The Law: Police: Deputy Doe, B.A.

"This nation can't afford bargain-basement cops any more," says Oregon's Multnomah County (Portland) Sheriff Donald Clark. But bargain-basement cops are what many cities get as they compete for manpower with widely varying standards of pay, training and competence. Moreover, the country's swiftly changing laws daunt even bright cops, who now have to cope with Supreme Court decisions that sometimes baffle even learned justices.

Almost everyone agrees that U.S. police sorely need more education, but few people do anything about the problem. Sheriff Clark has just made a start by getting the county civil-service commission to set new rules aimed at sharply upgrading...

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