New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is cracking down on narcotics detectives to tame what some officials consider a “cowboy culture open to corruption,” says the New York Daily News. A special integrity committee set up by Kelly found “a climate of loose supervision” permeated the Organized Crime Control Bureau. The bureau, which oversees narcotics as well as the vice and auto crime units, got into trouble when it expanded from an elite group of about 1,500 cops to more than 4,300 officers, an internal probe found. The result “was a significant infusion of unqualified, inexperienced personnel who lacked the dedication and drive essential to a highly specialized unit,” said the report.
The internal review recommended a list of changes, including raising the number of unannounced inspections; tightening oversight of confidential informants; Creating better ways to monitor overtime; assigning officers to five-year, reviewable stints in the bureau; tightening the use of department vehicles, E-ZPasses, and department vehicle plaques, and randomly monitoring officers while they are on court duty. Some improvements – such as a chronological roll call sheet that notes when narcotics detectives sign in to work – already are in place. The bureau recovered some 12,000 pounds of drugs and confiscated some $23 million in 2003, creating the potential for corruption.