Thursday, February 18, 2010

The shadow knows

I had a great time yesterday hanging out with Adam. He’s a 16 year old sophomore at Lincoln East High School, and needed a job shadowing experience for his career education class. I’ve hosted other high school students in career ed classes in the past. It takes a certain amount of confidence to contact the chief of police, and I’m not about to turn down anyone who makes that effort.

We started the day with lineup and an informal staff meeting. Then we were off to the daily news media briefing. We went from there to a planning meeting with the Crime Analysis Unit, where we prepared for our monthly ACUDAT meeting. Afterwards, we took care of a few items on the “to do list” around headquarters. A short road trip followed, including a couple of cheeseburgers and fries.

Then it was back to headquarters for the ACUDAT meeting, where we examined the recent crime trends and patterns, particularly daytime residential burglaries and larcenies from auto in which wallets and purses are being stolen. We discussed the circumstances and locations where purses or wallets would typically be left in parked cars. At ACUDAT, we also did a little impromptu training on how to use our information system to search for suspects with an unusual physical description. The idea for this little demo came from an email Officer Mike Schmidt sent out recently looking for anyone who might recognize a distinctive description of a suspect in a case he’s working.

Following ACUDAT, I just had to take a glance at the bulging email inbox while Adam went through a few questions he needed to ask me on his interview list for the class assignment. We were in my office when Officer Katie Flood came in with a hot tip about the residential burglaries we had just discussed at ACUDAT. The tip came from a reporter, who had experienced something unusual at home over the weekend. We passed that information on to Capt. Kim Koluch of the Southeast Team.

I didn’t want to bore Adam to death, but I continued what I intended to be a fast look at the email. One of the messages, though, was a Threshold Alert that had just arrived, notifying me that a sexual predator had given a new address that placed him in violation of Lincoln’s municipal ordinance restriction on residency within 500 ft. of a school. This needed some immediate follow-up, so we pulled up the details on the subject in our records management system and the State sex offender Registry. Using the new Lincoln GIS viewer, we zoomed to the area, identified the parcels, adjusted the slider to turn the aerial photos on, and used the measure tool to calculate the distance from the sex offender’s lot line to the edge of the school grounds: 351.5 feet. This whole exercise took us about five minutes, and we delivered the results to Sgt. Tim Kennet on the Southwest Team for investigation.

Our next trip was to the Mayor’s Office, where I had hoped to catch chief of staff Rick Hoppe for a quick conversation, and also hoped to introduce Adam to the Mayor. Alas, they were in meetings, but around the corner at the planning department, I needed to see Jeff McReynolds, who is one of the main people behind the new GIS viewer we had just used. He enjoyed that story, and took a minute to show Adam a couple of other things in the application.

I had Adam ring his mom up and tell here there was no need to pick him up, then we went mobile and headed for home. On the way, I showed Adam some of the ways we are using mobile data in our vehicles. I discussed an idea with him that has been floating around in my head for a couple of months. I’m meeting with some researchers to pitch the concept next week, and we’ll see if we can bring it to market. Adam liked it. Hopefully he won’t run off and patent it first, now that he knows.

I don’t know about Adam, but I had a good day. I have a sneaking suspicion he did, too. He’s an outgoing guy with a very sharp mind. He was picking up on the crime analysis portion of the day instantly, and connecting those dots quickly. He also has a dry sense of humor that will serve him well. When you can kid around with the chief of police—both take it and dish it out--it’s a good sign!

By the way, Adam is the grandson of the last Lincoln police officer to be killed in the line of duty, George Welter. I’m sure his grandfather would be very proud of him


Anonymous said...

Chief-It's interesting that 95% of what Adam saw with you during his visit involved technology that wasn't available when his Grandfather was a Police Officer. I have to chuckle a little at the thought of Chief Joe Carroll trying to work a computer. I can visualize the keyboard laying in pieces with his footprints all over it.

Best wishes to Adam in his future endeavors. Hope he some day has the opportunity to ride a Police motor should he choose to do so .


Anonymous said...

The GIS map is a new age way to get to meet the neighbors. Great features.

Anonymous said...

Did you mention to Adam that while RSOs have to register and are restricted as to where they can live, if that RSO had instead flat-out murdered their victim, as long as there was no sexual component to the crime, would not have to register their address (once their parole had been completed), nor would they be restricted as to where they might live?

Tom Casady said...


I have a sheaf of notes that Joe took about the law of arrest, search and seizure early in his tenure as chief. The guy was a genuine student of his craft. I have a sneaking suspicion that he'd be similarly situated to your truly if he had been born a few decades later.

Anonymous said...

To 9:09. Did you know that the vast majority of murderers don't remurder when they get out yet the vast majority of sex offenders re sex offend when they get out. I'll take the registration of a sex offender any day over a murderer. And if I had to choose. I would rather live next door to someone paroled for murder than a sex offender.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Sounds like you guys had a busy day.

Anonymous said...

Chief-I'd love to see some of the stuff you have from Chief Carroll. I really enjoyed seeing the logbook you reference in the blog as well as the news clipping scrapbooks being tended by Capt. Citta. We can't live in the past, but hopefully we learn from history. and some of it is really funny in retrospect.

In 1973 I had a partial description of a car and a partial Lancaster county tag. I spent hours looking at 3X5 cards to try to find the vehicle. I knocked on the suspect's door at 2 AM and arrested him. It was a training exercise and the "suspect" was Lt. Buckner. This is an operation you can probably complete now in a few seconds. Buckner would have appreciated the extra snooze time.


Anonymous said...


How about robbers and burglars, why don't they have to register their addresses after their parole is completed? Their recidivism rate is quite high. As a larger-than-average man, I fear sex offenders not at all, but I do value my property. Consternation on your part doesn't cause apprehension on my part.

Maybe those who have been convicted of robbery should be forever banned from living within 500 feet of any retail business. Convicted auto thieves should forever be banned from living within 500 feet of any parking lot, etc etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Click on the log on this page and it takes you to youtube.
Links can compromise a server if u have a click link i.e virus ect

Anonymous said...

9:30 Are you a sex offender? that would explain your views

Anonymous said...


No, and that was a lame comeback on your part. Using your "logic" you might well be a previously-convicted murderer.

Anonymous said...


I understand your thinking, however it is not logical. A sex offender does just that; they victimize a person in a very personal and damaging way. However, somebody stealing items from your car, or burglarizing a business does not victimize a person in such a way. It may still upset you, but it would not damage you the way a sex offense would. Those are very different topics that can not be categorized together.

No disrespect, but try to think logically before you make statements as such.

Anonymous said...


Logically speaking, sex offenders are not a discernible threat to me, so in that respect, they would have no effect on me; they could try, but the greatest effect would be on them. Larcenous offenders, however, are a threat to my property, and would indeed affect me, so I keep them in mind. I also question the effectiveness of SO registration, beyond that of giving those who are likely to be affected by SOs a false sense of security. Such laws were passed mostly to stop legislators' phones from ringing and their e-mail inboxes from filling up.

Anonymous said...

To 5:47 Sex offender's are not a threat to me either, however they would be to my wife and kids. They will reoffend. I can protect my property with satisfaction that if something does happen then it wouldn't be a great loss. If something happened to my wife and kids by a sex offender, then yes I guess then I would be a murderer and I would go on that registration no problem.