Monday, April 09, 2007

The Durham Police: Re-Accreditation?

The Durham Police Department—nationally known for seeming to violate every standard in the book—is up for re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The assessment team: Broward County (FL) Sheriff Roy Liddicott; Independence (MO) Bureau Commander (ret.) Raymond Rast; and Knoxville (TN) Lt. Shawna Williams.

This team will be in Durham from April 21 through April 25. According to an announcement from CALEA, the assessment will “examine all aspects of the Durham Police Department’s policy and procedures, management, operations and support services”; re-accreditation would be “a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.” Given CALEA’s own standards, it would be hard to imagine how the organization could grant re-accreditation based on the performance we’ve seen over the past year.

CALEA demands appropriate written standards for items that include the following:

Standard 41.2.4: Conduct of field interviews

In the lacrosse case, field interviews were not a DPD specialty. As far as can be determined, the police conducted two days of field interviews. Both raised serious questions about the force’s capabilities.

On March 16, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Inv. Ben Himan conducted a field interview with the accuser. Gottlieb asserted that he took no contemporaneous notes; months later, he produced a “straight-from-memory” typed report. Both Himan and Gottlieb brought from this interview the accuser’s claim that she was attacked by three people. But they recorded radically different descriptions—almost as if they hadn’t attended the same field interview.

Then, on April 12, Gottlieb and Himan again went on the road, this time to Duke dorms. Yet these field interviews violated North Carolina’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Mike Nifong had assumed personal command of the investigation as of March 24. The rules prohibited Nifong or anyone acting on his behalf from speaking to people represented by counsel without their lawyers present.

Standard 1.2.3: Procedures for compliance with constitutional requirements

The Durham department’s procedures do comply with constitutional requirements. The department, however, appears to lack any mechanism for ensuring that all investigators respect the procedures.

The critical example from the lacrosse case: March 31, when Mike Nifong instructed the police to conduct a “do-over” lineup and violate the department’s procedures requiring use of five filler photos per every suspect. Nifong gave the order, no one appears to have objected, and the procedures went out the window.

The inevitable result with such flawed procedures: a laughably bad lineup, riddled with erroneous identifications.

Standard 1.2.9: Bias based profiling

On September 12, Capt. Ed Sarvis admitted that the department had an official policy of meting out disproportionate punishment to Duke students for alcohol-related offenses. A few days earlier, the Chronicle reported that one of the students arrested as part of this policy, Urosh Tomovich, had a toubling experience with Sgt. Mark Gottlieb:

At 3 a.m. on the morning after the concert, Gottlieb and nine other police officers raided the students’ home and arrested Tomovich and his six housemates for noise ordinance and open container violations.

“I was still half asleep, and he put me in handcuffs,” Tomovich said.

Tomovich and others said the police dragged his sleeping housemate Justin Bieber, Pratt ‘06, off of his bed, causing him to fall on the floor, before dragging him down the stairs.

Gottlieb and the other officers led the housemates outside.

“[Gottlieb] said, ‘You’re going to be in the biggest trouble of your life,’“ Tomovich said.

After they were taken to the station, Tomovich—a U.S. citizen of Serbian heritage—said that Gottlieb threatened to deport him for breaking the law.

“He took me to a back room and said, ‘Do you need to speak to your consulate? We can deport you.’ I said, ‘Why would I need to speak to my consulate?’.... I’m a U.S. citizen. I have a different last name, but I’m a U.S. citizen,” Tomovich recalled.

Tough to see how that behavior accords to the CALEA standard cautioning against bias-based profiling.

Standard 72.5.5: Methods for handling person under the influence or self-destructive

As we now know, this whole affair began when the police failed to properly handle the accuser—who was clearly both “under the influence” and “self-destructive” on the morning of March 14.

The officers who responded to Kim Roberts’ 911 call seemed eager to get the accuser off their hands as quickly as possible, passing her on to the Durham Access Center. And the Durham Access Center employee who improperly prompted the accuser (who at that point was using the name “Honey” and was claiming that Kim Roberts had stolen her money) with a question about rape set in motion the events to follow.

Standard 42.1.4: Accountability of criminal investigations

To date, as far as I can determine, no one has been held accountable by the Police Department—from Chief Chalmers down to Gottlieb, and including Linwood Wilson, who has improperly functioned in a law enforcement role. “Accountability,” indeed, sounds like a word the DPD has never encountered.

Standard 61.1.5: Uniform traffic enforcement policies

Before he became an apologist for the state, NAACP case monitor Irving Joyner had claimed that the DPD badly fell down on this issue.

Readers from the Triangle might want to mark off Monday, April 23 on their calendar. At 7.00 in the Durham City Council chambers, the CALEA team will be receiving public comment. Since the DPD has chosen not to hold itself accountable, perhaps the public should seek to do so.


Anonymous said...

Great information, Professor Johnson — a blueprint in opposition to the re-accreditation. Perhaps the late April meeting will draw a large crowd. And perhaps an attorney who reads D-i-W will volunteer to organize the opposition. This is an excellent opportunity to begin to draw attention to the corruption in Durham.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

Durham will tell us a lot about value of this accreditation agency. If they can re-accredit a police agency with an absentee chief and a case that violates standard police policy so badly it attracts attention from Stuart Taylor etal, then this agency has no value and just provides junkets for various members like the Broward County sheriff.

These cases are somewhat rare, but they are tests for agencies like this. If the DPD is not put on some kind of continuing review, the agency is completely worthless.

Anonymous said...

Stuart Taylor could add weight to the opposition with a written critique of departmental performance.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the hearing is dominated by Peterson and other pro-Nifong people, perhaps including Jesse Jackson, New Black Panthers and other professional racists, populists and opportunists.

The event will look like some campus event organised by college republicans. Fire alarms, physical attacks, denied entry, and all kind of intimidation by gang88 wackos to prevent the event taking place.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get my hopes up that anything good will come of this re-accreditation. Very likely it will be a stitch-up. It's Durham, after all. We shall see...

Anonymous said...

I can understand why citizens of Durham would decline any invitation to testify against re-accreditation. Who needs harassment from Gottlieb and the other yahoos? Even a Colonel Klink or Sargent Schultz (or Barney Fife, for that matter) could shoot you between the eyes.

There is something to the notion that when you strike at the King, you must kill him. Testifying against re-accreditation ain't gonna kill nobody!

Anonymous said...

Carolyn asks:

In the beginning, asking where the chief was seemed kind of funny - like asking 'where's Waldo?' But now this is serious. Where IS the Chief?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think citizens would be afraid to testify against police department accreditation, arguing strictly the facts?

MTU'76 said...

Thank you Professor Johnson, for the partial list showing how the Durham police broke their own bought and paid for CALEA regulations. Once the lawyers finish with the DPD the violations will be listed in volumes.

Unfortunately, CALEA does not deal with outcomes - like the violations mentioned above. CALEA is not the government, not a professional board or bar, not a regulatory agency. They can send people from Florida or anywhere to inspect DPD because DPD is footing the bill. CALEA is a business.

An example of an accreditation agency with teeth and knives, and tanks, and nuclear weapons would be the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). They inspect the paper stuff - Policies and procedures are supposed to make the hospital safe, prepared, staffed properly (and another 30 volumes of regs.) But the meat is always outcome. (Tell them, Gary.) JCAHO can shut down a hospital by taking away Medicare dollars. They can say "Uncle Sam is not going to pay any more Medicare bills until you fix X and Y and Z." Follow the money. JCAHO is the government. Regulating or bestowing accreditation by standards of process, structure and outcome is the real thing. And having the clout to enforce those standards takes weapons.

According to an announcement from CALEA, the assessment will “examine all aspects of the Durham Police Department’s policy and procedures, management, operations and support services”

Policy and procedures - paper

Management policy and procedures - still paper

Operations policy and procedures - ditto

Support services policy and procedures - ditto

A DPD Outcome Study: The Duke Hoax

Anonymous said...

Mr. Psychic says...

The Durham, North Carolina Police Department, a full service law enforcement agency, provides quality police services to the community. The agency delivers professional services that are of high quality. They value and realize the importance of the community and see to their needs. This was quite evident at the public information session and throughout all our travels around
Durham. The men and women of the agency are hard working, caring and respected individuals who are dedicated to making Durham a better place to live, work or just
visit, by their commitment to their profession. They all are keenly aware of the standards of accreditation and subscribe to each and every one, in both theory and practice. This group of individuals is a credit to our profession and a definite asset to
the City of Durham. The assessment team determined that the Durham Police Department had complied
with all applicable standards. The agency had a good on-site assessment...

Anonymous said...

1:50 am

Just assuming that CALEA is -
(as you said) - a business - (and
I don't have any reason to doubt
your veracity on that) - you
might wonder if they would risk
re-accrediting the Durham PD?
IF they did, wouldn't that
expose their operation as a sham,
for all to see? (Sort of like
one of those "Poetry Contests?"
Or Who's Who in the World of
Animal Husbandry" etc?)


Anonymous said...

There's no doubt in my mind that this exercise will be a complete love-fest, with no recognition of the national embassassment Durham and the DPD have proven themselves to be as co-perpetrators/enablers of the The Hoax.

Accolades will be plentiful and the giant pink elephant in the room during the exit conference (i.e. The Hoax) will be completely swept under the rug. There will be a few MSM plants (most notably represented by the Hurled Scum) to lob a few softball questions, followed by a group Oprah hug, and the CALEA boys will ride off into the sunset amid enthusiastic applause from DPD'ers, 88'ers, and MSM'ers, leaving behind a few placques and tin badges to memorialize the the utter worthlessness of the entire effort.

I hope I'm wrong!

Anonymous said...

My hope is that by then, there will have been some high-profile lawsuits filed against this sorry excuse for a police department. Everything from Gottlieb's misdeeds to the vigilante poster needs to be brought before this organization.

Yes, my sense is that accreditation entities tend to overlook problems, but at least things will be on the record. People need to know what kind of dishonest people are in charge and are in the employ of the DPD.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow law enforcement official, Id like to get Gottlieb in a dark alley and discuss the discredit he has brought on the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Psychic based on my experience with IG inspections in the military. In that case, many, many people spent many, many hours doing things in the few weeks before the inspection that were supposed to have been done on a continuing basis throughout the year. Painting and other maintenance to buildings and equipment, delayed for months, suddenly was completed. Gear was handed out that conformed to military regulations, displayed, and then once the review team inspected, another group of people came by to pick it up and move it to the next unit to be inspected. And the result of all this activity was a whitewash, much like that supplied by Mr. Psychic, but the "brass" could walk around feeling good about having passed the IG. Probably, every once in a while, those extra efforts were not taken for whatever reason, and the IG issued a less than sterling report. In that case, someone not at the top of the chain of command got his ass chewed for being too stupid or lazy to work the system.

The only hope I have of a negative spotlight being shined on the activities at the Durham PD is that Nifong is facing major scrutiny by the NC Bar for his misdeeds. He has acquired such notoriety that the CALEA team, who under usual circumstances would whitewash, might feel safe enough to acknowledge that the Durham PD "needs improvement" and doesn't meet the standards for re-accreditation until certain performance levels are met. This situation would allow them to ding the Durham PD, thus not being perceived as a sham (re: comment by 6:22 AM), but also not being perceived as a threat by the "good ol' boys" in LE. The thinking would be "Durham PD is so screwed up anyone could see they need fixing."

As others here have commented, we shall see. It couldn't hurt to have someone organize something that puts some meat on the table for CALEA to review. The movers and shakers in Durham will be doing everything they can to keep it hidden from view.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Re-Accreditation!
If it happens that they
pass muster, it'll prove
that their median standard
for accreditation/re-accreditation is...
let's use this hypothetical standard
..."capable use of tools."

The comparison - (should Durham PD pass)- will consist of a chimp
using a twig to extract bugs
from a termite mound.


Anonymous said...


Is that you Brodhead? Of course we should be afraid to argue facts in front of gun toting racists. We live and work here. These people know where we live. Opposing them can only end badly. Facts have nothing to do with it - after all - Mikey is still the DA and the LAX players still face long prison terms. If facts mattered, then those things would not be true at this time.

As for Waldo - he is occasionally in town. He is on the early retirement plan - he will be leaving later this year, so there really isn't any reason for him to be involved in the day to day operations here.

Mac - using the chimp image when speaking of the local police is inflamatory. As I say above, they are armed, and in many instances, dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Ah, what could be more
inflammatory than
the examples
of incompetence cited in
their own handling of this
I was being kind, by comparison,though:
a chimp holds no malice.

You are correct, however,
in your concerns about public
safety. It's up to them to
weed out their own worst elements,
since the City of Durham
won't do it.

Anonymous said...

It's all rubber stamps, fun and games until the insurance provider(s) increase their rates. This could result in the first fiscal blow to the community.

Anonymous said...

Now I understand. The DPD were absolutely spot-on with all of their CALEA regulations but then....something happened...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think citizens would be afraid to testify against police department accreditation, arguing strictly the facts?

Apr 9, 2007 12:56:00 AM

We have seen for the past year an incident in which the Durham police openly tried to frame three young men, so it is obvious that we are dealing with a huge criminal element that wears blue uniforms. If they are not afraid to engage in a criminal frame-up, they will not be afraid to break the law via other means.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the witness (immigrant tax cab driver) who tried to give information. He was arrested, harassed and intiminated, threatened of deportation (standard practise in Durham).

Wouldn't it be fun to have Duke re-accreditation? Faculty handbook, code on conduct, misuse of university funds, grade retaliation, non-academic AA courses etc. On the other hand, this is standard operating prosedure in universities (who are politically active and aligned with a certain political movement).

Anonymous said...

If you take a pile of excrement, and put a badge on top of it .... it is still a pile of excrement.

Anonymous said...

There is a social principle
involved - (I forget who actually
authored this) - but it
seems to apply to the 88s
and the local constabulary
and their appendages:

When an up-and-coming
is temporarily lower,
(socially,) strike while
they're still within reach;
if you wait too long, they're
likely to rise to a level high
enough that you won't be able
to hit 'em. Better hit the
pinata while it's still


Gayle Miller said...

Here is the link where comments (polite and non-abusive)may be directed to the Agency.

Anonymous said...

Your arguments are thorough and compelling as always, KC. Thank you.

After reading the Law Enforcement Accreditation points (link), it is clear that:

1. No one "fails," and failure would carry no weight anyway.

2. Outcomes will be recommendations for improvement, and the result of good behavior is an award. Wow.

3. The "investigation" will look at paper, not performance. The investigators are not really interested in commentary beyond a superficial look at community relations; and in a sense they shouldn't be, because they aren't going to stick around and conduct an in-depth investigation of various conflicting assertions from the public and the department.

Bottom line: a list of "did-goods," another of "do-betters" and a hearty "Hi ho Silver, away!"

Gary Packwood said...

I copied the following information from the PDF offered by the Durham Police Department.
Persons wishing to offer written comments about the Durham Police Department's ability to meet the standards for accreditation are asked to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030-2215.
I doubt that they can issue a 'finding' when they learn that there are many factors waiting in the wings that could impact the department's ABILITY to meet the standards for accreditation.

The residents of Durham deserve high quality police services and the ABILITY of the City of Durham to provide those services for the future is in question.

Insurance providers need to queried by the commission and we should remind them to do just that.

Thanks Mac 7:28


Anonymous said...

Re 10:31:

Let's hope for better.

And thank you, GP (10:42!)
Good information!


tripp1 said...

The police who knre who was involved in this or should have known were ignored, but this knowledge was given to the professional agitators who came to Durham to exploit the situation. Realizing this individual was unstable they handed her off to the less knowing. In other words, what happened in the very beginning of this case was criminal. What a fraud!

Anonymous said...


Well, not exactly:
Nifong took over the case,
becoming the lead Investigator.

He was VERY well-informed:
he just ignored evidence,
suppressed evidence and lied
about evidence.


gak said...

I'm sure if they keep it quiet enough, it will get rubber stamped

Anonymous said...

Thanks GP! I'm drafting a letter to them right now!

TO: CALEA RE Re-Accreditation of the Durham Police Department

Regarding regulation #357.7.88.38: The DPD did not cross their T nor dot their i.

Sincerely, Concerned Durham Resident

From: CALEA (Proud motto: we're jus' good ol' Southern Boys too) Re-Accreditation Committee

To: Concerned Durham Resident

We've got your finger prints and address - and it's only a matter of time. Har Har!

Anonymous said...

Thanks KC and your nifty can-opener for opening up yet another interesting universe.

Google News has a number of stories of police agencies scrambling to meet CALEA standards. Two quotes:

1) CALEA Inc is an independent, nonprofit (501[c] 3) corporation which bills police departments $5,425 annually during the three-year accreditation contract.

2) Participant agencies work to meet a series of 446 nationally established best practices for law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Such intrigue inside the porcine confines of the DPD.

Will anyone in Durham speak out?

Will anyone step outside the long-accepted squalor and simply say, (No more!) ???

Ah, the recondite byways of a place called Durham.


Anonymous said...

Interesting angle from Gary Packwood at 11:10.

"Insurance providers need to be queried by the commission and we should remind them to do just that."

Could Gary or someone expand?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Interesting angle from Gary Packwood at 11:10.

"Insurance providers need to be queried by the commission and we should remind them to do just that."

Could Gary or someone expand?

Just follow the links Dr Johnson has provided and read. It's not rocket brain surgery.

Anonymous said...

Debrah, you silver-tongued temptress. Nice turn of phrase.

Gary Packwood said...

MTU'76 1:50...
...Concerning CALEA, JCAHO (for Health Care Organizations),Higher Education Accreditation etc. etc.

All of these accreditation organizations are just affirming that the organization under review has met (or not met) standards that are already known.

If the organization does not meet the standards as published they will find it difficult for anyone to provide funding.

The funding stream is the hammer.

If CALEA does not offer full accreditation, it is doubtful that the City of Durham would be eligible for homeland security funding for their police department. The same logic would apply to their funding from the US Department of Justice.

These Federal funds are the funding source for new radios, computer systems, SWAT and programs such a DARE and probably CrimeStoppers.

CALEA will not be open to letters or comments concerning character assignation, rumor, innuendo or attempts at theatre.

Just the facts.

If a health care institution is not re-accredited by JCAHO not much is said. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare and Medicaid just don't respond to claims. No payments!

Now that is the 'hammer' for hospitals.

Concerning insurance rates. Insurance companies set the 'rate' for their insurance products (home owners and corporate) based on risk. For example, the risk of flood or wind damage in New Orleans these days is a tad bit excessive which boils down to ...expensive.

If Durham is having difficulty with any level of accreditations, insurance companies will see more risk and will set their insurance premiums accordingly.

Everyone should keep an eye on their own insurance rate in the community where they live. Good barometer of the risk of living where you live.

Your local chamber of commerce will have that information.

If I was the Mayor of Durham I think I would ask for an extension of time for the accreditation visit...especially if folks start writing CALEA


MrRabbit said...

The terrible Law of Unforeseen Consequences begins to creep into Durham like kudzu. My experience with municipal government and insurance allows me to say that "this might be big medicine"....the butterfly wing beat that starts a storm. A few well written letters (perhaps a copy of this blog too) and things begin to happen and get noticed when the insurance providers observe that things are "business as usual".

This routine accreditation visit has not even started and it has already been "rained upon". Nobody likes to be under the microscope in a business that usually runs quiet and deep (like the nuclear navy). Thank you very much Mike al.. for giving Durham a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. A price gets paid for incompetence and corruption in any organization. Durham seems to have a killer combo of incompetence and corruption. It doesn't stop with police. Just read the news. The insurance providers might take another look at playgrounds, parks, municipal works, etc.etc. That's how the game often plays out.

Often, job loss and disgrace accompany malfeasance in the private sector, as well as in municipal and County government.

The bad news....rotten cops and chiefs get jobs elsewhere... .memories are short...the judges and D.A.'s do their damage with no consequences to themselves...and the taxpayers foot the bill....

Maybe, just maybe...we will see a few people get some well-deserved justice. It doesn't happen too often. I am betting that Mr. Nifong gets more than he deserves (if that's possible) due to the build up of public anger and frustration about a very rotten and incompetent system of government. Get ready to observe a few more things that no one has blogged about yet. This mess is the proverbial "dead whale" on the public beach. It's going to stink for a long time.

Michael said...

I would agree that accreditation is a paper issue. Do they have policies and procedures in place? Of course they do. They just ignore them. But that's not what the accrediting is all about.

Now I think that having policies and procedures in place is important as at least you have a set of rules to follow. Following them, as we've seen, seems to be the tough part for DPD.

Anonymous said...

P. Rich--