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February 2011

The War on Drugs

February 2011
Volume 80
Number 2
United States
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001
Robert S. Mueller III
Contributors’ opinions and statements Features
should not be considered an
endorsement by the FBI for any policy,
program, or service.
The attorney general has determined A Model for Success Law enforcement agencies can
that the publication of this periodical
is necessary in the transaction of the
public business required by law. Use
in the Drug War 1 succeed in this battle despite
the formidable enemies
of funds for printing this periodical has By Kelly J. Thomas they face.
been approved by the director of the
Office of Management and Budget.
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
(ISSN-0014-5688) is published
monthly by the Federal Bureau of Systematic Pattern With the limited resources that police
Investigation, 935 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20535-0001. Periodicals postage paid
Response Strategy
By Roberto Santos
12 executives face today, it is necessary,
more than ever, for organizations to
at Washington, D.C., and additional
mailing offices. Postmaster: employ systematic crime-reduction
Send address changes to Editor, efforts to become more efficient and
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, effective.
FBI Academy,
Quantico, VA 22135.
The “Public Safety” One exception to the Miranda rule
John E. Ott
Exception to Miranda 25 permits officers to conduct a limited and
focused unwarned interrogation and
Associate Editors
By Carl A. Benoit allows the statement to serve as direct
David W. MacWha evidence.
Stephanie Mitesser
Art Director
Stephanie L. Lowe
The Training Division’s
Outreach and Communications Unit
produces this publication with
assistance from the division’s 6 Perspective 21 Notable Speech
National Academy Unit.
Issues are available online at Writing Policy and Partners in the Battle
http://www.fbi.gov. Procedure Manuals
E-mail Address 23 Unusual Weapons
leb@fbiacademy.edu 11 Leadership Spotlight Cartridge Knives
Send article submissions to Editor, Inspirational Leaders
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Suspend Their Ego 24 Bulletin Honors
FBI Academy,
Quantico, VA 22135.
Odessa Peace Officers

ISSN 0014-5688 USPS 383-310

A Model for Success
in the Drug War

n the war against drugs, and transporters, mostly Co- agencies to combat the wave

I law enforcement officers at

all levels face very well-
organized, corrupt, and danger-
lombians. Additionally, pending
capture at open sea, transporters
have dropped to the bottom of
of drug trafficking and money
laundering affecting the United
States. The recently created
ous criminals. Everyone, from the Pacific Ocean another 391 OCDETF strike forces have
the honest citizen to the govern- tons of cocaine worth another authorization to collocate and
ment official, wants to see suc- $7 billion. These statistics dem- commingle federal and state
cess in this difficult battle. onstrate the success of this agencies to disrupt and disman-
Over the past 10 years, the Organized Crime Drug Enforce- tle drug organizations desig-
operation Panama Express has ment Task Force (OCDETF). nated as consolidated priority
resulted in the seizure of over organizational targets (CPOTs)
500 tons of cocaine worth an es- Joint Efforts and their drug-trafficking and
timated $10 billion. Authorities Created in 1982, OCDETFs transportation affiliates. The
have arrested more than 2,000 combine the resources of federal, task and strike forces constitute
international drug traffickers state, and local law enforcement the centerpieces of the U.S.

On 3/18/07, the Coast Guard, in conjunction with the

Panama Express Strike Force, seized 42,845 pounds of
cocaine—a record seizure—from the freighter Gatun. February 2011 / 1
attorney general’s war on various federal agencies in New 1980s and 1990s, a principal
drugs, and they now are supple- York, Miami, and other cities mode of moving bulk cocaine
mented with an OCDETF fu- indicted the leadership in all (1 ton or more) was via Colom-
sion center designed to gather, of the controlling cartels. With bian fishing vessels that aver-
analyze, and store drug-related the granting of extraditions by aged 65 to 80 feet in length and
intelligence. the Colombian government, the generally carried 5 to 10 tons of
powerful cartels slowly started product. These vessels traveled
Drug War to fade, and myriad smaller north from Colombia to several
The face of Colombian in- bosses and drug-trafficking/ hundred miles off the coast
ternational drug smuggling has transportation organizations of Mexico and transferred the
changed dramatically over the (DTOs) grew to take their place. drugs to Mexican fishing
past 10 years. In the 1990s, 10 Unfortunately, the flow of co- vessels.
major Colombian cartels head- caine rarely lessened because of After numerous success-
quartered in Medellin and Cali the astronomical profits avail- ful interdictions of the slow
coordinated over 80 percent able to those in control. Now, fishing vessels in the early
of the cocaine reaching major each segment of the business is 2000s, the cocaine transporters
markets.1 The cartel structure compartmentalized with co- supplemented their arsenal with
approximated a pyramid with caine owners hiring and sharing go-fast boats similar to Ameri-
the leader employing several independent transporters for the can “cigarette” boats; they were
hundred employees who manu- drug treks to Mexico. 40-feet long with four outboard
factured cocaine, secured and Additionally, the face of engines and capable of trans-
transported it, and laundered international drug smuggling porting 2 to 3 tons of drugs. The
the illicit proceeds. has changed in other ways, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard
In the late 1990s, officials especially in the modes of responded with aerial force
from Panama Express and cocaine transportation. In the against these speedy targets, re-
ducing this method of transport.
The traffickers and trans-
porters shifted gears again.
Starting in approximately 2005,

the DTOs built self-propelled
semisubmersible (SPSS) vessels
Federal, state, and and sent between 3 and 8 tons
local law enforcement of cocaine on each trip. These
agencies face as tough an vessels generally were 50-feet
enemy as any in the battle long with only 1 foot of a small
against international port area above water. Panama
drug smugglers. Express made its first seizure of
an SPSS in 2005.

Special Agent Thomas serves in the FBI’s Tampa, Florida, office. ” Panama Express
Operation Panama Express
started in 1995 with an FBI/
DEA investigation of three

2 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Successes in the Pacific Ocean
Kilos of
Year Vessels Arrests Cocaine Seized
2000 3 FVs, 7 GFs 46 23,960

2001 2 FVs, 7 GFs 47 12,955

2002 5 FVs, 11 GFs 75 35,446
2003 8 FVs, 10 GFs 103 25,748
2004 10 FVs, 13 GFs 131 58,997
2005 11 FVs, 12 GFs, 1 SPSS 138 50,994
2006 11 FVs, 17 GFs, 1 SPSS 127 45,907
2007 12 FVs, 19 GFs, 6 SPSS 115 46,114
2008 5 FVs, 9 GFs, 6 SPSSs 90 32,834
2009 3 FVs, 11 GFs, 11 SPSSs 95 23,018

FV: Fishing vessels

GF: Go-fast boats
SPSS: Self-propelled semisubmersible vessels
This table does not represent scuttled loads, total loads seized in the Caribbean by spin-off
investigations, or loads and arrestees submitted to foreign governments for prosecution.

suspicious bank accounts in Panama Express personnel to Mexico. ICE, Coast Guard,
Naples, Florida. These accounts used it as the genesis of a broad and DOD agents and analysts
and many more in Panama attack against the Colombian joined Panama Express to work
belonged to Colombian cocaine cocaine maritime transporta- the cases jointly. In February
transportation boss Jose Castril- tion industry. Beginning in late 2000, the Colombian fishing
lon Henao. That investigation 1999, convicted defendants vessel Rebelde was the first
led to the indictment in Tampa, were given the opportunity seizure, with a cargo of 4.5 tons
Florida, of Castrillon and more and the resources to develop of cocaine worth $67,500,000
than 2 dozen cocaine trans- evidence for historical cases ($15,000 per kilo).
porters working in the eastern and recruit sources for cur- Starting in 2000, Panama
Pacific Ocean. rent, actionable intelligence on Express, along with the DOD
Instead of viewing the cocaine transportation opera- Joint Interagency Task Force
indictment as a goal or fruition, tions launching from Colombia South (JITFS), has had great

February 2011 / 3
success, as illustrated by the imprisonment and ordered to successes. For example,
chart, which also reflects the forfeit $110,000,000 in illicit assign one agent from each
changing face of international proceeds. Panama Express and organization to each case to
drug smuggling in the east- DOJ forwarded the U.S. for- work jointly toward fruition.
ern Pacific: the interdiction of feiture judgment to Colombia, • Identify and target support
Colombian fishing vessels led which facilitated the seizure of elements for narco-traffick-
to the DTOs using go-fast ves- tens of millions of dollars worth ing organizations. Instead of
sels, and then, as U.S. successes of Valencia-Trujillo’s assets. focusing on an entire DTO,
mounted against this method, requiring years of investiga-
the smugglers built the SPSS Suggested Approaches
tion, task forces can have
vessels to avoid detection. Over Some of the procedures great success by targeting
time, U.S. maritime enforce- and methods used by Panama transportation. For instance,
ment has adapted and increased Express can be considered for Mexican border smuggling
its interdictions of SPSS ves- use by other strike forces, task could be exploited with a
sels, which travel 80 to 90 per- focus on the trucking
cent below the sea surface and

have become the transportation
mode of choice for drug lords.2 • Develop human sources
For continued success, agencies within the selected support
Everyone... element at all levels, includ-
must remain vigilant for new wants to see
and novel smuggling methods. ing those at the lowest tier
success in who have access to potential
Panama Express also uses a this difficult intelligence—even small
secondary tool: strategic indict- battle. pieces of the overall puzzle.
ments and arrests of high-level Sufficiently pay the human
bosses, supervisors, or coor-

sources to offset the extreme
dinators of the seized loads risks they take to assist law
represented in the chart. As of enforcement. Search for
January 2010, over 100 DTO funding from nontraditional
managers have been indicted; forces, and drug-interdiction
teams in their endeavors against sources (e.g., Congress,
arrested, primarily in Colombia; U.S. executive agencies,
and extradited to the United international drug smuggling.
In maintaining the high level of military entities).
States to face stiff sentences.
Some of the highest-level cartel seizures and indictments over • Maintain a long-term strat-
bosses, including Joaquin Mario the past 10 years, FBI, DEA, egy and always prioritize
Valencia-Trujillo, are serving ICE, Coast Guard, and JIATF protection of human sources
lengthy U.S. prison sentences personnel have learned many and confidential procedures
for their roles in sending hun- hard lessons. Some practices over a short-term gain/
dreds of loads of cocaine from have proven significant in the seizure.
Colombia to Mexico for trans- accomplishments by Panama • Seek out assistant U.S.
shipment to the United States. Express. attorneys and prosecutors
Valencia-Trujillo, a former • Eliminate agency turf who agree with the big pic-
principal of the famed Cali Car- battles by sharing all ture of long-term strategies
tel, was sentenced to 40 years’ responsibilities and and provide reasonable

4 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

October 18, 2007
Eastern Pacific
59 bales
incentives for cooperating defendants.
Valuable and trusted cooperators must re-
ceive sufficient sentence consideration and
other benefits to commit to long-term as-
sistance to U.S. law enforcement.
• At inception, conduct meetings with the
highest regional managers of each agency
and commit all agreements to writing for
division of resources, funding, and per-
sonnel. Early agreements are essential
for long-term success and elimination of
chronic turf battles prevalent among
September 13, 2008
• Schedule weekly all-hands meetings to
Eastern Pacific
share intelligence, successes, and plan- 237 bales
ning. Develop close, professional rela-
tionships within each agency to develop
integrated teams.

Panama Express personnel consider their
endeavor a war. Federal, state, and local law
enforcement agencies face as tough an enemy
as any in the battle against international drug
smugglers. These criminals are well-financed,
corrupt, and deadly.
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu explains that
waging a successful war requires planning;
employing an adaptive strategy; identifying FV Rebelde
the enemy’s weak points; and using spies, or February 16, 2000
informants. Antidrug task forces must do the Eastern Pacific
same and, if they consider it appropriate, use Almost 5 tons
the listed suggested practices. The most ef-
fective strikes against drug smugglers will re-
quire exceptional cooperation among officers,
agents, managers, and prosecutors.

Sidney Jay Zabludoff, “Colombian Narcotics Organiza-
tions as Business Enterprises,” Transnational Organized
Crime 3 (Summer 1997): 23.
“Semi-Subs, Used to Carry Drugs, May Be Outlawed,”
Tampa Tribune, June 27, 2008, p. 3.

February 2011 / 5

Writing Policy and Procedure

Manuals in a Small Campus
Police Environment
By Robert A. Johnson

© Thinkstock.com

fter serving as a law enforcement officer

A in a large full-service police agency for

nearly 40 years, the responsibility for
writing policy for a small campus police environ-
Mr. Johnson, a retired
captain with the Anne
Arundel County, Maryland,
Police Department, currently
serves as a policy analyst
ment seemed a unique challenge. My job required
with the University of
reviewing and revising existing policy, as well as Maryland, Baltimore
creating some policies from scratch. What was Police Force.
not obvious in the beginning, however, was the
extent that agency cooperation, planning, and or-
ganization would be critical to the success of the
Crime fighting in a campus environment nor-
mally is category specific: the majority of offenses
fall into three or four major categories. University

6 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

police officers seldom must exhibit specific proce- writers must commit time to planning each direc-
dural knowledge of more than a handful of crimes. tive and grouping of directives. Although the task
I found that writing policies in this environment can prove daunting at times, the following chrono-
required specificity with regard to agency require- logical steps may help the writing process proceed
ments, as well as criminal law and procedure. The smoothly with minimal internal resistance and the
need to revise, update, and modify many old direc- best chance for success.
tives either procedurally outdated or compromised
by existing law added to the scope of the mission. Operational Authority
For example, policies regarding domestic violence, Before any writing or planning begins, the
internal early warning systems, juvenile proce- chief executive of the agency should prepare cor-
dures, pandemics, criminal intelligence, homeland respondence that will introduce the writer and re-
security, incident command, and bias-based profil- flect the job to be accomplished. Although this may
ing required frequent updates to remain consistent prove one of the few times the chief executive will
with current practices and have direct involvement
law enforcement mandates. in the process, all agency
As a result, new procedures members (sworn and civil-
and reporting requirements
became part of the revi-
sions, necessitating frequent
meetings with command
“ Policy writers must
establish consistency,
ian) must understand the
purpose of the endeavor,
the expectation of coop-
eration, and that the project
and component personnel. responsibility, and enjoys the support of their
One expert describes standardization…as this leader.
the well-written directive as information will guide
supplant to a system of best behavior and avoid Information Gathering
guesses, common sense, and agency sanctions. Policy writers should
good luck.1 Policy writers acquire an organizational

must establish consistency, chart early in the process.
responsibility, and standard- The chart will become the
ization through well-written basis upon which responsi-
policies and procedures as bility for work completion
this information will guide behavior and avoid is determined. Therefore, it must be available,
agency sanctions. They must ensure they do not updated, and accurate.
place the first responder in harms way, open the Information acquired as a basis for construct-
organization to liability, overdirect simple tasks, or ing policy and procedure can come from various
saturate agency members with verbiage that does places. Old manuals, directives, special orders,
not facilitate further understanding of the subject pamphlets, memorandums, and training materi-
matter. als can facilitate a general understanding of how
A directive should be specific enough to impart the agency has responded in the past to specific
agency procedure and capture the essence of cur- situations and mandates. Although the collection
rent law yet remain flexible enough to allow for of static documentation can help policy writers,
appropriate decision making. Therefore, policy written documents do not replace one-on-one

February 2011 / 7
meetings with key personnel. Such meetings also One of the most frequent complaints about
can establish relationships not widely known or agency policy and procedure manuals involves
understood (e.g., as in the case of state regulatory the lack of subject-matter groupings that ul-
agencies that mandate officer training or federal timately leads to frustration when attempting
law that regulates the dissemination of law en- to find a particular passage or procedure. As a
forcement records). Information obtained from result, policy writers should consider grouping
documents or meetings should become part of the like subject matter and presenting the finished
written directive. product as coherent and user-friendly.
Additionally, the influence of standard operat- Some agencies experience a lack of ac-
ing procedures should be limited to standardizing countability for forms, including some rogue
work in an individual component; they usually or unauthorized ones created by well-meaning
should not be relied upon to construct written individuals or components without benefit of
directives. Policy writers organizational review.
should spend minimal time The resulting overload
reviewing them. Although of forms and lack of
their value in assisting with control over the num-
the acclimation of new em- bers and types of forms
ployees should not be under- used makes it nearly im-
estimated, the information is possible to keep written
not interchangeable. directives current. As
a result, leaders should
Manual Organization create a system for ap-
As a starting point, lead- proving, numbering, and
ers should hold a meeting disposing of unauthor-
with command personnel ized forms.
who have the authority to
require cooperation from Available Resources
agency components. This © Thinkstock.com Deciding what di-
group should establish ongo- rectives policy writers
ing expectations, including dates and times for should write, update, or delete can become a
further meetings, timelines for completion, and time-consuming task. Leaders should network
discussions about the visual aspect of the written with agencies of a similar size to review their
directive (e.g., one column versus two columns, directives. Often, policies and procedures
double spacing, headers and footers). prove similar between agencies and may only
Moreover, a policy writer should request a list require incidental attention, especially when
of key agency personnel who can provide specific the policy is consistent with the Commission
information, easily accomplished if the writer al- on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agen-
ready is employed by the agency. However, if the cies (CALEA).
writer was recently hired, leaders should appoint In addition, state law enforcement regula-
a sworn liaison officer to assist with information tory agencies and training commissions usually
acquisitions. maintain resources to assist in policy making

8 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

and often have sample written directives. Depart- use of force, every directive in that section should
ments also can obtain an encompassing array of be designated as 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and so forth. A Ro-
written directive topics from the International man numeral should identify every major topic,
Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Policy which policy writers should further explain under
Center. subtopics identified by letters of the alphabet. All
written directives should be numbered consecu-
The Writing Process tively and include effective and revision dates, as
Policy writers should avoid the expression of well as the signature of the chief executive. A title
abstract views, opinions, or verbiage that does page, contents section, and index portion also
not contribute to the understanding of the sub- should be included.
ject matter. Moreover, they
should provide information Review, Revision,
in a straightforward, simple, and Submission
and direct way that comple-
ments the discussion.
Because the finalized
version of the policy and
“ Writing policy
and procedures
The review process
should include a senior
staff member intimately
familiar with the internal
procedures manual likely requires a commitment organization, as well as its
will be available for citizen to a specific format crime-fighting activities. In
review, writers should avoid that will permit a some cases, the review pro-
law enforcement slang or user-friendly cess may involve several
jargon. Further, the words approach…. command staff officers,
shall, will, or must reflect subject-matter experts, and
mandatory action, and the specific component per-
terms should or may iden-
tify some level of personal
situational choice.
” sonnel responsible for ac-
complishing the work as
outlined in the directive.
Each written directive should introduce the Minor changes to written directives occur over
subject matter through a statement of purpose time as they are more widely viewed, and a change
followed by a statement of policy. The statement in one directive may require a change in others.
of purpose should offer a clear reason for the Policy writers should present the final product
topic under discussion, and the statement of policy to the chief executive for signature upon comple-
should provide a brief overview of agency philoso- tion of the entire manual and not submit sections
phy. Policy is not synonymous with procedure or individually.
purpose; these two brief introductory statements
are not interchangeable. Policy statements in each Availability
directive should begin with the phrase, “It is the If agencies issue the manual as a hard copy,
policy of.…” they should use a three-ring binder suited for hold-
Normally, a numerical designation should ing the written directives. This way, each direc-
identify each section of the manual. For example, tive easily can be removed when changes occur.
if section 4 contains all agency directives on the Additionally, they should consider establishing

February 2011 / 9
an accessible computer file or e-mail notification accurate information sufficient to take any situation
system or issuing a CD. For vehicles with mobile to fruition without leaving the agency open to
data computers, software programs exist that will civil liability or the individual vulnerable to agency
monitor changes to directives and the associated sanctions.
accountability process. Writing policy and procedures requires a com-
mitment to a specific format that will permit a user-
Conclusion friendly approach to finding information, assessing
Writing procedures and policy for campus resources, reviewing, and revising. To that end, the
law enforcement works best when preceded by chief executive’s authorization of the completed
proper preparation. Before policy writers begin, manual and the availability of the manual to all agen-
they must have a clear understanding of how the cy personnel will provide the basis for success.
organization functions and how crime operations
and administrative support operations mesh to Endnotes
accomplish the work of the agency. Procedures 1
Michael Carpenter, “Put It in Writing: The Policy Manual,”
and policies must be clear and simple and contain FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 2000, 1-5.

The Bulletin’s
E-mail Address
© Digital Vision
he FBI Law Enforcement Bul-
T letin staff invites you to commu-
nicate with us via e-mail. Our e-mail
address is leb@fbiacademy.edu.
We would like to know your
thoughts on contemporary law en-
forcement issues. We welcome your
comments, questions, and suggestions
about the magazine. Please include
your name, title, and agency on all
e-mail messages.
Also, the Bulletin is available for
viewing or downloading on a number
of computer services, as well as the
FBI’s home page. The home page
address is http://www.fbi.gov.

10 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Leadership Spotlight

Inspirational Leaders Suspend Their Ego

L eadership is not about a person’s ego. It

is about recognizing what your constit-
uents need and placing yourself in a position
processes thousands of financial requests a
year but also cultivates relationships with
these 1,100 employees, as well as the part-
with the right mind set to meet those needs. nerships with over 250 institutions of higher
Individuals who put the interests and agendas education.
of others before their own may become lead- This influential leader’s responsibilities
ers through their selfless actions. Leadership far surpass his pay grade, yet he has inspired
occurs everywhere and at all levels. Great so many to reach beyond their comfort zone.
leaders do not necessarily seek an official title; Whenever I call him with a conflict or con-
rather, their genuine and sincere concern in- cern, he makes me feel I am his only focus. He
spires people is never too
to follow. busy to dis-
There are cuss the prob-
leaders I ad- lem. Without
mire who have a doubt, you
challenged me can feel his
to consistently put forth my best effort. They customer-oriented enthusiasm. He answers
make my career, welfare, and concerns more questions via e-mail on weekends and
important than theirs. Amazingly, some of the stays late into the evenings facilitating the
finest leaders I have encountered had no idea program.
about the profound impact their leadership I have revamped my approach to handling
and inspiration imparted. Effective leaders in- my programmatic responsibilities—with a
fluence others to willingly push beyond what smile on my face—because of the example he
they find comfortable. Inspirational leadership has set. Although he is not as high in title and
is built upon ego suspension and appreciation grade as many of those he serves, he consis-
of the needs of others, not an official title or tently leads and inspires through his ability to
position. So, leadership sometimes exists in place others’ needs above his own ego.
the most unlikely places.
Many law enforcement organizations
have collateral programs staffed with truly Special Agent Robin K. Dreeke, an instructor at the
outstanding and dedicated individuals. I and Counterintelligence Training Center and an adjunct
many of my colleagues have benefited from a faculty member of the Leadership Development
Institute, prepared this Leadership Spotlight.
first-rate leader who manages a program that
serves over 1,100 employees. He not only

February 2011 / 11
Systematic Pattern
Response Strategy
Protecting the Beehive

raditional police strate-

T gies for crime reduction

have focused on ad-
dressing individual incidents,
such as calls for service and
crime investigations. The goal
is to resolve incidents as they
arise and arrest offenders so
they can be punished for their
crimes. Patrol officers primar-
ily carry out this work with the
guidance of first-line supervi-
sors. Mid- and upper-level man-
agers focus on the allocation
of resources and the resolution
of personnel issues, becoming
involved in street-level work
mainly during critical incidents.
Over the past 30 years,
innovative approaches (e.g.,
problem-oriented, community-
oriented, disorder, and intelli-
gence-led policing, along with
Compstat) have been devel-
oped that seek to apply crime-
reduction strategies beyond
isolated incidents.1 In 2004,
the National Research Council
review of police approaches
found that crime-reduction
strategies that employ data and
analysis to identify issues larger
than incidents (i.e., patterns and
problems); focus their efforts in
particular places, times, and on
© Thinkstock.com

12 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

specific offenders; and priori- the Stratified Model first distin- taking place in a relatively
tize police efforts prove much guishes different kinds of short time frame linked
more effective than traditional problems for which crime-re- together by modus operandi,
methods that are not focused.2 duction strategies can be imple- offender, location type, and
Although numerous specific mented. The problems vary property taken)
examples of effective crime- based on their complexity and 3. Long-term activity: Prob-
reduction efforts implemented temporal nature (more complex lems (set of related activi-
for crime patterns and larger problems develop over longer ties occurring over a longer
problems exist, the basic nature periods of time). Importantly, to period of time resulting
of policing (responding to calls be most effective, a police de- from individuals’ routine
and investigating crimes) has partment must address concerns behavior and the systematic
not changed, and few, if any, at all levels because if smaller, opportunities for crime cre-
police departments have insti- more immediate problems are ated by their behavior)
tutionalized crime-reduction resolved successfully, they will The primary conceptual
efforts at a larger level than an not become larger, long-term component of the Stratified
incident.3 ones.6 Thus, the model breaks Model is that various ranks
With the limited and down activities generating po- within the police organization
shrinking resources that po- lice response into three catego- are responsible and held ac-
lice executives face today, it is ries based on their complexity countable for implementing
necessary, more than ever, for and temporal nature. appropriate strategies for ad-
organizations to employ sys- 1. Immediate activity: Indi- dressing the different levels of
tematic crime-reduction efforts vidual calls for service and problems. Higher ranks in the
to become more efficient and crimes (individual incidents) organization that have more au-
effective. One method is the thority and experience address
2. Short-term activity: Patterns
systematic pattern response more complex issues, and the
(groups of similar crimes
strategy. This is part of a larger
model of crime reduction—
the Stratified Model of Prob-
lem Solving, Analysis, and
Accountability—that addresses
immediate, short-term, and
long-term problems.4 This
model takes into account the
results of police research on
“ Patterns represent
the core component
of the Stratified Model
and crime-reduction
traditional, problem-oriented,
hot spots, and intelligence-led
efforts because they are
policing, as well as Compstat, realistic and manageable
and presents a structure for all for police response....
police ranks within an organi-
zation to systematically address
a range of problems.5
To address crime and disor-
der beyond the incident level,

Detective Lieutenant Santos serves with the
Port St. Lucie, Florida, Police Department.

February 2011 / 13
traditional hierarchical structure offender, location, or property most concerned about their
of the organization ensures that that typically occur over days, immediate resolution (e.g., a
the implementation of crime- weeks, or months and focus on serial robber or burglar oper-
reduction strategies takes place.7 offenses wherein victims and ating in the past 2 weeks in a
Separating and distinguishing perpetrators do not know one specific area). Because patterns
the types of problems allows another, such as stranger rape, occur in the short-term, effec-
a variety of personnel within robbery, burglary, and grand tive responses also must happen
the agency to provide different theft.8 Patterns represent the quickly and with purpose. In
analyses, responses, and ac- core component of the Strati- addition, if stopping patterns
countability. To help illustrate fied Model and crime-reduction from continuing is important, an
this model, the author highlights efforts because they are realis- appropriate amount of resources
one aspect, patterns. tic and manageable for police must be allocated.
response; research has shown
ADDRESSING PATTERNS that addressing hot-spot pat- The Beehive Effect
Patterns consist of two terns, in particular, can prove The author offers his strat-
or more similar crimes related successful;9 and the police, the egy, the Beehive Effect, as a
by modus operandi, victim, community, and the media are way that police organizations
could react to crime patterns.
Figure 1 When threatened, bees respond
by exiting the hive with enough
Stratified Model of Problem Solving, resources (bees) to expel the
Analysis, and Accountability threat and protect the colony.
Not sparing any chance of
Chief failure, they do not send one
Systematic or two bees to investigate the
Accountability threat nor react days after it
occurs. Instead, they respond
immediately with a significant
amount of force. The resources
necessary to protect the hive
Problem Solving are enormous, immediate, and
aggressive. The bees respond
Officer with purpose, teamwork, and
one goal in mind: to swarm and
Incident Pattern Problem eradicate the threat. Finally,
Level of Problem Complexity because every time the response
is the same (immediate and
severe), everyone knows not to
Source: Adapted from R. Boba, R. Santos, and L. Wyckoff,
“Implementing and Institutionalizing Compstat in Maryland: Training
threaten a beehive. The author
Modules,” http://www.compstat.umd.edu (accessed April 30, 2010). believes that police organiza-
tions also should take this

14 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Similarly, when a pattern but by a crime analyst through in a specific location and linked
is identified (e.g., five related a qualitative methodology.10 by time of day, day of week,
residential burglaries in an area Police agencies must recognize property taken, modus operandi,
during a week or three street that officers cannot be respon- or other means. Crime analysts
robberies of elderly people by sible for identifying patterns identify many types of patterns,
the same suspect), it represents during their normal duties be- as several examples illustrate.11
a threat to the community and, cause they do not have the time • Series: A run of similar
as a result, to the police. The or the access to crime databases crimes committed by the
Beehive Effect would dictate and must focus on other priori- same individual against
that police respond immediately ties. Thus, to facilitate a system- one or various victims or
to a pattern every time with an atic pattern response system, targets (e.g., robbery of
appropriate amount of resources personnel must be assigned to convenience stores by one
to neutralize the threat. All conduct pattern analysis on a offender)
divisions in the police organiza-
• Spree: A pattern character-

tion would respond coopera-
ized by a high frequency
tively to patterns based on their
of criminal activity to the
capabilities so that a collective
Importantly, extent that it appears almost
and comprehensive response
patterns are not continuous and seems to
occurs. The response would be
involve the same offender,
automatic and institutionalized counts of crime or usually over a short time
throughout the organization. To identified via statistics span with no “cooling off”
further break down the Beehive or percent change, period (e.g., seven cars
Effect and the approach to but by a crime analyst burglarized along the same
pattern responses, four impor- through a qualitative street in one night)
tant aspects require specific methodology.
attention. • Hot spot: A specific loca-

1. Systematic and appropriate tion or small area where an
identification of patterns unusual amount of criminal
activity occurs committed
2. Coordination of appropriate by one or more offenders
and effective responses continual basis. These crime (e.g., residential burglaries
analysts are trained in pattern in a 3-block area in a week)
3. Accountability for ensuring
identification methodology and
responses occur consistently • Hot product: A specific type
have specific knowledge of the
for every pattern of property targeted in the
databases available in a police
4. Evaluation of successful department. To this end, agen- same or different types of
elimination of crimes and cies must invest in the analysis crime (e.g., flat-screen TVs
future patterns capacity to consistently and ef- taken in commercial and
fectively respond to patterns. residential burglaries)
Identification and Bulletins A pattern is not a cluster • Hot target: A type of place
Importantly, patterns are not of residential burglaries in a frequently victimized but
counts of crime or identified particular area, but a group of not necessarily in the same
via statistics or percent change residential burglaries occurring area (e.g., day-care centers

February 2011 / 15
where purses are being police organization as soon as Part of the development of a
taken from vehicles while it is completed, rather than on a systematic pattern response sys-
mothers drop off their set publication schedule, so that tem includes identifying the ap-
children) immediate response can begin. propriate and effective potential
responses for short-term crime
Once an agency identifies Systematic Response
patterns. Through research and
a pattern, it can summarize Once an agency has identi- practice, police have identified
and format the information fied a pattern threat, it should many effective tactics for short-
into a succinct, relevant pat- immediately and appropriately term issues. These responses
tern bulletin used to direct respond. The patrol division can be implemented whenever
responses. Although the should take the lead because it and wherever the pattern occurs
substantive information within is operational 24 hours a day, 7 or during normal waking/busi-
the bulletin changes based on days a week. Other divisions, ness hours.12 They can be bro-
the type of pattern and crime, such as criminal and special in-
ken down into a list or “recipe”
the format and basic com- vestigations, crime prevention,
of responses and allocated to
ponents remain consistent. and public information can sup-
the appropriate division within
Each bulletin is actionable, port patrol’s response in ways
the police agency, such as—
wherein it provides informa- appropriate to their functions.
tion that compels response and By sharing the workload, each • employing, in the areas and
guides resources toward the division contributes a realistic times where a pattern oc-
appropriate times, days, areas, amount of resources that to- curs, directed patrol (in cars,
and offenders. The bulletin is gether can result in a significant on bikes, or on foot) that
disseminated throughout the level of response. can make field contacts to
deter offenders and pro-
vide potential investigative
• using surveillance in a par-
ticular area at a specific time
to make an arrest;14
• conducting “sting” or “bait”
operations where people or
property have been targeted
in a particular pattern;15
• clearing cases by using an
arrest in one case to clear
others in the pattern;
• contacting potential victims
directly about the crime
pattern and ways to protect
themselves (according to
research, crime prevention
© Thinkstock.com

16 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

education works best when Neighborhood Policing Crime Prevention and
targeted at specific victims, Bureau (Patrol) Public Information
times, and areas);16 and • Directed marked patrol in • Potential victims contacted
• distributing pattern infor- the pattern area (car or bike) directly via reverse 911,
mation to the public to • Unmarked patrol in the letters, flyers, and in person
encourage citizens to pro- pattern area • Media alerts
vide additional information
(“tips”), to warn offenders, • DART (Directed Area Accountability System
and to offer crime preven- Response Team): special-
In the Stratified Model, an
tion advice.17 ized unit (one sergeant and
accountability system ensures
six officers) stops people in
The author’s agency, the that pattern responses are imple-
pattern area and conducts
Port St. Lucie Police Depart- mented immediately, system-
ment (PSLPD), requires re- atically, and appropriately. The
sponses to patterns from each PSLPD began a Compstat-like

division, with patrol taking the process in 1999, but, more re-
lead and overseeing the coor- cently, has adapted it to facili-
dination of them. Creating the tate crime reduction as outlined
resources (e.g., purchasing bait By sharing the in the Stratified Model. Al-
vehicles, creating crime preven- workload, each though district patrol command-
tion flyers, staffing specialized division contributes ers are ultimately responsible
units) and developing policy on a realistic amount for the overall crime-reduction
the requirements (immediate and of resources that efforts, shift lieutenants (corre-
coordinated) ensure the depart- together can result in sponding with when the pattern
ment addresses patterns immedi- a significant level of occurs) take the lead in patrol
ately, as well as consistently. response. and are assigned the responsi-
Not all responses, however, bility of making sure that pat-
are required or appropriate for tern responses are overseen by

each pattern because the type of sergeants and implemented by
pattern and the seriousness and patrol officers and that support
number of crimes in the pattern divisions and units are deployed
varies. For example, a series of Criminal Investigations appropriately.
street robberies in a residential Bureau Documentation is an im-
neighborhood requires much • Crimes in each pattern portant aspect of accountability
more resources and response area assigned to one that not only provides a record
than a spree of car burglaries detective of the work being done but also
occurring in a night at an apart- • Known offenders in pat- recognizes efforts and reinforc-
ment complex. The PSLPD fol- tern area contacted es the system. The PSLPD has
lows standard procedures when taken advantage of its intranet
assigning the responses to its • Bait car deployment in the system to facilitate documenta-
divisions based on their orga- pattern area tion of pattern responses. When
nizational charts and resource • Unmarked patrol/surveil- the crime analysts identify
levels: lance in the pattern area a pattern, they immediately

February 2011 / 17
implementing part of the pattern
response record the relevant
information on the thread for
everyone to see. This informa-
tion also is archived, and the
responsible sergeant or lieuten-
ant creates a summary of the
pattern from the thread informa-
tion once it has been resolved.
The patrol captain responsible
for the area in which the pattern
occurred receives this informa-
tion so it can be discussed in the
monthly meeting.
Response Evaluation
As part of the accountabil-
ity structure, weekly “action
oriented” meetings are held to
systematically coordinate and
review progress of pattern-
response strategies among the
police divisions, and monthly
meetings are used to evalu-
ate their effectiveness. The
PSLPD’s weekly meetings
bring together patrol, investi-
gations, and crime prevention
Figure 2 captains and lieutenants to
review the responses in prog-
post the pattern bulletin on the responses are taking place. The ress, evaluate those coming to a
agency’s intranet system for threads enable commentary to close, discuss needed resources,
sworn personnel to review. A occur in “real time,” allowing and coordinate new responses
pattern discussion board pro- information once passed hap- that must be implemented. The
vides officers the capability to hazardly by word of mouth to monthly meetings make sure
post discussion threads of infor- be reviewed by all personnel. that responses are implemented
mation about their responses, as This helps inform all police consistently across regional ar-
well as their knowledge of the personnel about the progress of eas, that adequate resources are
pattern area, known offenders, pattern responses. provided, and that the responses
and field interviews conducted. Officers, detectives, special- are effective. In each monthly
It also allows supervisors to ized units, crime prevention meeting, the patrol captains
monitor whether appropriate personnel, and anyone else present the responses and their

18 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

results of any patterns occur- considerably among different 82 percent increase in these
ring that month. The command divisions through the coordina- crimes occurred between June
staff uses a series of maps and tion of responses in the field 2004 through May 2005 and
statistics to determine whether and the weekly and monthly June 2007 through May 2008 (a
pattern responses are effective meetings. Also, major progress 3-year period). From June 2007
or whether larger problems are has occurred in the number of through May 2008 and June
emerging. pattern responses, their consis- 2008 through May 2009, a 1
Figure 2 is an example of a tency, and coordination among percent increase of these crimes
map of one district for 3 months divisions, along with account- occurred, during which time the
illustrating theft-from-vehicle ability at all levels. Accountabil- PSLPD implemented the pat-
offenses. It shows several ity meetings are more focused tern response system and the
isolated patterns in Zones 22 and centered on crime-reduction sharp incline seemed to taper
and 23 of District 2, while the off. The most recent comparison
reoccuring patterns in Zone 21 of June 2008 through May 2009

indicate that the responses may and June 2009 through May
not be deployed effectively or 2010 shows, for the first time
quickly enough or that a dif- Documentation is in 5 years, a declining trend in
ferent or immediate approach an important aspect these crimes, with a decrease
may be necessary. Importantly, of accountability of 22 percent. Also, interviews
the accountability processes that not only provides and discussions with personnel
facilitated through the intranet a record of the in the department revealed that,
system, as well as in the weekly work being done overall, officers and supervisors
and monthly meetings, remain feel their strategies have be-
ongoing and consistent to en-
but also recognizes come more effective. Moreover,
sure accountability and evalua- efforts and reinforces they have received positive
tion occur at every level of the the system. feedback from citizens about
organization. the information being provided

on crime and disorder in their
Strategy Effectiveness neighborhoods.
The PSLPD has made
substantial strides over the responses and their effective- CONCLUSION
past 6 years implementing and ness and not simply bent on re- Faced with diminishing
routinizing the pattern response viewing statistics or identifying resources, police executives will
strategy, as well as the other clusters of crimes on a map. need more efficient and focused
aspects of the Stratified Model. Some evidence that the approaches to implement crime-
Some of the achievements PSLPD’s strategies are work- reduction strategies. The Strati-
include a significant increase ing is based on the most recent fied Model of Problem Solving,
in the crime analysis function. property crime statistics. Theft Analysis, and Accountability is
Two analysts create 5 to 10 pat- from vehicle has been one a systematic approach to ad-
tern bulletins and 10 to 20 other of the most frequent crimes dressing crime and disorder at
analysis bulletins each month. and a major focus for pattern various levels (e.g., incidents,
Communication has improved response in Port St. Lucie. A patterns, and problems) that

February 2011 / 19
can be infused into the existing Policing: A Contemporary Perspective Dr. Rachel Boba and its implementation
structure of police organiza- (Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing, of the Stratified Model. Also, the Stratified
1998); G.L. Kelling and C. Coles, Fixing Model is the basis of an ongoing initia-
tions with little cost. Patterns, Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Re- tive by the state of Maryland through the
arguably, represent the core ducing Crime in Our Communities (New Governor’s Office of Crime Control and
component of the Stratified York, NY: Free Press, 1996); J.H. Ratc- Prevention and the University of Maryland
Model, as well as police depart- liffe, Intelligence-Led Policing (Cullomp- to implement and institutionalize Compstat
ments’ crime-reduction efforts, ton, UK: Willan Publishing, 2008); and in all Maryland police agencies, http://
W.J. Bratton and P. Knobler, Turnaround: www.compstat.umd.edu (accessed April
because they are realistic for How America’s Top Cop Reversed the 30, 2010).
police response, they rely on Crime Epidemic (New York, NY: Random 6
H. Goldstein, Problem-Oriented
existing police resources. Also, House, 1986). Policing (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill,
research has shown that police W. Skogan and K. Frydl, Fairness and 1990).
Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence R. Boba, R. Santos, and L. Wyckoff,
can successfully address them,
(Washington, DC: The National Acad- “Implementing and Institutionalizing
and everyone is concerned and emies Press, 2004). Compstat in Maryland: Training Modules,”
supportive of their immediate http://www.compstat.umd.edu (accessed

April 30, 2010).
An effective systematic pat- For additional information on pattern
identification methodology, see R. Boba,
tern response strategy is auto- Crime Analysis with Crime Mapping
matic and institutionalized into Some evidence (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008).
the daily business of policing that the PSLPD’s 9
D. Weisburd and A. Braga, Police
and is analogous to a swarm of strategies are working Innovation: Contrasting Perspectives
bees protecting its hive. A po- (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University
is based on the Press, 2006).
lice department invests in crime most recent property 10
R. Boba, Crime Analysis with Crime
analysis to consistently identify
patterns. It responds to patterns
crime statistics. Mapping.
Ibid., 153-155.
with immediacy and coordina- 12

tion, as well as with purpose M. Scott, U.S. Department of Justice,
Office of Community Oriented Policing
and teamwork. As part of the Services, The Benefits and Consequences
accountability structure, weekly 3
R. Boba and J. Crank, “Institutionaliz- of Police Crackdowns (Washington, DC,
meetings are action oriented, ing Problem-Oriented Policing: Rethink- 2004).
and monthly meetings are used ing Problem Identification, Analysis, and 14
G. Newman, U.S. Department of
to evaluate response effective- Accountability,” Police Practice and Justice, Office of Community Oriented Po-
Research 9, no. 5 (2008): 379-393. licing Services, Sting Operations (Wash-
ness. As a result, implementing 4
Ibid.; and R. Boba, R. Santos, and L. ington, DC, 2007).
an effective Systematic Pattern Wyckoff, “Implementing and Institutional- 15
Response Strategy in this way izing Compstat in Maryland,” http://www. 16
K. Bowers and S. Johnson, The Role
accomplishes the Beehive compstat.umd.edu (accessed April 30, of Publicity in Crime Prevention: Findings
Effect. 2010). from the Reducing Burglary Initiative
The Port St. Lucie, Florida, Police (London, UK: Home Office Research
Department received the International Study No. 272, 2003).
Endnotes Association of Chiefs of Police inau- 17
E. Barthe, U.S. Department of Jus-
H. Goldstein, Problem-Oriented gural Excellence in Law Enforcement tice, Office of Community Oriented Polic-
Policing (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Research Award in September 2008 for ing Services, Crime Prevention Publicity
1990); R.C. Trojanowicz, Community its partnership with police researcher Campaigns (Washington, DC, 2006).

20 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Notable Speech

in the Battle
By Ricardo A. Martinez, M.S., M.A.

he topic of my speech is the FBI’s partner-

T ship with law enforcement in the war on

terrorism. In December 2001, FBI Director
Robert Mueller restructured FBI Headquarters. As
Mr. Martinez, a retired
special agent, was chief
of the FBI component of the
National Gang Targeting,
a result, four new executive assistant director posi- Enforcement, and
Coordination Center
tions were created to oversee counterterrorism and (GangTECC) in Arlington,
counterintelligence programs, criminal and cyber Virginia. He delivered this
matters, law enforcement services, and administra- speech to the North
Louisiana Association of
tion. Additionally, the National Security Service Chiefs of Police in West
also was created, combining the mission, capabili- Monroe on June 14, 2008.
ties, and resources of the FBI’s counterterrorism,
counterintelligence, and intelligence elements.
The FBI has been in existence for a century. It
has seen its share of ups and downs, triumphs, and,
yes, on occasion, failures. Agents have pursued

February 2011 / 21
bank robbers, locked up gangsters, tracked fugi- country. Law enforcement authorities uncovered a
tives, put away pedophiles, and dismantled drug plot to bomb underwater New York City train tun-
organizations. However, a new day has dawned. J. nels to flood lower Manhattan. Six individuals were
Edgar Hoover’s FBI has changed dramatically in arrested in a plot to unleash a bloody massacre at
the past few years. It has had to realign its focus as the military base in Fort Dix, New Jersey. A plot to
a result of the calamitous events of September 11, destroy JFK Airport in New York City by blowing
2001. The counterterrorism, counterintelligence, up a jet fuel artery that runs through residential
and cyber crime investigations and programs are areas was foiled. These are but a few of a series of
critical to the FBI’s ability to protect this country’s homegrown terrorism plots targeting high-profile
national security. In the past few years, the FBI has American landmarks.
conducted terrorist investigations in such far-flung One of my critical missions as an FBI supervi-
places as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philip- sor is simple: to build bridges and strengthen rela-
pines, Europe, and Africa; uncovered terrorist tionships between the FBI and the law enforcement
sleeper cells and disrupted their financial, commu- community. The director is committed to provid-
nications, and operational ing better coordination and
lifelines here at home and communication between the
abroad; and, in conjunc- Bureau and its federal, state,
tion with federal, state,
and local law enforcement,
searched for and arrested
the snipers who terrorized
“ Examples of
partnerships between
local, tribal, and campus law
enforcement partners on a
national level.
During the height of
Maryland, Virginia, and Great Britain’s struggles
our nation’s capitol.
the FBI and local with the Irish Republican
Today’s criminals and law enforcement in Army (IRA) in Northern
terrorists are better orga- the war on terrorism Ireland, then Prime Minister
nized, better equipped, and abound. Margaret Thatcher narrowly
much more global than missed being seriously in-
their predecessors. Global- jured or killed when an IRA
ization and the emergence
of collaboration between
criminal and terrorist en-
” bomb exploded at the Grand
Hotel in Brighton, England,
on October 12, 1984. The
terprises demand a greater degree of synergism IRA provided this chilling statement directed at the
between the FBI, the intelligence community, and British government after their unsuccessful attempt
our law enforcement partners. Working hand in to assassinate Prime Minister Thatcher: “Today we
hand with our counterparts in law enforcement, were unlucky! But remember, we have only to be
the intelligence community, the military, and dip- lucky once. You will have to be lucky always!”
lomatic circles, the FBI’s job is to neutralize terror- Unfortunately, on July 7, 2005, a cabal of Islamic
ist cells and operatives in the United States and to terrorists “got lucky” in London, England.
help dismantle terrorist networks worldwide. That chilling admonition should remind us
Examples of partnerships between the FBI that we always must remain vigilant in our fight
and local law enforcement in the war on terrorism against those who hate us and would destroy our
abound. Seven men were arrested as they plotted way of life. The FBI cannot do it alone! The local
to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and destroy police departments, state troopers, campus police
FBI offices and other buildings throughout the officers, tribal law enforcement agencies, sheriff’s

22 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

offices, and other federal officers cannot shoulder miserable creature and has no chance of being free
this solemn responsibility by themselves. You, I, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better
and every law enforcement officer in this nation men than himself.”
must, and have, become full partners in the war on Let me conclude by personally expressing the
terrorism! FBI’s gratitude for your dedication and service to
One of my favorite quotes is by the 19th centu- our country. Thank you for being America’s front
ry British author and philosopher John Stuart Mill: line soldiers in the war on terror just as assuredly
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. as our brave soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are
The decayed and degraded state of moral and pa- fighting the terrorist insurgents, al-Qaeda, and the
triotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth Taliban. Thank you for your patriotism, your sac-
war is much worse. The person who has nothing rifices, and your exertions on behalf of this great
for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is country of ours! God bless you, and God bless the
more important than his own personal safety, is a United States of America!

Unusual Weapons
Cartridge Knives
These photos depict what appears to be a cartridge in a metallic case. Instead, a metal blade
is inside the cartridge. Such objects pose a serious threat to law enforcement officers.

February 2011 / 23
Bulletin Honors

Odessa Peace Officers Memorial

The Odessa, Texas, Police Department established the Odessa Peace Officers Memorial
Foundation in October 2007 to honor its fallen officers. Motorcycle accidents claimed the
lives of two officers; Corporal Gordon Terry Toal died while acting as a funeral escort in 1982,
and Officer Scott Stanton Smith suffered fatal injuries when a motor vehicle struck him as he
responded to a burglary-in-progress call in 1988. More recently, Corporals Arlie Jones, John
“Scott” Gardner, and Abel Marquez died from gunshot wounds they sustained while respond-
ing to a domestic disturbance call in September 2007.
Since 2007, the foundation diligently has raised funds to build a memorial for the depart-
ment’s five fallen officers. However, the foundation ultimately strives to serve any Texas law
enforcement officer in times of crisis; it supports the families and widows of all officers who
sustained injuries or paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The foundation finally reached its goal and built a memorial for its fallen officers. The
Odessa Police Department unveiled a statue of St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of
police officers, on September 3, 2010. The department and foundation feel very proud of their
monument and their efforts to honor law enforcement officers around the world.

24 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Legal Digest
© Mark C. Ide

The “Public Safety”

Exception to Miranda

fter 44 years, the years, its central requirements While some secondary and

A Miranda decision
stands as a monolith in
police procedure.1 Its require-
are clear.3 Whenever the prose-
cution seeks in its direct case to
introduce a statement made by
limited uses of statements ob-
tained in violation of Miranda
are permitted, such statements
ments are so well known that a suspect while in custody and are presumed to be coerced and
the Supreme Court remarked, in response to interrogation, it cannot be introduced by the
“Miranda has become embed- must prove that the subject was prosecution in its direct case.5
ded in routine police practice warned of specific rights and The strength of the Miranda
to the point where the warnings voluntarily waived those rights.4 decision is its clarity in its
have become part of our na- The penalty imposed on the nearly unwavering protection
tional culture.”2 And, although prosecution for failing to prove of a suspect’s Fifth Amend-
the Supreme Court has clarified that the Miranda procedures ment protection against self-
and refined Miranda over the were properly followed is harsh. incrimination. The commitment

February 2011 / 25
to this rule is so strong that role in protecting public safety the case of New York v. Quar-
the Supreme Court has recog- while also permitting statements les, began in the early morning
nized only one exception to obtained under this exception to hours of September 11, 1980.
the Miranda rule—the “public be used as evidence in a crimi- While on routine patrol in
safety” exception—which per- nal prosecution. In brief, and as Queens, New York, two New
mits law enforcement to engage discussed in this article, police York City police officers were
in a limited and focused un- officers confronting situations approached by a young woman
warned interrogation and allows that create a danger to them- who told them that she had just
the government to introduce the selves or others may ask ques- been raped. She described the
statement as direct evidence. tions designed to neutralize the assailant as a black male, ap-
Recent and well-publicized threat without first providing a proximately 6 feet tall, wearing
events, including the attempted warning of rights. This article a leather jacket with “Big Ben”
bombing of Northwest Airlines discusses the origins of the printed in yellow letters on
Flight 235 near Detroit, Michi- public safety exception and pro- the back. The woman told the
gan, on December 25, 2009, and vides guidance for law enforce- officers that the man had just
the attempted bombing in New ment officers confronted with entered a nearby supermarket
York City’s Times Square in an emergency that may require and that he was carrying a gun.
May 2010, highlight the impor- interrogating a suspect held The officers drove to the
tance of this exception.6 Those in custody about an imminent supermarket, and one entered
current events, occurring in a threat to public safety without the store while the other radioed
time of heightened vigilance providing Miranda warnings. for assistance. A man match-
against terrorist acts, place a ing the description was near
spotlight on this law enforce- ORIGIN OF THE RULE a checkout counter, but upon
ment tool, which, although The origin of the public seeing the officer, ran to the
26 years old, may play a vital safety exception to Miranda, back of the store. The officer
pursued the subject, but lost
sight of him for several sec-
onds as the individual turned
a corner at the end of an aisle.

Upon finding the subject, the
officer ordered him to stop and
Recent and to put his hands over his head.
well-publicized As backup personnel arrived,
events...highlight the officer frisked the man and
the importance of discovered he was wearing an
this exception. empty shoulder holster. After
handcuffing him, the officer

Special Agent Benoit serves as a legal instructor at the FBI Academy.

” asked where the gun was. The
man gestured toward empty
milk cartons and said, “The gun
is over there.” The officer found
and removed a loaded handgun

26 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

from a carton, formally placed In dissent, Judge Watchler on the admissibility of the
the man under arrest, and then believed that there was a public statement and the handgun, a
read the Miranda rights to him. safety exception to Miranda consideration of a summary of
The man waived his rights and and that the facts presented the steps used by the Court is
answered questions about the such a situation. Judge Watchler important.
ownership of the gun and where noted that “Miranda was never The first step toward this
it was purchased.7 intended to enable a criminal conclusion was a discussion by
The state of New York defendant to thwart official the Court of the relationship
charged the man, identified as attempts to protect the general between the Miranda require-
Benjamin Quarles, for criminal public against an imminent, ments and the Fifth Amendment
possession of a weapon.8 The immediate and grave risk of se- to the U.S. Constitution. The
trial court excluded the state- rious physical harm reasonably Fifth Amendment provides that
ment “The gun is over there,” perceived.”13 He also believed “[n]o person…shall be com-
as well as the handgun, on the there was “a very real threat of pelled in any criminal case to
grounds that the officer did
not give Quarles the warnings

required by Miranda v. Arizo-
na.9 After an appellate court
affirmed the decision, the case
was appealed to the New York The Quarles case provides a
State Court of Appeals. framework that police officers can
The New York Court of use to assess a particular situation,
Appeals upheld the trial court determine whether the exception is
decision by a 4 to 3 vote.10 Ac-
cording to the New York Court
available, and ensure that their
of Appeals, because Quarles questioning remains within the
responded “to the police in- scope of the rule.
terrogation while he was in

custody, [and] before he had
been given the preinterrogation
warnings…,” the lower courts
properly suppressed the state-
ment and the gun.11 The court possible physical harm which be a witness against himself.”15
refused to recognize an emer- could result from a weapon be- The Fifth Amendment “does
gency exception to Miranda ing at large.”14 The state of New not prohibit all incriminating
and noted that even if there York appealed the case to the admissions,” only those that
were such an exception, there Supreme Court. are “officially coerced self-
was “no evidence in the re- The Supreme Court ruled on accusations….”16 In Miranda,
cord before us that there were these facts that a public safety the Supreme Court “for the
exigent circumstances posing a exception to Miranda existed. first time extended the Fifth
risk to the public safety or that To understand how the Court Amendment privilege against
the police interrogation was reached this conclusion and the compulsory self-incrimination
prompted by such concern.”12 implications of this exception to individuals subjected to

February 2011 / 27
custodial interrogation by the in this case and agreed with the a danger to the public “because
police.”17 Thus, Miranda created New York Court of Appeals the lower courts in New York
a presumption that “interroga- that it was. The Court agreed made no factual determination
tion in custodial circumstances with the New York courts that that the police had acted with
is inherently coercive” and that Quarles was in custody. As the that motive.”24
statements obtained under those Court noted, “Quarles was sur- The Supreme Court chose
circumstances “are inadmissible rounded by at least four police to address whether a public
unless the subject is specifically officers and was handcuffed safety exception to Miranda
informed of his Miranda rights when the questioning at issue should exist. In this regard,
and freely decides to forgo those took place.”23 Therefore, on the Court held that: “there is
rights.”18 Importantly, the Court the facts of the case, the Court a ‘public safety’ exception to
noted that Miranda warnings found that the Miranda deci- the requirement that Miranda
were not required by the Con- sion was clearly implicated. warnings be given before a
stitution, but were prophylactic The Court then referred to the suspect’s answers may be
measures designed to provide determination by the New York admitted into evidence, and
protection for the Fifth Amend- the exception does not depend
ment privilege against self- upon the motivation of the
incrimination.19 individual officers involved.”25
After providing this explana- Thus, according to the Court,
tion of the relationship between without regard to the actual
the Fifth Amendment and Miran- motivation of the individual
da, the Court explained that officers, Miranda need not be
Quarles did not claim that his strictly followed in situations
statements were “actually com- “in which police officers ask
pelled by police conduct which questions reasonably prompted
overcame his will to resist.”20 by a concern for the public
Had police officers obtained an safety.”26
involuntary or coerced statement The Court then applied
from Quarles in violation of the the facts to the situation con-
due process clause of the Fifth fronting them when Quarles
Amendment, both the statement © Thinkstock.com was arrested. In the course
and the handgun would have of arresting Quarles, it be-
been suppressed. 21 And, in this courts that there was nothing came apparent that Quarles
regard, the Court explained that in the record indicating that had removed the handgun
the failure to administer Miranda any of the police officers were and discarded it within the
warnings does not, standing concerned with their safety store. While the location of
alone, make a confession invol- when they questioned Quarles. the handgun remained unde-
untary in violation of the Consti- The Supreme Court noted that termined, it posed a danger to
tution.22 the New York Court of Appeals public safety.27 In this case, the
The Supreme Court then did not address the issue of officer needed an answer to
proceeded to determine whether whether there was an exception the question about the location
the Miranda rule was implicated to Miranda in cases that involve of the gun to ensure that its

28 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

concealment in a public location police or the public from im- front door. After the defendant
would not endanger the public. mediate danger. Because the and another individual were
The immediate questioning of standard is objective, the avail- secured by a police officer just
Quarles was directed specifically ability of the exception does not inside the residence, the officer
at resolving this emergency. depend on subjective motivation noticed other people inside the
Since the questioning of Quarles of the officers. Legitimate con- house who had not complied
was prompted by concern for cerns for officer safety or public with the demand to come out-
public safety, the officers were safety prompting unwarned side. The officer entered further
not required to provide Miranda custodial questioning arise in into the residence to gain con-
warnings to Quarles first. There- a variety of contexts. A com- trol of the unsecured subjects
fore, the statement made by mon factor that can be gleaned and tripped over a trash can that
Quarles about the location of from the courts addressing this contained bullets and a maga-
the handgun was admissible.28 zine for a semiautomatic pistol.

In addition, because the Court The officer returned to the two
found there was no violation of subjects and asked, “Where is
Miranda, the handgun also was the gun?” The defendant told
admissible. The Court declined ...the public safety the officer that the gun was
to address whether the handgun exception is triggered inside a vacuum cleaner, from
would have been suppressed if when police officers where it was retrieved. The
the statements were found to be have an objectively defendant sought to suppress
inadmissible.29 reasonable need the gun, claiming the officer did
to protect the police not provide him his Miranda
FRAMEWORK OF or the public from warnings first. The district court
THE EXCEPTION suppressed the defendant’s
immediate danger.
The Quarles case provides statement, finding a violation

a framework that police officers of Miranda. The circuit court
can use to assess a particular reversed and upheld the admis-
situation, determine whether sibility of the statement. The
the exception is available, and issue is the prior knowledge or court stressed the context of the
ensure that their questioning awareness of specific facts or arrest in finding that the public
remains within the scope of the circumstances that give rise to safety exception was applicable.
rule. This framework includes the imminent safety concern The court stated that “[o]nce
the presence of a public safety that prompted the questioning. Officer Rush had seen the mag-
concern, limited questioning, For example, in U.S. v. azine, he had reason to believe a
and voluntariness. Talley, police officers execut- gun was nearby and was justi-
ing a federal arrest warrant at a fied, under Quarles, in asking
Public Safety Concern residence heard sounds indicat- his question prior to administer-
According to the Supreme ing that a number of unexpected ing a Miranda warning.”31
Court, the public safety excep- people were inside the home.30 In U.S. v. Jones, members
tion is triggered when police The officers returned to their of a fugitive task force arrested
officers have an objectively vehicles to get their bulletproof Phillip Jones for a homicide he
reasonable need to protect the vests and then returned to the committed with a handgun on

February 2011 / 29
June 27, 2006.32 Members of replied, “I have a burner in my courts agreed with the officers
the task force met on August 10, waistband.”33 Jones sought to that the information prompted a
2006, the day of the arrest, and suppress his statement. The public safety concern.
were briefed about the nature circuit court had little difficulty
of the homicide, the possibil- in determining that “Cypher’s Limited Questioning
ity that Jones may have two questions fell squarely within The Quarles Court made
weapons, and that he had two the public safety exception.”34 clear that only those questions
previous convictions for gun The circuit court stressed the necessary for the police “to
and drug offenses. After going information that Deputy U.S. secure their own safety or the
to search for Jones in a danger- Marshal Cyphers knew about safety of the public” were per-
ous high-crime area in northeast Jones before making the arrest, mitted under the public safety
Washington, D.C., Deputy U.S. as well as the circumstances exception.35 In U.S. v. Khalil,
Marshal Cyphers made eye con- surrounding the chase and ar- New York City police officers
tact with Jones, who immedi- rest, concluding that the ques- raided an apartment in Brooklyn
ately fled. The marshal pursued tion was prompted by a concern after they received informa-
and caught Jones in a partially for public safety. tion that Khalil and Abu Mezer
lit stairwell of an apartment In each of the two cases had bombs in their apartment
building. At some point during above, information that came to and were planning to detonate
the chase, Cyphers heard a gun- the attention of the law enforce- them.36 During the raid, both
shot fired. Within 30 seconds ment officers concerning an im- men were shot and wounded as
of arresting Jones and before mediate threat to safety prompt- one of them grabbed the gun
providing the Miranda warn- ed the officers to ask questions of a police officer and the other
ings, Cyphers asked if Jones directed at neutralizing the dan- crawled toward a black bag be-
had anything on him. Jones ger. In both cases, the reviewing lieved to contain a bomb. When
the officers looked inside the
black bag, they saw pipe bombs
and observed that a switch on
one bomb was flipped.
Officers went to the hospital
to question Abu Mezer about
the bombs. They asked Abu
Mezer “how many bombs there
were, how many switches were
on each bomb, which wires
should be cut to disarm the
bombs, and whether there were
any timers.”37 Abu Mezer an-
swered each question and also
was asked whether he planned
to kill himself in the explo-
sion. He responded by saying,
© Thinkstock.com

30 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Abu Mezer sought to sup- In U.S. v. Mobley, the made within the requirements
press each of his statements, but Fourth Circuit Court of Ap- of the due process clause.45 This
the trial court permitted them, peals also ruled that the public test requires that a court review
ruling that they fell within the safety exception applied even the “totality of the circum-
public safety exception. On when the subject had invoked stances” to determine whether
appeal, Abu Mezer only chal- his right to counsel.42 The the subject’s will was overborne
lenged the admissibility of the court recognized that a threat by police conduct. If a court
last question, whether he intend- to public safety still may exist finds that the questioning of a
ed to kill himself when detonat- even after Miranda rights are subject, even in the presence
ing the bombs. He claimed the provided and invoked. of a situation involving public
question was unrelated to public
safety. The circuit court dis-

agreed and noted “Abu Mezer’s
vision as to whether or not he
would survive his attempt to
detonate the bomb had the po- Once the questions turn from
tential for shedding light on the those designed to resolve the concern
bomb’s stability.”39 for safety to questions designed
A common theme through- solely to elicit incriminating statements,
out cases such as this is the the questioning falls...within the
importance of limiting the traditional rules of Miranda.
interrogation of a subject to
questions directed at eliminat-

ing the emergency. Following
Quarles, at least two federal
circuit courts of appeals have
addressed the issue of the effect Voluntariness safety, violated due process
of an invocation of a right on Voluntariness is the linch- standards, the statement will be
the exception. In U.S. v. De- pin of the admissibility of any suppressed.46
Santis, the Ninth Circuit Court statement obtained as a result In the Khalil case, Abu
of Appeals held that the public of government conduct.43 Thus, Mezer also argued that the state-
safety exception applies even statements obtained by the ments he made to police officers
after the invocation of counsel.40 government under the public while he was in the hospital
According to the court: “The safety exception cannot be should be suppressed because
same consideration that allows coerced or obtained through they were not voluntary. Tes-
the police to dispense with tactics that violate fundamental timony from the interviewing
providing Miranda warnings notions of due process.44 Here, agent indicated that although
in a public safety situation also it is worth mentioning that Abu Mezer was in pain, “he was
would permit them to dispense prior to the Miranda decision, alert, seemed to understand the
with the prophylactic safeguard the only test used to determine questions, and gave responsive
that forbids initiating further the admissibility of statements answers.”47 Testimony from
questioning of an accused who in federal court was whether the surgeon indicated that Abu
requests counsel.”41 the statement was voluntarily Mezer “was alert and had no

February 2011 / 31
difficulty understanding her ex- outside the scope of the excep- Add cite regarding remedy for 5th
planation of the surgical proce- tion and within the traditional Amendment violation.
Id. at 655 fn. 5.
dure he would undergo.”48 The rules of Miranda. 23
district court found that under 24
Id. People v. Quarles, 58 N.Y.2d 664,
the totality of the circumstances, Endnotes 666 (1982).
Abu Mezer’s statements were Id. at 655, 656.
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 26
Id. at 656.
voluntary, and the court of ap- (1966). 27
Id. at 657.
peals upheld this determination. 2
Dickerson v. U.S., 530 U.S. 428, 28
Id. at 660.
Police officers must be (2000). 29
Id. See U.S. v. Patane.
vigilant to ensure that the ques- Berghuis v. Thompkins, 560 U.S.___ 30
275 F.3d 560 (6th Circ. 2001).
tioning and other actions of the (2010) and Maryland v. Shatzer, 559 31
Id. at 564.
U.S.__(2010). See also Jonathan L. Rudd, 32
567 F.3d 712 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
police, even if prompted by an “The Supreme Court Revisits the Miranda 33
Id. at 713-714.
emergency situation involving Right to Silence,” FBI Law Enforcement 34
Id. at 715.
public safety, permits subjects Bulletin, September 2010, 25-31; and Ken- 35
New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649,
to exercise their free will when neth A. Myers, “Fifth Amendment Protec- 659 (1984).
tion and Break in Custody,” FBI Law 36
214 F.3d 111 (2d Cir. 2000).
deciding to answer questions.
Enforcement Bulletin, May 2010, 26-32. 37
Id. at 115.
This exception does not per- 4
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 38
mit police officers to compel (1966). 39
Id. at 121.
a statement from a subject. It 5
Miranda v. Arizona, 389 U.S. 436; 40
870 F.2d 536 (9th Cir. 1989).
simply permits them to question Michigan v. Tucker, 417 U.S. 433 (1974); 41
Id. at 541.
United States v. Patane, 542 U.S. 630 42
40 F.3d 688 (4th Cir. 1994).
a subject before providing any
(2004); Oregon v. Hass, 420 U.S. 714 43
Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157
Miranda warnings to resolve an (1975). (1986).
imminent public safety concern. 6
Holder, Eric, Letter to Senator Mitch 44
New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. at 655.
McConnell, United States Department Of The Quarles Court made clear that Quarles
CONCLUSION Justice. 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 8 December did not make any claim that the police
2010. compelled his statements. The Court also
The “public safety” excep- 7
New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649, noted that Quarles was free to argue “that
tion to Miranda is a powerful 651-652 (1984). his statement was coerced under traditional
tool with a modern application 8
There is no indication as to why the due process standards.” Id. at 655 fn. 5.
for law enforcement. When state did not pursue the original charge of 45
See New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S.
police officers are confronted rape. 649, 661 (1984) (Justice O’Connor concur-
Quarles at 652. ring in the judgment and dissenting in
by a concern for public safety, 10
People v. Quarles, 58 N.Y.2d 664 part).
Miranda warnings need not be (1982). 46
See U.S. v. Patane, (2004) (Plurality
provided prior to asking ques- 11
Id. at 666. opinion); Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S.
tions directed at neutralizing an 12
Id. 760 (2003) (Plurality opinion).
imminent threat, and voluntary Id. at 671. 47
214 F.3d 111, 121 (2d Cir. 2000).
Id. 48
statements made in response to 15
U.S. Const. Amend. V.
such narrowly tailored questions 16
New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649, Law enforcement officers of other than
can be admitted at trial. Once 654 (1984). See also Miranda v. Arizona, federal jurisdiction who are interested
the questions turn from those 384 U.S. 436, 460-461, 467 (1966). in this article should consult their legal
designed to resolve the concern Id. advisors. Some police procedures ruled
for safety to questions designed 19
Id. Citing Michigan v. Tucker, 417
permissible under federal constitutional
solely to elicit incriminating law are of questionable legality under
U.S. 433 (1974). state law or are not permitted at all.
statements, the questioning falls 20
Id. (emphasis added).

32 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

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
those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.

Officer/Flight Medic Thaddeus “Ted” Plezia of the Nassau County, New

York, Police Department had just finished his shift when he spotted several
cars parked at a railroad crossing on his route home. He observed smoke
and steam in the air and a car with sparks and smoke billowing from beneath
it parked on the railroad tracks. Officer Plezia parked his personal vehicle
and approached the scene, where he heard voices yelling, “Get out of the
car!” and “Don’t touch the car!” He could not tell if the vehicle was on the
electrified third rail. Further, he did not realize the fire soon would spread
to the upper part of the vehicle and did not even know if the railroad yet
Officer Plezia
had halted trains or cut power to the third rail. Officer Plezia had no way to
obtain answers to any of these questions or request back up. Nonetheless, he
ignored the imminent danger to his own life and reached into the burning vehicle to remove the
victim from the car. After struggling briefly, the officer successfully untangled the victim from
the car and they both fell safely onto the eastbound tracks. Officer Plezia and a bystander then
helped the victim to safety away from the burning car.

Lieutenant John Morgan of the McMinnville, Tennessee, Police De-

partment responded to an emergency call about a fire on the third floor of
a motel. The manager previously had tried to extinguish the flames with
buckets of water, but the growing volumes of flames and heavy black smoke
prevented him from entering the room. When Lieutenant Morgan arrived
at the scene, the manager informed him that a guest remained inside the
burning room, at which point the lieutenant immediately rushed upstairs to
quell the flames with a fire extinguisher. Once inside the room, he located
the individual, who was intoxicated, severely burned, and unable to escape.
Lieutenant Morgan
Although the guest acted combatively when the officer attempted to rescue
him, Lieutenant Morgan
remained persistent and helped the injured
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based
man to safety. Emergency medical personnel on either the rescue of one or more citizens or arrest(s)
soon arrived and transported the victim to the made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions
hospital. should include a short write-up (maximum of 250 words),
a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter
from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the
nomination. Submissions can be mailed to the Editor,
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Outreach
and Communications Unit, Quantico, VA 22135 or
e-mailed to leb@fbiacademy.edu.
U.S. Department of Justice Periodicals
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Patch Call

The patch of the Oxford, Pennsylvania, Police Coos Bay,

C B Oregon,
O is
i the
th largest
l t deep-water
d t
Department depicts historical landmarks located shipping port between San Francisco, California,
throughout Oxford. The red building represents the and Portland, Oregon. As such, the city’s police
train station that housed the police department from department patch illustrates the town’s impor-
the 1950s until 2009. The tree recalls the 300-year tance to the West Coast shipping industry. Log
old “William Penn Oak,” located in the center of ships and tug boats, like those featured in the
town. The foreground includes the town clock from center of the patch, routinely maneuver through
Oxford’s business district; its hands remain fixed at the city’s historical industrial bay.
9:11 as a tribute to all those who lost their lives on
September 11, 2001.