The Lloyd Sealy Library received a 2015/16 METRO Digital Conversion Grant to digitize the full run of Law Enforcement News. John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) published L.E.N. continuously for 30 years beginning in September 1975. The highly acclaimed newspaper, for and about American policing, ceased publication with its September 2005 issue.
Watch this space as issues become digitially available on the Internet Archive.
The previous LEN Online website was a very early digital project for the Lloyd Sealy Library in which we provide the text of excerpts and full articles for selected issues published in 1996 - 2005. All issues are also available on microfilm in the library. This journal is also selectively indexed by Criminal Justice Periodicals Index (CJPI - JJay login required).
Law Enforcement News - Fact Sheet
by Marie Simonetti Rosen Publisher of Law Enforcement News
Law Enforcement News was continuously published from September 1975 through September 2005 by John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In its 30 years of publication, it produced 636 issues. It had 5,000 paid subscribers. Reader surveys indicated that the newspaper had a pass-along value of four, bringing its readership to approximately 20,000. Law Enforcement News was circulated in all 50 states and 50 foreign countries. It readership comprised 30% law enforcement executives (chiefs/commissioners of police and directors of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, 30% supervisory personnel (sergeants, lieutenants, captains, etc.), and 30% entry level personnel (police officers, agents, deputy sheriffs, etc). The remaining 10% were criminal justice educators, researchers, reporters, and elected officials. In a study conducted by the National Institute of Justice, LEN came in third among 15 criminal justice publications for being the most widely read. (The top two publications were produced and distributed for free to members of national police professional organizations. The study also showed that LEN was more widely read than The FBI Bulletin.)
Editorial Content & Influence
Law Enforcement News focused on police policy, practice, research, and innovation nationwide. It promoted the sharing of information among law enforcement agencies and the research community. It provided its readers with news, features, and interviews with police chiefs and policy makers. Although the paper published opinion pieces from readers, it did not publish editorials of its own allowing readers to draw their own conclusions. It did not report on crime per se, but it did report on police response to crime. For example, it covered community policing, broken windows, and COMPSTAT in their infancy and continued to report on these trends as they made their way throughout the nation. Still another example was how police changed their response to domestic violence over time. Its coverage of police use of force was ongoing. As editorial content grew, LEN, printed on tabloid size newsprint, produced approximately 70 stories of varying length – from a column inch to several pages – for approximately 20, 000 words in each issue.
LEN’s influence was felt far and wide. The paper received more than 50 requests annually for reprints primarily for use in criminal justice text books for undergraduates and graduates alike. Numerous criminal justice professors throughout the country used LEN in their classes as a primary source. Its reporting on the possible health hazards to police from using radar guns, which was put into the Congressional Record after OSHA became involved, led to a segment on “60 Minutes”. An award-winning series on policing in Indian country helped shape a number of Justice Department initiatives regarding tribal lands during the Clinton Administration. LEN received another award for its coverage concerning the impact of 9/11 on local law enforcement. The newspaper was even mentioned in Thomas Harris’s best-selling novel “The Silence of the Lambs”. Chuck Wexler, Director of the Police Executive Research Forum -- one of the country’s leading police organizations – said of the paper’s passing, “LEN stood out as a singularly reliable place to get in-depth stories about our world. No other publication matched its balanced, comprehensive and professional reporting, and it remains to be seen whether another will.” (Subject to Debate: A Newsletter of the Police Executive Research Forum, Vol.19, No. 11, November 2005)
Books and Articles about Law Enforcement News
Balton, Michael (1978) European policing: the Law enforcement news interviews. New York: Published for the Criminal Justice Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, by the John Jay Press, c1978. Stacks - HV 8194 .A2 E9
Rosen, Marie Simonetti. (2005) Law Enforcement News: 15 Years in Review (1989–2003). Appendix 1 in Vol. 2 of Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Larry E. Sullivan, et al. (Eds.) Federal. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Reference. [available with JJay or CUNY log-in via Gale Virtual Reference Library.]