Tuesday, January 06, 2004
When the students return on Wednesday to Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, they will not be met (or frisked) by their former principal, George McCrackin. He is being reassigned (same salary and benefits) following his voluntary resignation. McCrackin, who is the only principal Stratford has had during its 20 years of existence, earned international attention (and Vice Squad disapproval) for instigating a police raid in November in which officers with drawn weapons and dogs searched students for drugs. Access to the Charleston Post and Courier story requires free registration. Incidentally, Vice Squad has no idea if Principal McCrackin was or was not a fine principal; the claim here has always been only that the decision to approach the presumed drug problem with the heavy-handed raid showed very poor judgment.
Another over-the-top piece of vice law enforcement was undertaken by Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Arpaio in November. Sheriff Arpaio conducted a large number of anti-prostitution stings, raids that seemed designed to garner publicity. (For instance, the media was invited along for some of the raids, and the suspects were taken to the parking lot of a mall to be booked.) Arpaio is now defending his decision to permit his detectives to disrobe when they were setting up the alleged prostitutes; apparently, he also approved some touching. (Sure beats rousting drunks.) And don't think these raids have claimed their final victims: "Arpaio said the prostitution investigation isn't complete, and customers who weren't picked up in the first round of arrests can expect to be contacted soon." It just gets better and better in Maricopa County.
Oops, make that three updates on stories that broke in November. In another piece of first-rate vice law enforcement, police set up a mock bachelor party at a strip club in Fremont, Nebraska, and arrested two dancers on prostitution charges. One of the arrestees was found not guilty, but a second was convicted. The convicted dancer has now been sentenced to six months of probation and, interestingly, "was ordered to find employment where alcohol would not be served." Prostitution and alcohol have a long history of complementarity. The same article that reports the sentencing of the dancer also lists sentences in many other court cases, the majority of them involving vice. One that catches Vice Squad's attention is that a 20-year old "was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail for minor in possession of alcohol. His driver's license also was impounded for 30 days. [He] was fined $50 for zero tolerance." Wow, ten days in jail for being 20 years old and having some alcohol in your possession. That's two days more than another fellow in the same report, who: "was sentenced to eight days time served on two driving while under suspension charges. His driver's license was suspended for one year. He was fined $100 on the driving while under suspension charges. [He] also was fined $50 for no proof of insurance."