Friday, August 06, 2010

Irritated at

For those of you who have trouble with all of's pop-ups and ads and various other annoyances, I have good news.

I have finished copying all my older Examiner columns, in their entirety, to this blog. Everything older than a week old is here now. As I post a new column, I go ahead and copy the column from 7 days ago to this site to keep up.

If you don't mind, go ahead and click on the link that goes to my Examiner column to send a bit of coin my direction, but you don't have to bother to read it there.


APD entrapment scheme canceled

APD entrapment scheme canceled

Downtown Albuquerque LEOs have canceled their "abandoned backpack" entrapment scheme.

I have to admit, if I had found the Albuquerque Police Department's "abandoned" backpack I would have been "arrested" under the guidelines they were following. Because, while I would have tried to find the owner, I would never have considered taking the backpack to the ABQ police station, or handing it over to some anonymous cop I happened to see, except as an absolute last resort- if no owner information could have been found anywhere at all. If I found a lost backpack, it is my responsibility. Plus, if the backpack contained something "illegal" I would not want to expose the owner to possible punishment.

A few years ago I found a large brief case in the middle of the road in the very small town near where I lived. It seemed obvious to me that the brief case had fallen off someone's car. It had a combination lock but I didn't try to open it. I looked for any markings or names on the outside that would indicate who it might belong to. Since I was on my way to work, I left the brief case in my car until the end of the day. For this delay, I would have been arrested if this had been part of the APD entrapment program.

As it ended up, I did take it to the town's chief of police (and only cop), whom I knew (and who would have probably simply kept any prohibited substances found inside without making an "arrest"). He asked me what was in the case and I told him I hadn't tried to open it. So, he tried the latch and it wasn't locked. He opened it and we went through it looking for a clue to the owner's identity. The contents were for a local business. He knew who it belonged to. A few days later he told me that the owner of the brief case was very grateful and wanted to give me a reward. I never did get the reward, though, and the man was murdered, apparently by his business partner, a few months later. Reward or not, I know I did the right thing.

How could the APD know that a person who finds an abandoned backpack and walks off with it isn't going to try to find the owner later, when they have the time to spend on the investigation? Assume the worst of people and they will usually meet your expectations.