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Column

Cold cases heat up in college classroom

By ERNEST HOOPER
Published April 25, 2007


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Cold cases.

The very phrase speaks to the frustration law enforcement must endure when a criminal's trail grows cold and the crime goes unsolved.

Barry Glover, however, is undaunted. The retired Clearwater police captain speaks about his ongoing pursuits tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center's Jaeb Theater. The presentation is part of the Conversations With Influence series, a continuing program of Leadership Tampa Alumni.

Glover now teaches in St. Leo University's Department of Criminal Justice. His senior seminar class gives students the opportunity to help solve crimes for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

"I'm very passionate about what I'm doing," Glover said. "Eventually we will solve one of these cases. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

Glover says local law enforcement agencies welcome the help. They often lack the resources to give old cases a fresh look. Glover wants to call attention to the importance of cold case work so elected officials will be more willing to lend support.

"We want to bring to the public attention that these cases deserve to be worked and resources need to be allocated," Glover said. "Not only do we have victims that deserve some type of justice and closure, but look at the other side - there are still killers out there."

* * *

When a journalism ethics expert, a spoken word artist, a Muslim leader and Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem get together, there's a pretty good chance it's not for a game of Monopoly.

Race, Gender and Media, Post-Imus will be held Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Campus Activities Center at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

In the wake of the Don Imus controversy, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists is staging the town hall meeting Thursday to discuss where to go from here. Few people are in a better position to help answer that question than Clem, the former WXTB-FM 97.9 98 Rock shock jock who now has his own show on Sirius satellite radio.

Other panelists include USF journalism professor Jay Black, spoken word poet L.I.F.E. and Ahmed Bedier, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Hopefully, the conversation will center on acceptable standards for all instead of different rules for different people. In 2007, the argument no longer can be framed with the hypocrisy of "it's okay for us to use that word, but it's not okay for you."

Artistic boundaries, whether you're talking about comedic efforts or hip hop songs, are best defined by universal truths. If it's wrong for one man to utter a phrase, than it's wrong. Period.

Of course, I don't think we should sanitize everything we view and hear. The debate shouldn't be about outlawing humor and offensive language; it should be about promoting human decency.

Most important, however, is the discussion.

The dismissal of Imus won't mean a thing without meaningful dialogue about the importance of free speech and the power of words.

That's all I'm saying.

Ernest Hooper can be reached at hooper@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3406.

[Last modified April 25, 2007, 00:42:38]


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