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San Antonio Express from San Antonio, Texas • Page 72

San Antonio, Texas
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2-H San Antonie Sunday, Dec. 13, 1970 His Business Is to Help Find Runaways Bv TED SELI. LOS ANGELES TIMES NEWS SERVICE ('a 1 Sheehy is 16. Her parents think she is and They want her back home in the Woodside of New York City on I.onii Island. Rocco Richard I.orito is also 16.

He has a large apple and a hernia scar. His mother in Babylon, Long Island, wants him back, too. The New Jer.scy parents of a looking 14-year-old with long, curly hair want him to retum. afraid he's not only using but selling narcotics. THE WAY it is with part of young America.

1970. It is a re.stless generation, on the road, fading into and out of communes, standing vacant-eyed on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, in some cases as young as 10, part of the 10,000 mna- ways reported nationally each week. here in 1 y. you see these kids out there, holding up Signs, said George Stamper, 49.

He wa.s explaining why he a "The National Mi.ssing Ymith Locator," in which the flights of Denise Sheehy and Rocco Ixxrito are reported in police terminology. Stamper's NMYL is the first known commercial effort to help find runaways. "Parents think that when they report a child missing," said, "automatically the picture and de.scription go out to every police department in the Country. That just so, not unless kind of a police warrant for a felony. JUST IMPOSSIBLE for the police to circulate pictures to all police departments." NMYL is the first known commercial effort to help find runaways.

The record in finding them to date is not particularly good, but Stamper has a file of me.ssages from police departments, social agencies and even national park service rangers, thanking him for cx)pies of the NMYL. and his pailners, Morrison F'etzer and Rolxir Conover, think the do- go(Kl effoit may eventually making a profit. But the incorporators of Solano Publications Inc. losses now run to more than $200 a weekly i.ssue, plus the initial costs of getting started. name comes from the street on the Berkeley-Albany city line where rents a desk in an old building.

has the big wooden desk at the front of the building. Outside, the overflow from 1 dispo.s.sessed youth occasionally W'ander by, with dogs who seem even more than the usually amiable, lellarless, aimless. I.S A furniture wholesale sale.sman most of the time. He has two children in college. Both are deaf, requiring special care as children and education as teenagers.

"Last year, the Berkeley police had a special drive to get some of the kids sent home from here," "I started talking with Lt. Danell Hickman about it. He was the one who told me that all they get from other police departments about runaways are teletype messages, no pictures. when I got the idea. I contacted four parents of mi.ssing kids and made up a sample paper, printing the pictures and sent it out," Stamper said.

The first sample in July went to 5,000 police agencies nationwide from a mailing list compiled from a New York firm specializing in such lists. The list has grown so far to about 8,000 copies. All are sent free, according to Stamper, although the weekly issues show subsa'iptions are available at $1.3 a year. "I JUST PUT THAT on to discourage people," Stamper said. "Actually, we have any We mail it out free to anyone who wants it and who is in a field to help He the list includes 2,792 county law agencies, 2404 city law agencies.

1,910 private investigators, plus church and agencies. Some law departments que.stion the usefulness of the publication. In Los for in.stant’e, polic'e say the effort will be in time of sheer volume. just no way to index it one veteran officer said. kids use phony names and move all the tiine.

And no way to keep the pictures available on a retrievable basis (from police records). So if it keeps getting published for a long time, lose its effectiveness from just not being filea- ble." "Now kids are in every county in the nation. They've got communes springing up all George Stamper. Both the Angeles and San Francisco departments have written polite notes to thanking him for free but noting that under California rules, police departments cannot refer complaints from parents to any commercial firms for a.ssistance. THE RULE APPARENTLY does not apply in other stales.

Many of the letters ill file are from departments across the nation, complimenting NMYL on its concept and saying that parents are being referrt'd to the newspaper by policemen. Each is.sue of NMYL contains application blanks for parents to use in describing missing youths and circumstances of their departure. i.s.sue notes that the NMYL cannot be endor.sed by police department and that the newspaper cannot accept rew'ards offered by parents. Instead, parents or guardians are asked to send a recent photograph, a completed form, and a check for $28.50 for one insertion of an advertisement. 'I'he ads run a black-bordered two by three inches deep and include a small photograph.

Stami)er sees benefits of his NMYL in Its circulation among small police agencies in out-of-the-way places. You see, different now than it was a couple of years ago," he said. "Then there were only four or five places in the country where kids went. Parents would come to Telegraph Ave. here or the Haight-Ashbury in San and walk around and maybe find their kid in a few days.

"NOW THE KIDS ARE in every ty in the nation. got communes i i up all over. No one knows w'here the kids might be. Our mailing list goes down to the little towns and little departments." A box in the middle of a recent i.ssue lists of mis.sing youths being found after an ad appeared in NMYL. makes no claim that NMYL was responsible for finding those Nor does he know if others have been located.

a parent writes us and the child is he a police department does. But as even the policemen say, when a runaway comes home, the police department is usually the last to know." One letter on file, from a police department and a 11 written by hand, thanks Stamper for a copy of his publication but says, communitv only has one runaway, a 14-year-old, and her parents want her back." Alamo Sharing Crime Problem By LEWIS FISHER Despite a slightly declining population in Alamo Heights, the crime rate in this north San Antonio suburb is on the rise. Much of the increase is attributed to outside influences. "San problems have become our problem says Alamo Heights Police Chief Leonard W. Hoyt, 42, a former U.S.

Air Force security policeman who has headed the 18-man police force for nearly two years. "We have the same prowlers, narcotics pushers and car "Alamo Heights has more overall crime than similar small cities." Leonard Hoyt, police chief. POLICE DEPARTMENT figures show a 25 per cent annual increase in calls since 1968. Records for the month of October, for example, show 3.38 calls in 1968, a total of 479 in 1969 and, this year, 663. Hoyt expects the 1970 total, not including traffic violations, to exceed 2,000.

"Alamo i has more overall crime than similar small cities," Hoyt attributing this to the large business district and to the Broadway and Highway traffic arteries which bisect the city. Vehicles on the two thoroughfares funnel 250,000 persons a day through Alamo Heights, Hoyt estimates. The high traffic rate he says facilitates the movement of burglars, who have pushed the burglary rate up 100 per cent over last yeiir, and of drug u.sers. "We have no more drug problems here than exist elsewhere," Hoyt asserts, adding that "most of our narcotics busts turn out to involve people with addresses outside Alamo Heights." FACED WITH the daily migration through Alamo Heights, the city has developed the largest suburban police force in Bexar County. As many as five patrolmen are on duty at night, often in unmarked cars.

Theirs is the only suburban force presently having a 24-hour dispatch capability, although Castle Hills is working to develop a similar arrangement. Aided by a three-way radio system, patrolmen can coordinate pursuits up Broadway with San Antonio police beginning the chase in their city. Alamo Heights is also unique in having a no-parking ordinance on city streets effective during early morning hours, making it easier for police to detect outsiders. This supplements the traditional advantage of suburban police of being familiar with a concentrated area, as op- po.sed to the vaster regions metropolitan police must patrol. As a result.

Alamo Heights police have attained an 85 per cent record in solving burglary and other cases. "We know the a the maids, what lights come on at night and what time they come on," Hoyt declares. "AND WIi GIVE instant service," he adds, thumping his forefingers on the grey steel desk in his office at the Alamo Heights City Hall. At a recent city council meeting a letter read from a housewife who had called at night to complain of an intruder. "Before I could hang up the phone a police car had arrived," she wrote.

An intense individual who keeps a .38 revolver bolstered at his side, Hoyt isd'- minutive as police chiefs go. but never had any trouble handling anyone," he says with a laugh. Hoyt is a native of Lowell,, graduated from the Florida Police Academy and is within two credits of getting an associate degree in police administration from San Antonio College. He came to San Antonio in 1961 as an Air F'orce master sergeant and during the last five years of his 20-year military career was a liason between the Air Force and the San Antonio Police Department. He became an Alamo Heights policeman in 1967.

HE AND HIS wife Grace, a teacher at Meadow' Village Elementary School in the Northside Independent School Di.s- trict, have two teenage daughters attending Churchill High School. Teenage probleins are of great concern to him, and he maintains an "open policy to youth interosted in dis- ciLssing problems of any nature. One officer is assigned to the Alamo Heights High Sch(X)l area to maintain the good will of students there. Community service ranks high in lAN S. LOVESTOCK, ALAMO HEIGHTS POLICE DISPATCHER ties performed by Alamo Heights police.

Hoyt breaks down calls answered into four approximately equal categories: public assistance, such as helping persons locked out of their cars or homes; di.sturbances, such as noise or family quarrels: accidents: aid crime. A recent case of a checked by an Alamo Heights patrolman turned out to be the first case reported in the state of a forged license of "We have no more drug problems here than exist elsewhere." Leonard Hoyt, police chief. the new type. But suburban policemen are still e.x- l)osed to life-or-death situation.s a.s are faced by their peers on metropolitan police forces. Two months ago one Alamo Heights patrolman survived an ambush by a sniper.

"THAT WAS DURING Killa-Pig says Hoyt with more than a trace of contempt in his voice, man Larry Stephens was at the corner of Ba.sse and roads at 4:36 one morning when a bullet crashed through his windshield 18 inches from his head. "He was on the radio at the time and the dispatcher heard the shot," Hoyt recalled. "All patrol cars w'ere sent to the scene, but the sniper got In another headline-grabbing incident, an Alamo Heights patrolman in 1968 shot and a man in connection with an attempted robbery of the Northeast National Bank. Hoyt has high praise for the a'bility of his men and their training background, which due to the general nature of their work must cover all fields. His concern for their recognition is echoed by Harold H.

Rother, chief of the seven-man suburban police force of neighboring Terrell Hills. "A LOT OF people think that because a small force mediocre says Rother of Terrell Hills police. "But they realize that every one of our men has been through the police academy and attends a school here once a month. Our big problem is that because of our size we promote them as quickly as we should." Although concerned over Ihe rising problems the Alamo Heights Police Department faces, Hoyt is "You measure what you deter," he notes..

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