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Council’s indecision, stolen guns put cops in news

Citizen Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Citizen staffer Judy Carlock reviews the week’s events, probably for the last time.

Police are supposed to solve mysteries, not create them. This week, a startling revelation followed a marathon closed meeting of the Tucson City Council: The city will stop a nationwide search for a new police chief and rely instead on its own ranks.

The Citizen decided the issue important enough to allow using two unnamed sources who confirmed the story. Who squawked? The county attorney wants to know.

We don’t have to tell them.

Other Tucson Police Department news: Off-duty Officer Allen Johnson, 26, died when his bicycle was rear-ended Tuesday on Old Spanish Trail. And Monday, we reported 10 guns had been stolen from TPD officers since 2002.

Given the size of their arsenal, that’s not bad.

THE PLATE DEBATE: None of the police chief candidates said he would make enforcing federal immigration law a priority. Good. The feds have people for that. For the most part, the feds don’t investigate local murders, rapes or other violent crimes.

If officers are going to choose which laws not to enforce, some Citizen readers would prefer they’d pick the one fining drivers heavily if the word “Arizona” is obscured by a license plate frame. Now some lawmakers are trying to get that rule rolled back.

How is it the Legislature keeps passing laws it doesn’t believe in?

MILDCATS: For 24 years the University of Arizona men’s basketball team determined how staffers here schedule vacations. First-round losses in the NCAA meant fewer pages to put out in the subsequent two weeks.

The Final Four? A special section. A championship? Saturation coverage before, during and after.

This year, the Cats’ fortunes don’t matter so much, what with the last Citizen rolling off the press March 21.

The chances of finding a buyer are even smaller than UA’s chances of getting picked on selection Sunday.

NEW ON BOOZE: Willie Tuitama’s arrest on suspicion of extreme DUI Monday might hurt his chances in the NFL draft.

Local police are letting spring break revelers know they’re serious about enforcement.

Meanwhile, former Phoenix Sun and pontificator at large Charles Barkley finished his weekend at Maricopa County’s Tent City on Monday.

He didn’t have to wear pink underwear because he was on work release, said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Maybe he went commando.

KID STUFF: Of all the places to cut the state budget, laying off Child Protective Services caseworkers sounds like one of the worst. Cutting 112 from the staff makes the agency 15 percent smaller than it was earlier this year.

Said state Sen. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson: “I think it will result in dead kids.”

A salute to the young mom who gave her baby up to University Medical Center last weekend. She did the right thing under the state’s Safe Haven law.

The really lousy parents seem to think they’re doing just fine. Like Christopher Payne, accused of starving his children to death in 2006. Prosecutors say he didn’t want to pay child support.

The prosecution in Payne’s case rested this week. The defense is off to a bumpy start.

Judy Carlock can be reached at jcarlock@tucsoncitizen.com or 573-4608. For more on these articles, see this story at www.tucsoncitizen.com.

Policing the city finds cops in the news

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