Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: March 2014


Lost aircraft, devastating mudslide a reminder of the limits of human endeavor

Your basic modern human lives in a world of his own creation. With the Internet and big box stores, virtually any product is within reach. The answer to nearly every conceivable question requires little more than a few taps on a smartphone. With modern transportation, nearly any part of the globe is accessible within a day.

We control our world, or so our hubris would have us believe. My gawd, are we stupid.

All it took was the loss of a single aircraft, Malaysian Flight 370 to be specific, for many of us to question our

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Infused cannabis: the unholy marriage of marijuana and munchies

In Colorado, marijuana is getting a makeover. For the entrepreneurs trying their hand in this newly legalized marketplace, the image of Cheech and Chong giggling behind a reeking cloud of pot smoke is no longer profitable.

Instead, their new mascot must be Willy Wonka.

How else to explain the new line of cannabis infused treats like mints, candy bars and cakes (whatever happened to plain old brownies?) being created at startups such as Denver’s Dixie Elixirs. According to Jordan Schrader’s well researched articles on Colorado’s nascent industry, this is just the first of many entrepreneurial

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day – now go reserve a cab

March 17th in Ireland is little more than one more religious holiday in a country tethered to Catholic tradition. Forget the ads for “Best Irish Tavern” and “Legendary Pub Crawl.” On the Emerald Isle, Saint Patrick’s Day comes and goes with little fanfare. The only green you’ll find is the grass.

Obviously, that is not the case in the U.S. (or New Ireland, as the legion of my Irish and Irish-American cousins could legitimately name it), where tapping a keg, dancing a jig and kissing nearly anything green on St. Paddy’s Day approaches the level of a Celtic Mardi Gras.

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A cool equation: cup + camera = arrest

As a rookie cop, one of my favorite jobs was searching for clues at crime scenes. If an object bore even a hint of a fingerprint, I’d have it buried under a blanket of black powder before you could say, “That’s my new stereo!”

Despite my zeal, and the success of crime scene technicians both fictional and real, police officers are able to gather plenty of evidence without the need for high tech gizmos. One does not need an infrared camera or a DNA swab to decipher the information on items such as a receipt, a business card or the

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From drug texts to NSA: the privacy imbalance

When a Longview police detective seized the phone of a drug dealer in 2009 and conducted a warrantless search, the subsequent arrest sparked yet another legal battle over privacy rights in the digital age.

According to an AP story by Barbara LaBoe, the case against a man whom police lured into a drug arrest using the dealer’s phone was overturned by the State Supreme Court last Thursday. I admit to mixed feelings on this ruling.

When a search and seizure issue emerges during an investigation, obtaining a search warrant is a foolproof remedy. But police work, with its

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