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NEWS > 05 May 2010

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Bulgaria faces uphill fight ag
Boris Velchev took over as Bulgaria's senior prosecutor yesterday, with a brief to reduce corruption in the police and judiciary and tame organised crime.

Unless Bulgaria makes significant progress on tackling crime and corruption, its membership of the European Union may be delayed.

Mr Velchev, an academic specialist in criminal law who has not previously worked in the judicial system, says his priority will be to tackle corruption.

He says he will "investigate current flaws andsupport any change thatwill make the prosecution process more transparent".

The ... Read more

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What makes good cops go bad?

PROVIDENCE—The arrests of three Providence police officers on drug charges raise an important question.

What makes a good cop go bad?

Treat Williams plays a dirty cop in the movie “The Prince of the City.“ The film is based on the real life story of former NYPD narcotics officer Bob Leuci, whose nickname in his undercover days was “Babyface.“

Leuci got caught up in a culture of corruption in the New York City Police Department in the 1970s, but eventually he saw the light and worked undercover for then U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani to clean up corruption in the department.

Fifty-two cops were indicted based on Leuci’s testimony.

Leuci is now a successful novelist living in Rhode Island. He lectures on ethics to police departments across the country on what makes a good cop go bad.

“If you take any police department in the country—as a matter of fact, almost any police department in the world—5 percent of those guys would have been criminals had they not been policeman,“ Leuci said.

Providence narcotics officers Joseph Colanduono, Robert Hamlin and Steven Gonsalves—all charged with dealing in drugs—dealt with street criminals for years. Leuci said longevity in the street is sometimes a temptation that can’t be overcome.

“That is the most seductive, sensual world you can possibly be in. An erosion process takes place. If you stay in that business for a long enough period of time, I don’t care who you are, that street’s going to rub off onto you,“ Leuci said.

Leuci said in the Providence case, it’s not corruption. It’s a few officers who turned into alleged bad cops.

“I wouldn’t call this police corruption. This is police criminality. This has to do with somebody deciding that they need money and they’re going to take a shot,“ Leuci said.

Colanduono is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

At the Rhode Island State Police, Maj. Elwood Johnson heads up the Integrity and Ethics Division.

Johnson said it’s not a good idea to keep undercover narcotics cops on the same beat for too long.

“You’re exposed to money, contraband, drugs, unsavory people that are trying to take advantage of every situation,“ Johnson said.

Providence police are holding a new recruit academy. They declined to let NBC 10 see their classes on integrity and ethics, but a spokesman said all recruits are trained on how to avoid temptations that come with the job.

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