Thursday, April 30, 2009

I’ve got questions

Last night, in support of the Nebraska pork industry, I grilled a pair of thick bone-in chops. As I was enjoying the meats of my labor, we were also watching the President's 100-day news conference. Fork on the pork, ear on the tube, something caught my attention: the President recognized a reporter, Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times, for a question.

That name was familiar. That face looks vaguely familiar, too. Could Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times be the same Jeff Zeleny of the Daily Nebraskan, who covered the police beat for the UNL student newspaper around 1994 or so? And how on earth do I remember this minutia, when I commonly forget the name of someone I've just been introduced to 20 seconds earlier?

I’m guessing the Jeff Zeleny in the nice suit seated in the East Room at a White House press conference is the same guy who 15 years ago in jeans and t-shirt was in Sgt. Ann Heermann’s cramped office getting the low-down on the overnight mayhem in Lincoln. I sent off an email to the address available for Jeff Zeleny on the Times website. Do you think I’ll get a response?

Mr. Zeleny's question of President Obama:

“During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?”

The President had to write the four-parter down, which drew a good laugh. Is it just me, or did that sound like a question from The Dating Game? Am I dating myself by bringing up The Dating Game?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From the 1891 blotter

Last Friday, I blogged about my discovery of the great story of the John Sheedy murder from 1891, courtesy of University of Nebraka historian Dr. Timothy Mahoney and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Back at police headquarters, we went digging in the blotters, and found some of the original entries from the day of the assault, Sunday, January 11th, 1891.

Here’s the original dispatch report, where at 7:25 PM Officer Malone is sent to Sheedy’s residence at the southeast corner of 12th and P Streets (click these to enlarge):

A mere 40 minutes later, he’s back at HQ with the details, accompanied by his sergeant. This struck me as strange at first, but it was just three blocks from Sheedy's to the police station, and shoe leather would be a pretty effective means of communications, given the alternatives available.

Chief Melick and Officer Malone bring in the suspect (Mr. Monday McFarland) on the following Saturday night around 10:30 PM:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Six for six

Friday morning’s robbery of the Union Bank branch at 48th and Normal Blvd. turned out to be the big event of the week. I’m sure it will be on Officer Brian Ward’s list of career highlights. I thought that clearing this string of burglaries with four arrests would be the big story of the week, but that got a bit overshadowed.

The digital footprints got the burglars, but an alert citizen was the key to the bank robbery. The citizen (I’m not sure he wants to be publicly identified, so I’ll just refer to him as Chuck) saw the suspect run out the door and dash to a nearby car. Thinking that odd, he followed and phoned 911. Yes, indeed, there had just been a robbery. Chuck vectored patrol cars in about a half mile away, at Normal Blvd. and South Street, and after a short pursuit the arrest was made.

Chuck was sitting in the lobby of the police station a few minutes later, waiting to give a statement to an investigator, when he received a bearhug and a high five from the chief of police. Wow, it just amazes me sometimes how citizens help us out. Talk about community policing!

The Lincoln Journal Star did a nice article about the recent trend in bank robberies. This is a low-yield crime in Lincoln, I’d say. Take the “by the clock” link to a neat roll-over map.

I used to drop my daughter off at the bank where this robbery occurred, one of the several Union Bank branches where she worked in college. Son, too, a few years earlier. I take an especially dim view of bank robbery for personal reasons. Both of my children are still in banking, Kelly at the SAC Federal Credit Union in Omaha, TJ here in Lincoln at Union Bank. I enjoyed calling them both on Friday evening to, well, gloat.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cool interactive map

Not to mention a fine bit of writing, an excellent website design, a great story, an intriguing mystery, and a good example of a mostly-law-abiding citizen using a concealed handgun to defend himself right here in Lincoln.

It’s all here, at Gilded Age Plains City, a remarkable web site built around UNL historian Timothy R. Mahoney’s 2001 article, The Great Sheedy Murder Case and the Booster Ethos of the Gilded Age in Lincoln, Nebraska.

I have a lifelong passion for history, and own several Lincoln history books. How I missed this I do not know, but a colleague, Capt. Joy Citta stumbled upon it, and sent me the link. The story features two of my predecessors as chief of police, Samuel Melick and James Malone. It’s a great read, and I was blown away and the design and execution of the website, with back stories, biographies, a document archive, and a timeline.

Readers of the Chief’s Corner also know that I’ve got a thing for geography and cartography, so I enjoyed the map. You can zoom way in for great detail.

I have seen this beautiful birds-eye view of Lincoln in 1889 before, but what really knocked my socks off was the interactive version, where many individual buildings and address are identified with a rollover, and the information box displays a period photograph, where available. My congratulations to the project team that put this all together.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whadda ya think?

We’re back in the throes of City budget preparation, a process that seems to last from December to August. Like cities nationwide, the challenges are immense given the recession. Lincoln is staring at a multi-million dollar gap between our projected revenues for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the expenditures needed to maintain the current level of service. Something’s got to give: either more revenue (unlikely) or more cuts.

This follows two particularly lean years in city government where over 100 jobs were cut. The less painful medicine has already been taken, now the bitter pills await. All City departments were tasked with submitting a budget that is 91% of their current FY 2008-2009 budget. Since cost escalate about 3%, meeting a 91% budget really means cutting to 88%.

Since our budget is primarily personnel costs, you can do a rough calculation of what this means by multiplying our 417 employees by 12%. Whether such drastic cuts really occur is another matter, but I have been warned by the budget staff that it will be nigh-on-to-impossible to balance the City books if the public safety agencies (police, fire, 911) are taken off the table, since they account for the biggest chunk of the tax-funded portion of the City budget.

When you’re in my position, you’ve got to at least think about and plan for how you would handle cuts, if they happen. The process is rather straightforward: you look around at all the activities and programs your department is engaged in, and you compare these to out mission—providing police services that promote a safe and secure community. Enforcing traffic laws has a significant impact on safety. Investigating child abuse and neglect has a big impact on safety, crime prevention efforts and problem-oriented policing projects aimed at burglary reduction has an impact of security, and so forth.

Parking enforcement, conversely—though it may have important purposes and value—has virtually no relation to our mission of promoting safety and security. The contribution of traffic direction at special events to safety and security is debatable. And what does the investigation of traffic crashes—a major consumer of police resources—contribute to safety and security? A bit, perhaps, but not very much.

The Mayor and I had just this discussion last year, and he was intrigued. I told him that traffic crashes are one of life’s minor crises, and that we make these less painful for citizens. We help them get wreckers, notify family members, gather the information from the other driver they’re going to need, ensuring that he or she has a license, isn’t drunk, and has insurance (or issue citations for these offenses. We also do crash a investigation that often leads to a ticket for a moving violation, and always produces a detailed report, which makes it much easier for insurance companies to evaluate and settle claims.

We could, however, produce the former (help with wrecker, make sure drivers exchange information, evaluate for suspended license-drunk driving-no insurance) without producing the later (the detailed investigation and the investigator’s report.) This would take your typical fender bender from over an hour down to about 30 minutes or so. If you do the math, that’s somewhere between two and three officers in person-hours. If we were to lose personnel, my goal will be to keep the workload of our staff manageable, so they can continue to do what remains with quality. I want to drop the least important services, so the effort can be focused on the most important work.

This is exactly what we have done in previous down cycles. Off the top of my head, we no longer escort funerals, investigate traffic crashes on private property, assist with money transfers, unlock cars, go with the Fire Department to all medical emergencies, respond to barking dogs, teach DARE, provide school resource officers to elementary schools, or investigate gas drive-offs with no suspects. That’s several thousand police dispatches annually that we would have been making in 1989 that we aren’t making in 2009. So, what’s next? Would traffic crash investigation be a logical choice?

The City is engaged in a survey to gauge what citizens think about several of the cuts that are under consideration. I’d like to get my own sense, though, from readers of the Chief’s Corner. How would you feel if you were rear-ended, we helped get things organized at the scene, but we didn’t take statements, do measurements, evaluate cause, or produce an investigator’s report? Is my thought process sound in ranking this as only marginally related to our core mission (particularly in comparison to other police activities?)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Historic photographs

Last week, I blogged about the availability of a great archive of Annual Reports stretching back to 1904. Thanks to the help of our interns, who work for free, these documents are not only preserved, but made available to the general public on the web.

That not all the interns in the Management Services Unit have been up to, though. We’ve also been collecting, organizing, and scanning historic photographs of the police department and its personnel. While the archive is huge, we’ve begun to post some representative photos on our public website.

This will continue to grow, as time and volunteers allow. We’d like to have a few picks from each decade. The links to the decades are up at the top of the page on our short History of the Lincoln Police Department. Enjoy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Virtual buildings

I am a member of the Geospatial Technical Working Group at the Department of Justice. This is a group of about 20 police practitioners from around the county who are advising the National Institute of Justice on what kinds of research and development needs exist for geospatial technology in criminal justice (think crime mapping and analysis.)

One of the topics I'm interested in on this panel is tools and techniques to assist in emergency preparedness and response. As a simple example, we load a digital map application in all our mobile data computers in patrol cars. In the right kind of circumstances, an officer can launch a detailed map of Lincoln, zoom in and out, turn layers on and off--such as streets, parks, schools, parcels, address labels, and even excellent aerial photos that will identify the wading pool in the backyard. Select a tool on the toolbar, click a school, and a site plan and detailed floor plan of each level of the school is launched in a browser window.

As useful as this might be on a bad day, it's still just a flat two-dimensional building. This is going to change. The image below is a mock-up of Adobe's office complex in San Jose, CA. Click the image to launch the application, built with scalable vector graphics (you might need the Adobe .svg viewer plug-in to open this). After the app opens, roll over the building, and different floors are highlighted. Click a floor, and it's floor plan opens, roll over an office, and it's occupant and the phone number are revealed. That's one fancy building directory!

Now click on the photo below, an image of the great hall of the Nebraska State Capitol from a Lincoln firm, that I discovered a couple years ago. Use your mouse to tour around, up and down. It's incredible in full-screen, so look for that link at the bottom right of the panorama.

These are relatively straightforward and effective commercial applications of off-the-shelf technologies. Makes one wonder what the future will bring. Think about combining either of these with Google's StreetView. Come to think of it, Google Earth's GigaPan photos combine several of these concepts: map, 3D, panoramic photos, and navigation.

These technologies and concepts have some intriguing possibilities in emergency management. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Life in cities

Scroll down to the third snippet in this column from the Lincoln Journal Star, headed "Thanks for towing us." Usually, when people come back at find their vehicle missing, the police department is where they call looking for it. One of our Service Desk employees thought this story of three vans being towed sounded familiar. We have an informal agreement with the various companies who tow for private property owners: they'll normally call us and let us know the location and the vehicle description, so when we get the stolen car report, we can tell the owner where to find it. We maintain a written log of these calls, so we can help reunite owners with their steads.

Our employee recalls the conversation, and the log shows that these vehicles were towed from the private parking lot of a downtown motel, which is posted for guest parking only. She also recalls that one of the owners who called the police department looking for the lost van related that someone at the business had told them not to park there (apparently it was more than once) and warned them that they would be towed. They just didn't think it would really happen.

I'm sorry their visit was marred. I'm sure the tow bill makes was stiff. Dadgummit. But it had nothing at all to do with the police or with the City of Lincoln. I don't know about you, but I thought this article at least implied that it was thugs in our employ who had dragged these vans away while the owners were busy stimulating the local economy.

The tale of parking woes is a recurring theme in my mailbox. I have a little sympathy for someone who overstays a metered parking spot to linger over dessert. That's why out-of-town plates can remit two freebies annually. At $10 a pop, a Lincoln parking ticket isn't exactly going to cause the children to go unshod all winter, either. I wonder what would have happened to my rental car if I just parked it in a posted private lot in downtown San Diego on my trip a couple weeks ago, or what would become of it if I had left it on a city street in a no parking zone a couple blocks from Petco Park?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Treemap of CFS

A comment on yesterday’s post about the 2008 Annual Report suggested the use of a treemap to visualize the list of selected calls for service in our Annual Report. The comment included a link to download an Excel add-in to produce treemaps. I had never heard of a treemap, but being interested in such things, it caught my attention, so I followed the instructions. Here’s what it looks like, applied to that data on page 39:

One thing led to another, and pretty soon, I had discovered a whole world of analytics and visualizations I hadn’t really known about. Juice Analytics really caught my attention, and I quickly was working my way through in-cell bar charts in Excel, a nice visual for many of the spreadsheets I use to track various kinds of comparative and categorical crime data.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Belated birthday

The Chief’s Corner turned two last week. I think I launched it on April 11, 2007—although a couple posts were dated April 10th. My recollection is that I primed the pump with a couple of topics before I went public. I’m now at 423 posts, and heaven knows how many comments. The posts alone account for 169,435 words—which would be about 677 pages of text. I never dreamed I’d be authoring this much content, or that it would generate this much attention.

Most of what I write is stuff that I’m thinking about or working on anyway, so aside from the occasional bout of early-morning writer’s block, I haven’t burned out—yet. There wasn’t much to look at for a model in early 2007, but that’s changed now.

Annual report for 2008

The Lincoln Police Department Annual Report for 2008 is now available online at our public web site. In fact, it’s only available online. Anyone who wants to hold it in their hand will have to print it on their own. The graphics designer, editor, and publisher is Officer Katie Flood, who wears several hats in our Management Services Unit. She is also part of our accreditation team, the manager of our public web page, and the department’s Public Information Officer.

When Ofc. Flood showed me some of the preliminary draft pages, I assumed that she must have some kind of professional background in desktop publishing. Not the case, she just has a natural talent. The clever text border around the title page, the selection of fonts and photos, and the use of white space are all nice touches. Freed from print, she was also able to make some more creative use of color. Check out the table of calls for service by day and time on page 37: a temporal heat chart, very nice!

Except for a gap from the mid 1970’s to the mid 1980’s, we now have LPD annual reports stretching back to 1941. Many of the same data is included in each, and it is an impressive historical archive. We also have the City’s annual audit reports back to 1904. While these are primarily financial reports in later years, they contain a little bit of police information. The pages concerning the police department contain such things as a of expenditures ($12.25 for “Rogues pictures” in 1905 p. 7) and data on the number of charges of arrests. In 1915, we arrested 13 people for the offense of “Dope fiend,” and 13 for the offense of “Insulting women.” There is no indication as to whether these were the same rogues, however.

They’re all available online, thanks to the labor of a number of unpaid interns who’ve contributed to this effort. If you’re interested in such things, I posted a list of some of the most memorable or interesting pages in the LPD archive of Annual Reports last year.

By the way,dropping the print version this year will save us $3,910.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The usual suspects

One of the things that makes the Lincoln Police Department successful is the quality of our information systems. We put a huge amount of information at the fingertips of our employees in ways that are especially easy to use. Not so at many police departments. Some information that we take for granted at LPD is not available at all; or it’s closely held by specialized units; or it’s not easily accessible; or it’s disjointed in separate systems for gang intelligence, narcotics case files, evidence, arrests, missing persons, etc. etc. etc.. One of the key differences in our core records management system is that it is available to everyone on the department all the time. It’s both physically available in every office, at every substation, in every report room, etc., but also practically available: no special skills needed—if you can read the screen, you are in business.

We host a lot of visits (both in person and via the web) from other police agencies, and these visitors are always impressed and intrigued by our information systems. Whenever I really want to demonstrate its power, I use one of two tools: information by address, or past offenders. Information by address is a query whereby the user inputs a street address to bring back a list of records associated with that address, such as names or cases. When you put in an address and hit the “names” button, you immediately retrieve a table of every name collected in any police report (we’re talking millions) over the past 29 years where someone claimed this address as their residence. They are presented in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top, and you can drill into each for the details on the case or on the person and all we know about him or her. It’s incredible to think what you’ve just done in a matter of two or three seconds .

The other one I like to demo is past offenders. Input a few parameters, (gender, race, age range, height/weight range, and offense type) and you will retrieve a table of everyone arrested for that crime within the past 29 years who meets the criteria, complete with mugshot, if the arrest happened in the digital photo era. Each row contains the link to drill into the offenders details, all the way down to the case files, his associates, what he’s pawned, his traffic tickets, and so forth. It is incredibly rich, complete, and simple to use when you need to know who the usual suspects are for an armed robbery by a white female around 25 years old between 5’5'” and 5’8”. It is an eye-popper for out-of-town officers. Even if they have something like this available, it often requires some kind of hoop-jumping like a trip to the intelligence unit (hope their not at a conference, or it’s not 2:00 AM), and the search only goes back to the time they installed their “new” system a year or three ago.

Yesterday an acquaintance—also a data hound—sent me the link to Tampa Bay Mugshots, a somewhat similar concept on a public website at the St. Petersburg Times, created (at least in part--I don't know who else is involved) by a former University of Nebraska Daily Nebraskan reporter Matt Waite, who graduated from UNL in around 1996. He was just getting into data analysis back then, with an impressive story analyzing neighborhood crime statistics we provided him. Now he is on the cutting edge of “computer-aided reporting.” This is a remarkable application of web and database technology that pretty much duplicates what we offer—albeit for 60 days, not 29 years. I was particularly impressed by the roll-over/drill-down bar graphs.

Click on the mugs to drill into the offenders a couple notches. The three Tampa Bay area Sheriff's Offices use the same concept we do for integrating their mugshots from their digital imaging system, the data from their Records Management System, and bringing it all back together for display as an .html page in a browser.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easy solution

Text messaging is creating a whole new type of police call-for-service, and in pretty significant numbers. I just ran a quick query in our database, and found 103 police dispatches concerning text messages. Here are a few samples of the one-liners:


I’ve got an easy solution for most of these people: dump your texting plan. Don't read them. Put duct tape over your screen. Get rid of your cell phone. Call the cops because your ex boyfriend's new girlfriend's being mean to you and calling you bad names. Block the sender.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Short fuse

I received an email from Sgt. Grant Richards in my Crime Analysis Unit. Among his duties, Sgt. Richards reviews applicants for Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permits, and provides any information about possible disqualifying convictions to the Nebraska State Patrol (which actually decides whether an applicant is qualified, and issues the permits.) I have asked Sgt. Richards to let me know anytime he sees an applicant that is eligible for a permit, but who has arrests, convictions, or police contacts that make him concerned nonetheless.

This 56 year-old Lincoln resident is generally law-abiding, and has no criminal convictions that would prevent him from obtaining the permit he has applied for. Nevertheless, these two cases raised an eyebrow. In both cases, he was cited for Disturbing the Peace. Even if he had been convicted, that charge would not prevent him from obtaining a permit, but in these cases he was never convicted. Prosecution was declined in the first case, and the charge was dismissed in the other.

I have learned over the years that charges are dismissed or not filed for a variety of reasons, some of which are completely unrelated to the merits of the case: a plea bargain is agreed to involving other pending charges, a witness fails to appear, the victim engaged in some bad conduct of their own, and so forth. Sometimes a prosecutor jsut looks at a case and thinks: “This guy is an otherwise upstanding citizen with a hot temper, nobody was hurt, he doesn’t make a habit of it, and there isn’t much social value in prosecuting him for this misdemeanor.”

I’m not questioning these decisions, but without a conviction of just the right kind of offense you get the permit when you apply and complete the required training. Having a short fuse is not grounds for denial. I offer no solution for this, but you can read these lightly-edited-to-protect-identities reports and decide for yourself whether you’re comfortable with a guy involved in these two road-rage incidents in the past six years having a concealed carry permit (click the report to enlarge the image.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tips & tricks

I picked up a few tips & tricks with last week that I thought I would pass on to users.

Use the “Print this map” link at the upper right corner just above the map frame, rather than the print command in your browser’s menu or toolbar. This link really doesn't print the page, rather it prepares a new printer-friendly page. After you click the “Print this map” link, try dragging the lower right corner of the map box and stretching it around to your liking. You can also enter any text you wish for a description by clicking the “Notes” link. Once you get the page the way you want it, print it with your browser just like any other webpage.

There are some new graphs and charts available. After the incidents load, click the “Generate reports” link right next to the “Print this map” link. By default, a table of the incidents is produced. But there is also a link to “Summary charts”, with options for pie, bar, and area graphs.

If you check regularly, you can by bypass the search selection and go straight to Lincoln with this link and a bookmark:,

Better yet, if you check your address regularly, you can enter something like this:

If there are more than one incident stacked on top of on another, you’ll see the crime icon with this plus sign symbol in the corner. When you click on the identify tool for that crime, the first one is displayed, with an arrow at the right edge of the balloon to go to the next crime in the stack.

By default, the terrain layer is set as the background in If you pick the “maps” layer in the upper right corner of the map, you’ll be able to zoom in quite a bit closer than you can with the terrain layer.

I have three different browsers on my personal and work PCs—each with features that work best with certain sites or in certain circumstances. I confirmed my own non-scientific observations that screams in Safari for PC or Mac. Internet Explorer 8 is good, Firefox better. All of these beat IE7 by a significant margin. You can display more points and the application runs much more quickly. Haven’t tried it in Opera yet, but if anyone has, I’d like to hear a report.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Learn and share

Just got home Saturday from a trip to the Omega Group User's Conference in San Diego, where I had been invited to deliver the keynote address. The Omega Group is the maker of CrimeView, our analytical mapping software, and the provider of By San Diego standards, it was cool--I actually needed a sweater. The blast of winter-in-April that awaited us upon return, however, was...bracing.

The theme of my keynote was threefold: use the results of your analysis to support more and better prevention projects; move beyond static maps, bulletins and other products to interactive content; prepare yourself for a future where your ability to manage data and information is a key to effective policing.

On that subject, it is remarkable to me to think back on how things have changed in the past decade or so. From a hotel room in California, I could attend our daily shift briefings, keep up on police reports and case files, and attend to the blog--not to mention the huge volume of daily email.

I had the chance to meet in person a couple of people I've assisted via telephone and web conference. Cesar Abreu, the supervisor of the Crime Analysis and Intelligence Unit at the Yakima, WA police department was in attendance. He is in the process of ramping up a GIS operation within his unit, and got some nice press on the efforts recently.

I also met up with Sgt. Rick Fisher, of the Gulfport, MS police. Gulfport, you will recall, was demolished by hurricane Katrina. Police headquarters was among the casualties. When I first talked to Rick, the department was operating out of trailers. They've now moved to a former school, while there headquarters is being constructed. Rick has had the opportunity to start up a crime mapping and analysis operation as well.

It was a pleasure to give some advice and information to Cesar and Rick, and I enjoyed meeting them in person. I picked up several good tips during the conference, and I hope I've shared some of my own with others.

Friday, April 3, 2009

There should be a test

If you can’t demonstrate basic common sense, you ought not be able to drive a pickup. I can’t make stuff like this up. Lightly edited for length and to protect the identity of the victim and the person driving his truck (click the report for a larger view):

The vehicle has been recovered, after Officer Jay Denzin spotted it driving on Vine Street early Tuesday morning. After a short pursuit, the driver bailed, but was located later. The rifle, of course, is nowhere to be found, and the defendant is being less than helpful. Understandable—he’s served seven prison terms, most recently released last October.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The end girl

Our beloved coworker, Donnamarie Jones, was laid to rest Tuesday after a courageous battle with cancer. Donna worked for LPD for over 30 years, the past 15 as a supervisor at our Service Desk. She was an example to all with her patient and professional interactions with the people involved in all manner of human dramas that land at the police Service Desk. Donna had a keen sense of humor, a broad smile, and an optimistic outlook to the very end. She will be sorely missed.

Back in the late 1960’s, Donna worked with Joyce Wagner, my mother-in-law, at Russell Stover Candies—located in Lincoln’s Haymarket area in the buildings currently occupied by The Oven and several other restaurants. They worked on the packing line, where boxes came by on a conveyer belt and were filled with chocolate butter creams and caramels, maple nut chews and Roman nougats. It was intense work, requiring the workers to identify each chocolate by the unique swirl on the top, and pack them into the proper spots in the box quickly and continuously. The line kept moving and the conveyer was unrelenting.

Donnamarie was the end girl. The end girl was the fastest, smoothest, and most skilled packer. She was there at the end of the line to catch the misses and the mistakes, to make sure that no one failed or got in trouble, and that all the customers got a perfect box of chocolates.

Come to think of it, that is pretty much the same thing she did for 32 years at the Lincoln Police Department.