Friday, October 10, 2014

Opposes But With An Open Mind

Mainstream media this fine morning

Okay, which is it? Is UMass President Robert Caret going to keep an "open mind" even though he doesn't "like the feel" of the UMass Police Department informant program, or does he just flat out oppose the program as indicated by today's Gazette above-the-fold headline?

Of course keep in mind this is the same bureaucrat who just days after the Little Bighorn, err, Blarney Blowout, told the same media in regards to the response of overwhelmed police: "There looked to be some unprovoked overreaction." (emphasis mine)

Caret also went on to show how well he does his research (this from a higher-education leader) by questioning why town officials allowed bars to open early on the infamous day of the Blarney Blowout, which is just flat out not true.

UMass Chancellor Subbaswamy has named a "working group" of 11 -- as opposed to a "committee" which would be subject to Open Meeting Law -- to come back by the end of the semester with a recommendation concerning the use of informants by UMPD. 

Considering only one of the 11 is in law enforcement (and his paycheck is dependent on keeping President Caret happy), safe bet the program will be scuttled.

Public Relations taking priority over Public Safety.

In the particular case of Eric Sinacori the one question that really needs answering is did he go from an "informant", where his ID is protected, to a "witness", where his ID is not protected, and then go back to being an "informant".

Because under those conditions, even in the bucolic backwater of Amherst, his safety would have been compromised.


Anonymous said...

Larry, a witness can also be confidential.
Guess you never have been to a drug trial.

Larry Kelley said...

Not what a long-time prosecutor told me (who also said he had to drop a drug case or two because PD refused to allow their "informant" to become a "witness").

And I'll take his opinion over an Anon any day.

Anonymous said...

LK is right Anon 1241. The 6th amendment can not be side stepped. An informant need not be revealed IF and only IF there are other factors on which the case can be proven. Point: a CI introduces/leads/or otherwise informs an undercover cop to the dealer. The undercover cop then makes multiple buys. The CI need never be revealed (although the dealer possibly could figure it out depending, which compromises safety).

IF a CI has to be revealed to make a case 99 or of 100 the case gets dropped….

Anonymous said...

Usually a plea deal before the witness is revealed. They don't drop 'em if they don't have to.

Anonymous said...

UM ASS is no better than the post office that is mismanaged, out of touch and ripe with serious organizational issues. Subbaswamy and his boss, and he rest under him haven't a clue. As one person here said, remember it's never about the students. I'll go further and say it's only about bean counting. Keep the enrollments up, deny anything that could jeopardize those enrollments. You can't expect much, it's a state run school. Just as the better layers work for themselves and the rest work for the state, in a public institution you don't get the cream of the crop.

Dr. Ed said...

"UM ASS is no better than the post office that is mismanaged, out of touch and ripe with serious organizational issues."

And still living in the 1970s when its customers didn't have other options to its indifferent & poor service -- and not realizing that it is driving itself out of business.

I like the USPS analogy.

Anonymous said...

Larry, three of those members are students and a fourth technically is employed by them -- check with the state, I think that IS a public meeting...