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NYC police renew focus on quality of life



Published: Tue, January 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



NYC police renew focus on quality of life

NEW YORK -- Police have issued scores of summonses for panhandling, prostitution and other offenses in recent days as part of a renewed crackdown on quality-of-life violations, officials said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced the arrests Tuesday while unveiling the initiative, dubbed Operation Clean Sweep.

After being consumed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and subsequent efforts to tighten security, the 40,000-officer Police Department is "now back focusing on quality of life," Kelly said.

The operation harkens back to Kelly's previous tenure as police commissioner, when in 1993 he ordered a roundup of homeless men known for wiping down car windows and demanding change as payment.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani also targeted the so-called squeegee men and other petty offenders, theorizing they created a disorderly environment that emboldened other criminals. Bloomberg has adopted similar strategies to try to preserve the city's dramatic drop in crime over the last decade.

President resumespolitical fund raising

WASHINGTON -- President Bush is stepping back into political fund raising for the first time since Sept. 11 and helping a cause dear to his heart: his brother's re-election as governor of Florida.

Bush was also promoting another favorite cause today -- education legislation he signed into law a day earlier. Continuing a victory lap that took him to three states on Tuesday, Bush was addressing more than 1,500 educators and elected officials from around the nation on implementing the far-reaching law.

The president was headlining events this evening expected to raise tens of thousands of dollars for Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Republican Party.

Bush backers had their choice of back-to-back events: a $500-per-person cocktail reception with the money going to Jeb Bush's re-election campaign, or a $5,000-a-head dinner with the proceeds earmarked for the Florida Republican Party.

A White House official said she did not know what the total expected take was.

Columbine familiesseek grand jury probe

DENVER -- The families of five students slain at Columbine High School asked Tuesday that a federal grand jury investigate their claims of a cover-up by authorities in the 1999 massacre.

"Lies have been told beyond any doubt," family attorney Barry Arrington said after he submitted the request to the U.S. attorney's office in Denver. "The only issue is, why are they lying?"

The families say a police officer accidentally killed 15-year-old student Daniel Rohrbough as he fled Columbine and that authorities tried to cover it up.

Investigators have maintained since the April 20, 1999, shooting that seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed all 13 victims before committing suicide.

U.S. Attorney John Suthers said Tuesday he would meet with the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights office and the FBI to decide if a federal crime had been committed.

Jefferson County prosecutors last week said there was no new evidence for a grand jury to review. Sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Tallman did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Remembering Buddy

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Buddy the dog may be gone but the former presidential pet is hardly forgotten at a downtown exhibit of memorabilia from the Clinton White House.

Buddy, a 4-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, was killed Jan. 2 when he ran from the Clintons' home in Chappaqua, N.Y., and was hit by a car.

A photo portrait and sculpture of the dog has been added to a temporary display of Clinton artifacts housed near the site of Clinton's planned presidential library.

On a table beneath a full-size portrait is a binder with e-mails from as far away as Russia that have poured in since Buddy passed away.

"I have always prayed for the safety of President and Senator Clinton and Chelsea, but had not thought about Buddy," said one e-mail from Iowa City, Iowa. "As a dog lover and owner of two, I am sending my sympathy to the Clintons."

Next to the binder is a bouquet of six roses sent by merchants across the street. A volunteer hands out photos of the dog in a seated pose, a red collar holding his gold rabies tag.

"There's a lot of interest in [presidential] pets ... and there's just a great affection for Labs," Clinton Foundation president Skip Rutherford said Tuesday.

Associated Press




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