes
that many of the citations issued during the course of Conclusions
this project may not have been copied and forwarded This study revealed that the revenue produced by
to the study investigators due to administrative a traffic enforcement officer exceeds the cost of
oversights. putting an officer on the road. Although costs cer-
The authors estimated, from the resulting study tainly vary among different jurisdictions and salary of
data, the revenue generated by a traffic enforcement the individual officer, the authors estimate that the
officer who attained minimal cost for an individual officer in
productivity. A workload output Spokane was $57,000, including
of 10 citations per day at an the components of salary, benefits,
average of $62.58 revenue per
citation issued and 230 work days
yield a total annual revenue of
$143,934. Using the established
“ ...the revenue
produced by a traffic
enforcement officer
equipment, vehicle, and support
services. The authors estimate that
this cost could range from $50,000
to $70,000 per year, which com-
formula, $62,885.68 would be the pares favorably with the estimated
exceeds the cost
amount retained by a city in revenue of $63,000 that the juris-
of putting an officer diction would retain.
Washington State. This amount
may vary depending on the on the road. As shown, costs and revenues

different types of traffic violations roughly balance each other and
issued by individual officers. traffic enforcement essentially pays
In addition to the method used for itself. Thus, city policy makers
by the authors in this study, facing the budgetary issue of
another approach can be used to estimate the average diverting police resources from traffic law enforce-
revenue productivity of an individual traffic officer. ment to crime should carefully examine the revenue
For example, analysts can take the gross income to a considerations, including other minor costs not
municipal court from traffic tickets, reduce that by the mentioned, such as additional court caseload.
amount forwarded to others, and divide the remaining The presence of personnel dedicated to traffic law
value by the number of citations issued. This provides enforcement provides many intangible benefits to a
an average income (per ticket) that administrators can city. These personnel act as an on-duty reserve,
apply to known or predicted productivity numbers for become instantly available, remain self-funding, and
individual officers. provide the extra manpower available to respond to
In addition to the statistics produced, this research emergencies. Police administrators should consider
project also revealed several tangible benefits that traffic law enforcement as an effective use of police
may accrue from having a traffic officer on patrol. manpower that contributes to public safety at no
These include the general crime deterrence value of additional costs.
extra police visibility in a community. Additionally,
Mr. Moffat, a retired captain from the Seattle Police
in larger cities, most general patrol officers remain Department, currently serves as the Director of the Wash-
tied up handling calls for service. Traffic officers, on ington Traffic Safety Commission in Olympia, Washington.
the other hand, can usually drop what they are doing Dr. Salzberg serves as the Research Director of the
and respond immediately to emergencies. Washington Traffic Safety Commission in Olympia, Wash-
Also, in many cities, police staffing is set to ington.
handle the average workload of calls for service. In a
crisis, major emergency, or even during a large

20 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

© PhotoDisc

GHB: Grievous Bodily Harm


hat drug caused these numerous incidents, suspects have
After drinking some GHB at a party
tragedies? A hypnotic, slipped GHB into unsuspecting in-
in the desert, a teenage boy began
frothing blood, collapsed, and
anesthetic agent, gam- dividuals’ alcoholic beverages and
subsequently died.1 ma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has then sexually assaulted the victims
drawn considerable media attention while they were unconscious or im-
A former disc jockey slipped GHB for its recent rise in illicit use. Since mobilized by the drug.
into young women’s drinks then 1990, party and nightclub attendees
raped and took pornographic have abused GHB for its euphoric History
photographs of them.2 and sedative effects, while body- Although found in minute
builders have misused it as an un- amounts in the human brain and
A high school student drank only other bodily tissues, GHB’s exact
proven anabolic steroid.4 Addi-
two sodas while dancing at a local
tionally, police officers have physiological role remains un-
club but came home complaining
of a severe headache and nausea linked GHB and such similar drugs known.6 Researchers first produced
and died later that night from as Rohypnol with sexual assault GHB in Europe and later tested it
cardiac arrest.3 cases throughout the country.5 In for use as a short-term surgical

April 1999 / 21

based in the United Kingdom,
Mexico, and South Africa sell high-
Investigators quality GHB directly over the
have called GHB Internet. Additionally, several U.S.
a ‘stealth drug’ companies produce kits containing
due to the all of the necessary chemicals for
difficulty in producing GHB. Users order the
noncontrolled substances through
detecting its the mail and then combine them to
use. produce GHB. However, the FDA

has determined that clandestine do-
mestic laboratories produce the
Officer Asante serves with the Redmond,
great majority of GHB, accounting
Washington, Police Department. for the recent surge in illicit use in
the United States.15
GHB requires only two ingredi-
ents—gamma-butyrolactone (a sol-
anesthetic. However, the drug never 20 to 60 minutes after oral inges- vent sometimes used in paint re-
grew in popularity due to its lack of tion, but users can feel the effects in movers, engine degreasers, and
painkilling properties.7 as little as 5 to 15 minutes.12 Physi- textile work) and a strong base
In the early 1980s, GHB cal symptoms begin unpredictably, (such as sodium or potassium hy-
emerged in U.S. health food stores differ from user to user, and depend droxide). For relatively little cost,
as a “natural” aid to bodybuilding, on the quantity consumed. At very manufacturers can obtain both from
weight loss, and sleep.8 After a rash low doses, GHB users report feel- chemical supply houses. They can
of illnesses and adverse effects, in- ing effects similar to those associ- use a large pot, bowl, or even a bath-
cluding nausea, uncontrolled shak- ated with alcohol—euphoria, a re- tub to mix the two substances to
ing, coma, and even death, the Food duction of social inhibitions, produce GHB. Sometimes, manu-
and Drug Administration (FDA) calmness or giddiness, and slight facturers add hydrochloric acid or
took GHB off the market in 1990.9 hallucinations. Acute GHB toxicity vinegar to help neutralize the caus-
Except for research purposes, GHB and a feeling of extreme intoxica- tic end product.
is not approved for any use in the tion easily can develop at higher Individuals interested in mak-
United States. Although possession dosages. Reported manifesta- ing GHB can obtain instructions
of GHB is not illegal under federal tions include dizziness, nausea, through underground magazines
law, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic vomiting, weakness, seizures, loss and over the Internet. Several Web
Act prohibits its sale and manufac- of peripheral vision, confusion, sites even provide different tech-
ture. Recently, several states have agitation, hallucinations, slowed niques that help optimize yields.
enacted legislation classifying respiration, unconsciousness, and However, these instructions often
GHB as a Schedule I drug,10 and 27 coma.13 Moreover, no antidote ex- prove incomplete, incorrect, and
states, particularly California, ists for a GHB overdose, and med- oftentimes unsafe, leading to vary-
Texas, Georgia, and Florida, have ical treatment is restricted to sup- ing degrees of GHB purity. For ex-
documented the illicit distribution portive care, such as mechanical ample, poorly manufactured GHB
of GHB.11 ventilation.14 may contain high levels of
unneutralized sodium hydroxide.
Effects Availability and Ingestion of such a caustic liquid is
The human body rapidly ab- Domestic Production akin to drinking drain cleaner and
sorbs and metabolizes GHB. Peak Individuals can obtain GHB in can have horrible consequences, as
concentration in the blood occurs a variety of ways. Several firms illustrated in the example of the

22 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

teenage boy who died after consum- through standard drug tests.18 With A feeling of extreme intoxica-
ing GHB at a party in the desert. routine screening largely unavail- tion after only one or two drinks
able in the United States, GHB de- represents a common symptom re-
Methods of Abuse tection relies heavily on the training ported by rape victims drugged with
GHB usually appears as a col- and skill of the investigator, as illus- GHB. Friends or witnesses, such as
orless, odorless, slightly salty liq- trated in the example of the high waitresses, may describe the victim
uid, or less commonly, as a white school student who died from car- as getting “giddy” or wildly drunk
powder.16 Users may offer GHB at diac arrest. The student had no his- after consuming an unusual bever-
parties by the capful, teaspoonful, tory of drug or alcohol use, and rou- age or after accepting a drink from a
dropperful, or unmeasured swig. tine drug tests revealed no signs of stranger. These same witnesses may
As illustrated in the example of either. Alert investigators, however, even see the victim leave the club or
the former disc jockey, individuals had specific tests for GHB run on party assisted by the suspect. Fur-
using GHB for sexual assault pur- some of the student’s previously ther, anecdotal evidence suggests
poses commonly mix the drug di- that many victims become uncon-
rectly into their victims’ drinks be- scious for approximately 4 hours

cause alcohol greatly magnifies before abruptly “snapping back.”
GHB’s effect. Due to GHB’s An unexplained lapse in memory
slightly salty taste, such beverages GHB usually for this amount of time also might
as margaritas, long island ice teas, suggest GHB use.
sweet liqueurs, or tart fruit juices
appears as a Additionally, investigators
help mask the flavor.17 colorless, should look for GHB paraphernalia
odorless, slightly in a suspect’s residence or vehicle.
Difficulties in Detection salty liquid, or While the presence of precursory
GHB presents a number of less commonly, chemicals, such as gamma-
problems in its detection both in the as a white powder. butyrolactone, represents an obvi-
field and in laboratory examina- ous tip-off, the suspect also may

tions. As a clear, colorless liquid, it have computer printouts, articles, or
can be combined readily with water, books on GHB. Further, boxes or
alcohol, or a host of other common shipping labels from chemical sup-
liquids and placed in any number of obtained blood serum and discov- pliers may indicate that the suspect
generic bottles. Investigators have ered a high level of the drug. Inves- used a mail-order kit to make GHB
found the liquid stored in plastic tigators speculated that someone at home. If investigators suspect
water bottles, sport bottles, mouth- had slipped GHB into the student’s GHB, they should collect any suspi-
wash and shampoo containers, milk drink.19 cious containers, such as water
jugs, and small glass vials. More- bottles or other unlabeled recep-
over, no field test currently exists Investigative Considerations tacles. If at all possible, they also
for detecting GHB, but several Investigators have called GHB should retrieve the glass or con-
groups are working on a solution to a “stealth drug” due to the difficulty tainer from which the victim drank.
this dilemma. in detecting its use. In most states, Moreover, if investigators sus-
GHB in the body presents an only specialized testing can confirm pect the use of GHB, they should try
even greater problem. The body GHB in blood or urine, and inves- to obtain a urine sample from the
processes GHB in a manner similar tigators may have to specifically re- victim as quickly as possible. If the
to alcohol; it converts the drug quest these tests. However, several victim ingested the drug in the
almost completely into carbon diox- signs exist that may alert investiga- previous 5 to 7 hours, a blood test
ide within hours. Most state medi- tors to the use of GHB or a similar could reveal the presence of GHB,
cal examiners cannot detect GHB substance.20 even if the victim has died.

April 1999 / 23
Although most state toxicology recently, California.22 Taking note safety before going out to clubs,
laboratories cannot routinely screen of the resurgence of GHB, the FDA bars, or parties.23
for GHB, investigators can submit has renewed its warning that GHB
the sample to a specialized labora- remains an unapproved and poten- Conclusion
tory capable of performing the tially dangerous drug that cannot Gamma-hydroxybutyrate will
analysis. be legally marketed, sold, or manu- continue to present a serious chal-
Investigators must bear in mind factured in the United States. While lenge to law enforcement as its
that the victim may not recall many it is still not illegal to possess GHB popularity grows. Its relatively low
of the facts regarding the incident on the federal level, the DEA and cost, ease of manufacture, and diffi-
because the drug causes uncon- several congressional representa- culty in detection continue to fuel
sciousness. At the same time, vic- tives actively are considering plac- its abuse. The quality and availabil-
tims of sexual assaults involving ing GHB on the list of controlled ity of GHB testing methods should
GHB often experience psychologi- substances. continue to improve and expand as
cal trauma resulting from not know- On the educational front, more and more agencies begin to
ing exactly what the suspect did to knowledgeable rape treatment address the problem. Also, addi-
them while they were uncon- professionals encourage law en- tional legislation to make the pos-
scious.21 Investigators should pro- forcement officials to advise citi- session of GHB illegal should help
vide victims with immediate pro- zens never to leave their drinks law enforcement authorities con-
fessional counseling or refer them unattended and to refuse drinks front the problem from all sides.
to an experienced rape treatment offered by strangers. Moreover, Until then, continued education
center. police and community leaders on GHB will help both investiga-
should consider promoting a con- tors and the public become better at
Future Developments cept similar to the designated driver recognizing and combating its use
To date, only 11 states have where individuals assign a sober and proliferation. Working to-
criminalized GHB possession, most friend the task of ensuring their gether, police officers and the com-
munities they serve can reduce
these tragic early deaths and hei-
nous assaults resulting from the il-
GHB Overview licit use of such drugs as GHB.

Chemical Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid Endnotes

Debra Rosenberg, “Death of the Party,”
Street Names Cherry Menth, Easy Lay, Gamma 10, GBH, Newsweek, October 27, 1997, 55.
KABC-TV 7 Eyewitness News, “Disc
Georgia Home Boy, GHB, G-Juice, Great Jockey Sentenced in Rape Case,” August 6,
Hormones, Grievous Bodily Harm, 1997.
G-Riffick, Liquid E, Liquid X, Salty Water, 3
Christine Gorman, “Liquid X,” Time,
Scoop, Soap, Somatomax, Vita-G September 30, 1996, 64.
Centers for Disease Control and Preven-
tion, “Gamma-hydroxybutyrate Use—New
Appearance Colorless, odorless, slightly salty liquid or York and Texas, 1995-1996,” Journal of the
white powder American Medical Association 277 (1997):
National Institute on Drug Abuse,
Administration Oral ingestion “Rohypnol and GHB” NIDA Infofax 021.
Gantt P. Galloway, et al., “Gamma-
Cost $5–$20 per dose (capful or ounce) hydroxybutyrate: An Emerging Drug of Abuse
that Causes Physical Dependence,” Addiction
92, no. 1 (1997): 89-96.

24 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

7 11 22
Ibid. Supra note 4. Illinois, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana,
8 12
Centers for Disease Control and Pre- Supra note 8. Nevada, and Rhode Island have placed GHB
vention, “Multistate Outbreak of Poison- Supra note 8. into Schedule I. California and Florida have
ings Associated with Illicit Use of Supra note 4. assigned GHB as Schedule II (such drugs as
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate,” Journal of the Food and Drug Administration, “FDA morphine and codeine with a high potential for
American Medical Association 265 (1991): Reissues Warning on GHB,” FDA Talk Paper, abuse, severe psychological or physical
447-448. February 18, 1997, T97-10. dependence, and restricted medical use). Alaska
9 16
John Henkel, “Gym Owner Jailed for Detective Trinka Porrata, Los Angeles, and Tennessee categorize GHB as Schedule IV
GHB Sales,” FDA Consumer, April 1997, 34. California, Police Department, telephone (such drugs as phenobarbital and diazepam
Under the federal Controlled Substances interview by author, January 1998. with a low potential for abuse, limited
Act, regulated drugs are divided into categories, Ibid. psychological or physical dependence, and
know as schedules, according to their Pat Friel, Toxicologist, Washington State accepted, supervised medical use). New Jersey
effects, medical use, and potential for abuse. Toxicology Laboratory, telephone interview by has outlawed GHB possession, but has not
Schedule I drugs, such as heroin and LSD, have author, December 1997. scheduled the drug. Texas, Massachusetts,
unpredictable effects, including severe Supra note 3. Michigan, Nebraska, and Virginia have GHB
psychological or physical dependence or death; Supra note 16. legislation pending.
21 23
have the highest potential for abuse; and have Gail Abarbanel, director, Santa Monica- Supra note 21.
no currently accepted medical use in treatment. UCLA Rape Treatment Center, telephone
Some are legal for limited research use only. interview by author, January 1998.

The Bulletin’s
E-Mail Address

T he FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin staff

invites you to communicate with us
via e-mail. Our Internet address is
We would like to know your thoughts on
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Also, the Bulletin is available
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as well as the FBI’s home
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is http://www.fbi.gov.

April 1999 / 25
Legal Digest

Constitutional Authority to
Regulate Off-duty Relationships
Recent Court Decisions
By MICHAEL J. BULZOMI, J.D. Photo © Mark Ide

I n recent years, a number of rules and three cases involving relationships. First Amendment
court cases have involved law the authority to regulate off-duty freedom of association “protects
enforcement employees who sexual activity. The article con- those relationships, including fam-
have faced departmental actions cludes with a discussion of depart- ily relationships, that presuppose
due to charges of nepotism or im- mental prerogatives to conduct in- deep attachments and commitments
proper off-duty sexual activity. ternal investigations of alleged to the necessarily few other indi-
These employees have challenged sexual misconduct. viduals with whom one shares not
departmental actions based on these only a special community of
charges on the grounds that the de- General Principles thoughts, experiences, and beliefs,
partment is violating their First The Supreme Court recognizes but also distinctively personal as-
Amendment freedom of associa- that an individual has a fundamental pects of one’s life.”1 However, free-
tion. This article reviews two court liberty interest in being free to enter dom of association is not an abso-
decisions involving antinepotism into certain intimate or private lute right.

26 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

The government as a sovereign
faces many hurdles in restricting an
individual’s freedom of associa- The government
tion. In its capacity as an employer, faces many hurdles
however, the government has far in restricting an
broader powers. As an employer, individual’s freedom
the government’s interest in of association.
“achieving its goals as effectively
and efficiently as possible is el-
evated from a relatively subordinate
interest...to a significant one.”2
That is why it is not necessarily
unconstitutional for the government
to restrict an employee’s First
” Special Agent Bulzomi is a legal
instructor at the FBI Academy.
Amendment rights when it is acting
as an employer.
When government actions are
challenged by employees, the appearance of favoritism or corrup- test that requires the employee to
courts generally apply one of three tion and decide on the imposition of demonstrate that 1) the asserted
standards of review. The most bur- anti-nepotism rules. Two cases re- right is protected by the Constitu-
densome standard of review is cently examined First Amendment tion; 2) the employee suffered an
called “strict scrutiny.” This stan- challenges to antinepotism rules. adverse employment action because
dard requires the government to The first case entails the demotion she or he exercised the asserted
prove that there are compelling rea- of an employee. The second case right; and 3) the adverse employ-
sons for the action taken. An inter- discusses the loss of employment ment action was taken in such a way
mediate standard of review is a bal- by one spouse. as to infringe the constitutionally
ancing test where the interests of The case of McCabe v. protected right. The court applied
the individual are measured against Sharrett3 involved the secretary to a this test and found that the plaintiff
the interests of the government. A police chief. Following her mar- met the first two requirements—her
third standard of review called the riage to a police officer in the same right of intimate association was
“rational basis” test is considerably department, she was transferred to a protected by the First Amendment,
more deferential to the governmen- clerical position which involved and she suffered an adverse em-
tal employer and merely requires less responsibility and more menial ployment action because of her
the government to show that a le- tasks. The chief explained that the marriage.
gitimate rational objective existed transfer was prompted by a fear In regard to the application of
for the action taken. The court de- that the secretary’s marriage the third prong of the test, the court
termines which of these standards “would undermine her loyalty to failed to endorse a single analytic
of review will apply based on the him and her ability to maintain scheme and instead proposed
constitutional importance of the the confidentiality of his office.”4 three approaches for determining
employee’s rights implicated by the The secretary sued asserting a vio- whether the secretary’s transfer
government action. lation of her right to freedom of impermissibly infringed upon her
association guaranteed by the First fundamental right to marry. The
Antinepotism Rules Amendment. first approach balanced the
Public employers, concerned In ruling in favor of the chief, employee’s interest, as a citizen,
with public perception, may con- the United States Court of Appeals against the state’s interest, as
clude that allowing two spouses for the Eleventh Circuit, began its an employer, in promoting
to work together will give the analysis by setting forth a three-part efficiency.

April 1999 / 27
The court found that the constitutional burden was justified Their subsequent engagement cre-
employer’s interest weighed more by the government’s interest in ated a problem under the city’s anti-
heavily when the challenged em- “promoting the efficiency of the nepotism ordinance, which prohib-
ployment action closely served the public services it performs through its municipal employees in
interest of workplace efficiency. its employees”7 regardless of which supervisory positions from working
The court noted that the secretary analysis applied. The McCabe court in the same department. The couple
had access to confidential material has determined that intimate asso- was informed by their chief that if
such as internal affairs files, and ciation, though protected, may be they got married, the less senior of
that spouses tend to possess a higher the basis for job demotion, transfer, the two would have to leave the
degree of loyalty to their marital or reassignment, if that relationship force.
partners than to their supervisors is deemed harmful to the inner The wedding was postponed
and often discuss workplace mat- workings of the department, in this and the couple sued the city under
ters with each other. Based on these case, the chief’s office. 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 on grounds
facts, the court decided that the po- that the antinepotism policy denies
lice chief’s concerns about confi- the fundamental right to marry pro-

dentiality were objectively reason- tected by the due process clause of
able and that the secretary’s transfer the 14th Amendment, infringes
was necessary to preserve the confi- ...the secretary’s upon the right of intimate associa-
dentiality of the office. intimate affiliation with tion implicit in the First Amend-
The second approach focused a police officer ment, and violates the equal protec-
on “a public employee’s right to employed by the same tion clause of the 14th Amendment
harbor certain political beliefs and because it has a disparate impact on
on how exercising that right affects department women.
the performance of governmental categorically The court reasoned that while
functions by affecting employee disqualified her from there is a fundamental right to
loyalty.”5 Under this analysis, the effective performance marry protected by the due process
court found that the secretary’s inti- of her job.... clause, the test for any regulation of
mate affiliation with a police officer that right depends on whether it sig-

employed by the same department nificantly interferes with the deci-
categorically disqualified her from sion to marry. The court found that
effective performance of her job in the city’s no-spouse policy did not
the same manner that a political af- In Parks v. City of Warner Rob- substantially interfere with the right
filiation might disqualify her. Even ins,8 the U.S. Court of Appeals for to marry because the terminated
in applying a strict scrutiny analy- the Eleventh Circuit applied the ra- spouse could still work in another
sis, the court found that transferring tional basis test in determining department or outside the municipal
the secretary because of her mar- whether the city’s antinepotism government. While the policy may
riage was “necessary to serve the policy permissibly infringed upon place increased economic burdens
compelling interest of preserving an employee’s First Amendment as- on certain city employees who wish
the effective functioning of sociation rights. This case was to marry one another, the policy
the...police chief’s office.”6 brought by two officers who had does not forbid them from marry-
Because all three possibilities joined the Warner Robins Police ing. Since the policy does not di-
came to the same result, the court Department within two weeks of rectly and substantially interfere
did not decide which one was each other. One eventually became with the fundamental right to marry,
most appropriate. It did, however, a sergeant in the special investiga- it is subject to rational basis scru-
affirm summary judgment for the tive unit, and the other a captain in tiny rather than strict scrutiny.
police chief, holding that any the criminal investigative unit. Therefore the policy did not violate

28 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

the Due Process Clause since it is Regulating Off-duty conduct occurred during non-duty
rationally related to a legitimate Sexual Activity hours. The officer was suspended
government interest9. In Briggs v. North Muskegon for 30 days without pay and the sus-
The court cited a number of in- Police Department,12 a federal dis- pension was noted in his employ-
terests advanced by the city in sup- trict court held that the dismissal of ment file for “violations of the law
port of the policy, including: a married police officer for living of the State of Utah” and “commis-
1) avoiding conflicts of interest be- with another man’s wife was a sion of any crime relating to public
tween work-related and family-re- violation of the officer’s privacy morals and decency or other laws
lated obligations; 2) reducing favor- and associational rights. The court involving moral turpitude.” The of-
itism or even the appearance of concluded that the police depart- ficer sued the city for violating his
favoritism; and 3) pre- First Amendment right of
venting family conflicts association and chal-
from affecting the work- lenged the constitutional-
place.10 The court found ity of the Utah adultery
that alleviating supervi- statute.
sors from having to de- The city contended
cide whether to exer- that the officer’s conduct,
cise their discretionary which became public, se-
power to hire, assign, verely damaged public
promote, discipline, or confidence in the police
fire their relatives is ra- department. It should be
tionally related to the noted that the females in-
practical, utilitarian volved were all members
goals advanced by the of the West Valley City
city. Thus, the policy Police Explorer Post
was valid under the due sponsored by the city to
process clause. The aid the development of
court also found that the young people.
policy did not infringe upon the ment did not have a legitimate inter- The Oliverson court held that
plaintiffs’ First Amendment right of est in the sexual activities of its of- adultery was neither a fundamental
intimate association since the ficers unless the activities affected right nor implicit in the concept of
policy neither ordered individuals job performance. ordered liberty, and refused to
to marry nor directly interfered with However, other courts have strike down Utah’s statute
the right to marry. found that off-duty sexual activity criminalizing adultery. The city’s
Finally, the court rejected the can affect job performance. In motion for summary judgment was
equal protection claim that the Oliverson v. West Valley City,13 a granted. Thus a police officer’s ex-
antinepotism policy has a disparate married city police officer allegedly tramarital affair was not protected
impact on women. Pointing out had sexual relations with women where the state had a law
that proof of discriminatory intent other than his wife. The relations criminalizing adultery and the
is necessary for an equal protec- included sexual intercourse and intimate relationship affected
tion claim, the court observed sodomy. The officer alleged that the public’s perception of the
that disparate impact “is insuffi- the sexual acts were consen- department.
cient to prove discriminatory sual, performed in private, non- The public’s perception of a
intent,” 11 which was not shown prostitutional or commercial, and police department is not the only
to be the basis for the city’s heterosexual. The female partici- factor in determining the ability of a
policy. pants were unmarried adults and the department to regulate an officer’s

April 1999 / 29
off-duty activities. The next case qualified for the sergeant’s posi- eventually came before the Texas
involves internal issues not known tion. The chief acknowledged he Supreme Court which held that the
by the public and conduct that did had never before passed over a can- officer’s private, adulterous sexual
not violate a state law. didate for promotion based on infi- conduct, was not protected by the
In Henery v. City of Sherman,14 delity, and that there was no written Federal or Texas Constitutions. The
a City of Sherman police officer rule in the department’s manual or United States Supreme Court de-
became involved in an extramarital in state law authorizing him to deny nied the appeal.17
relationship with a city dispatcher. the promotion due to the affair. The
The dispatcher was the wife of chief however, believed that the af- Departmental
a sergeant in the same department. fair would have affected the Prerogative to Investigate
The adulterous officer had recently officer’s ability to lead in the de- The cases discussed thus far
ranked first on a city civil service partment, and would have been dis- have all involved intimate associa-
list, making him eligible for promo- ruptive. As evidence that the affair tions that actually existed. The next
tion to a sergeant’s position, which was disruptive, the chief pointed to case examines the extent of poten-
had come open. Shortly thereafter, tial liability if the alleged intimate
a sign appeared on a department association being investigated is

bulletin board and in the depart- found not to have occurred. In that
mental mailboxes of most police regard, the U.S. Court of Appeals
officers that stated: “If you can’t The city contended for the Sixth Circuit held that a
trust another officer with your wife, that the officer’s clearly established constitutional
how can you trust him with your conduct, which right was not violated when a police
life?”15 Before making the promo- department conducted an investiga-
tion decision, the chief ordered an
became public, tion into the marital sexual relations
investigation into the validity of ru- severely damaged of a police officer accused of sexual
mors regarding the officer’s rela- public confidence in harassment.
tionship with the wife of another the police department. In Hughes v. City of North
officer. Olmsted,18 a police officer and his

After confirming the existence wife brought a Section 1983 action
of the affair, the chief decided to against the City and various police
pass over the officer and award the officers alleging that an investiga-
promotion to an officer who had tion violated their constitutional
scored lower on the promotional the rumors and innuendo among of- rights to privacy and freedom of as-
exam. The chief cited the affair as ficers, the sign posted on the bulle- sociation. The department had con-
the sole reason for passing over the tin board, and the emotional distress ducted an internal affairs investiga-
officer, claiming that “the officer suffered by the husband of the tion as a result of the following
would not command respect and woman involved. The chief also allegations: 1) that the officer had
trust from rank-and-file officers,” commented on the importance of sexually harassed coworkers; 2)
and that promoting him would “ad- trust that officers must have in each that he had dated a gang member’s
versely affect the efficiency and other in order to serve the public. mother; and 3) that he had bragged
morale of the department.”16 The He went on to say that this trust no to women while on duty that he
officer appealed the decision to the longer existed between this officer maintained an open marriage and
Firemen and Police Officers’ Civil and other officers of the depart- a “swinging” lifestyle. During the
Service Commission of the City of ment. The Commission upheld the investigation the officer was
Sherman. denial of the promotion. interviewed and informed of
At the hearing, the chief admit- The officer then appealed the his departmental rights. The officer
ted that the officer was very Commission’s decision. The case denied all the allegations and

30 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

gave permission for his spouse to there was no evidence that the inter- claims of sexual misconduct against
be interviewed concerning the nal police investigation of the the officer.22 Under the circum-
allegations. sexual harassment charges violated stances, the questions posed by the
Based on the investigation, the a clearly established constitutional department in its investigation
department concluded were justified because
that the allegations of they concerned the
sexual harassment and sexual harassment alle-
improper conduct were gations. Also, the con-
unsubstantiated. Thus, duct being investigated
the department’s files in this case had the po-
concerning the investi- tential to severely affect
gation were destroyed. job performance. Addi-
Defendants moved for tionally, the court ad-
summary judgment vised that it did not con-
and the district court done the questioning of
granted summary judg- the officer’s wife about
ment to the City, but de- the status of her marital
nied summary judg- relationship, but con-
ment to the individual cluded that a reason-
defendants. able person in the
On appeal, the de- investigator’s position
fendants argued that the would not have known
district court erred in that they were intruding
finding that they were on a privacy or associa-
not entitled to qualified immunity. right. The court noted that the Su- tional right. Therefore, the Sixth
They claimed that they were en- preme Court has not definitively Circuit reversed the district court’s
titled to qualified immunity because answered the question of whether decision as to the individual
they did not violate a clearly estab- the Constitution prohibits a state or defendants.
lished constitutional right. The its actors from regulating private Police agencies are expected to
court advised that qualified immu- consensual sexual behavior of investigate allegations of employee
nity provides that “government offi- adults, even though constitutionally wrongdoing. In fact, in many in-
cials performing discretionary guaranteed rights of free associa- stances they are required to do so.
functions, generally are shielded tion and privacy have been found The First Amendment is not an im-
from liability for civil damages in- in several provisions of the pediment to conducting reasonable
sofar as their conduct does not vio- Constitution.21 investigations into an officer’s inti-
late clearly established statutory or The court concluded that the mate affairs when managers reason-
constitutional rights of which a rea- police department did not have a ably believe the officer’s relation-
sonable person would have legitimate interest in the sexual ac- ship adversely affects departmental
known.”19 “Whether an official may tivities of its officers unless the ac- interests as discussed in the above
prevail in his qualified immunity tivities affected job performance. case.
defense, depends upon the objec- However, due to the accusations
tive reasonableness of [his] conduct against the officer, the department’s Conclusion
as measured by reference to clearly investigation was reasonable. The Law enforcement organiza-
established law.” 20 court noted that the department tions may have the constitutional
The court found that the indi- would have been derelict in its du- authority to regulate an employee’s
vidual defendants should have been ties and possibly could have vio- off-duty associational activities
granted qualified immunity because lated federal law had it ignored the including off-duty sexual conduct

April 1999 / 31
when it involves a supervisory/sub- influences; and 7) the need for pub- 11

Id. at 617.
563 F.Supp. 585 (W.D. Mich. 1983),
ordinate relationship, and associa- lic trust. In view of the complexities aff’d, 746 F.2d 1475 (6th Cir. 1984)
tions that impact adversely on em- of First Amendment law, it is rec- 13
875 F.Supp. 1465 (D. Utah 1995).
ployees’ ability to do their job or ommended that a departmental le- 14
928 S.W. 2d 464 (Sup. Ct.Texas), cert
otherwise materially impairs the ef- gal advisor be consulted before any denied, 17 S. Ct. 1098 (1997).
Id. at 465.
fectiveness and efficiency of the actions are taken that may implicate 16
police department. All personal de- an employee’s First Amendment 17
Henery v. City of Sherman, 117 S. Ct.
cisions affecting associational free- rights. 1098 (1997).
dom should be carefully tied to such 18

93 F.3d 238 (6th Cir. 1996).
Id. at 240.
demonstrably legitimate law en- Endnotes 20
Id. at 239.
forcement interests. Other relevant 1
See Board of Dirs. V. Rotary Club, 481 21
Id. at 241-42.
factors in determining if a particular U.S. 537 (1987) at 545. 22
Id. (citing Meritor Savings Bank v.
association can be constitutionally 2
See Board of Comm’rs, Wabaunsee Cty. v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 72-73 (1986)).
regulated are: 1) employee morale; Umbehr, 116 S. Ct. at 2348 (citing Waters, 511
U.S. at 675). Law enforcement officers of other than
2) the need for personal loyalty be- 3
12 F.3d 1558 (11th Cir. 1994).
federal jurisdiction who are interested in
tween officers and/or supervisors; 4
this article should consult their legal
Id. at 1560. advisors. Some police procedures ruled
3) officer integrity; 4) potential con- 5
Id. at 1567. permissible under federal constitutional law
flict of interest in operational mat- Id. at 1572. are of questionable legality under state law
Id. or are not permitted at all.
ters; 5) the potential for favoritism 8
43 F.3d 609 (11th Cir. 1995).
in supervision and management; 9
Id. at 615.
6) the need to minimize corruptive 10

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32/FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

The Bulletin Notes
Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each
challenge freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions
warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize
their exemplary service to the law enforcement profession.

While off duty, Deputy While off duty at

Timothy F. Cook of the Warren his residence, Officer
County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office John Smith of the
observed two vehicles collide Camden, Tennessee,
head-on and burst into flames. Police Department
Deputy Cook immediately sent heard gunshots nearby.
his passenger in his car for help While his wife called
and ran to the vehicles. He for police assistance,
observed that the driver and only Officer Smith obtained
occupant of one car was dead. his service weapon and
Deputy Cook However, three occupants of the Officer Smith ran outside. He ob-
other car were trapped. With served a fellow officer
assistance from others who stopped, Deputy Cook lying on the ground at the rear of his patrol
pulled two of the occupants to safety before the flames vehicle. The severely wounded officer
made it impossible to rescue the third. Deputy Cook informed Officer Smith that the suspect he
displayed the highest degree of law enforcement profes- had stopped had obtained his service weapon.
sionalism in placing himself in danger to save the lives At that moment, Officer Smith looked up and
of two individuals. saw a male pointing a handgun at him through
the rear window of a pickup truck parked in
front of the wounded officer’s patrol car.
Officer Smith opened fire and the suspect
sped away. Officer Smith obtained the truck’s
Officer Scott B. Lathan of the license information from the wounded officer
North Bend, Oregon, Police and radioed it to the dispatcher. Officer Smith
Department responded to a report then administered first aid to the wounded
of a man clinging to his canoe in officer until rescue personnel arrived. Without
the cold water of Coos Bay. The Officer Smith’s courageous, prompt interven-
North Bend Fire and Rescue and tion, his fellow officer would not have
the U. S. Coast Guard were in the survived the attack.
process of responding. Accompa-
nied by an Explorer Scout, Officer
Lathan arrived at the location and Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based
Officer Lathan discovered that the 45-year-old on either the rescue of one or more citizens or
arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety.
victim had become separated from the Submissions should include a short write-up
canoe and was in imminent danger of drowning. Officer (maximum of 250 words), a separate photograph of
each nominee, and a letter from the department’s
Lathan immediately dove into the water and pulled the ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submis-
man to shore. The Explorer Scout administered first aid sions should be sent to the Editor, FBI Law Enforce-
ment Bulletin, FBI Academy, Madison Building,
for exposure. Officer Lathan’s quick response and Room 209, Quantico, VA 22135.
disregard for his own safety led to the successful rescue
of the man.