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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 26, 2001)
Officers see other side of nightlife
POLICE from page 1
such as sexual assault cases or sui
cide calls were hard to handle.
“When its over and they’ve
been taken care of, you always
wonder if you’ve done enough.”
He crosses his fingers, “So far,
it always has.”
Kalkowski checks a parking lot
near Memorial Stadium.
Although the University Police
usually don’t deal with house par
ties, Kalkowski knows about the
animosity from students regard
ing the police.
“The problem isn't die party
ing but the alcohol overdose, die
date rapes, the violence, the
harassment,” he said.
Kalkowski remembers a stu
dent in the residence halls who, in
a drunken oblivion, put her hands
through die glass encasing of a fire
“One thing like that it makes
you think,’You know, I’m right in
the job I’m doing,’” he said
The midnight shift, or “C”
shift replaces the “A” shift There is
an upbeat attitude among officers
-they joke and tease each other. A
Community Service Officer asks
“Ski,” for a fang. Kalkowski gives in.
Officer Jerry Plessel replaces
Kalkowski on the “C” shift
Plessel said he wanted to be a
police officer because he wanted
to give back to the community.
“When you are a police officer;
you gotta be just about everything
- a social worker, a friend, the
whole nine yards,” he said.
Taking on all those roles can
cause an officer to become emo
tionally involved-something they
try hard not to da
“Once you cross that line, it
can be pretty tough,” he said.
Plessel drives by 18th and Vine
streets, checks the parking lot and
explains what he looks for when
searching for DWIs.
“I have zero tolerance for any
one driving after they have drunk.
“You're driving a machine that
could kill anyone at any given
time,” he said.
Plessel turns onto 17* Street
and watches a driver make a wide
turn from 17* Street east onto Y
Street Plessel quickly moves into
tiie east lane to follow tiie driver.
After watching the driver cross
tiie center line for several streets,
Plessel flips his lights on and
watches the car slow down and
stop at the curb.
After performing several field
sobriety tests, Plessel issues the
driver, Angel Laboy, a pre-blood
alcohol test which measures 230,
.13 over the legal limit
Plessel makes the decision to
arrest Laboy for DWI.
“Oh yeah, he’s drunk,” he said.
Plessel said Laboy's swerving
was probable cause to arrest him.
“Anyone could have been
walking on the street” he sakL
12.-05 a. m.
Plessel punches the second
floor button at the building that
houses Comhusker Place Detax.
At Detox, Laboy takes a more
accurate breath test and measures
.150, still above the limit
Laboy knows he is caught but
Piessel gives him a piece of paper
that allows him to challenge the
“Man, you got me," Laboy
After being radioed back to the
station to see an old friend, Piessel
returns to the routine circle
“Right now, I'm justwaiting for
the CSOs to call with something in
the dorms,” he said,
Piessel said usually after 1230
or 1 am, things started piddngup
until about 2 am
“There’ll be a rush,” he said.
As Piessel turns onto 17th
Street near Holdrege Street, a driv
er swerves into two lanes before
turning onto 16th Street Piessel
smiles, reaches over and flips on
“It's funny when they don’t
know you’re there or think you'll
do anything, butyou can,” he said.
The driver/David Koesters,
confesses he was drinking, but
says he was just taking his girl
friendhome to the residence halls,
a mere 200 feet away. That doesn't
matter to Piessel and his zero tol
Again notified by the dis
patcher, two CSO officers arrive,
as well as another cruiser officer.
Piessel issues field sobriety |
tests and a pre-blood alcohol test
and arrests Koesters for DWL
Just another part of “the rush,”
Piessel takes his second DWI for
the night to Detox, a familiar drive
on any typical Saturday.
Legislators decided to give
Nebraska driver’s licenses a race
lift Friday, as they approved the
final reading of a bill that will con
vert die state’s driver's licenses to
digital images and signatures.
LB574, introduced by Sen.
Curt Bromm of Wahoo, will be
sent to Gov. Mike fohanns for final
approval before being enacted.
The digital driver’s license
could appear in driver's wallets by
Many states have switched
from Nebraska’s laminated paper
driver’s license to a credit card
like identification card.
Nebraska is one of only five
states that still uses laminated
paper for driver’s licenses, which
is easier to imitate as a fake ID.
The digital driver’s license
would have a bar code containing
information about the cardhold
er, including die driver’s age and
The new technology will
bump up the fee for a Nebraska
driver’s license by $5.
The price tag on the new digi
tal technology will come to
$215,000 for the 2001-2002 fiscal
year and $675,000 for the 2002
2003 fiscal year.
The additional money will help
pay for start-up costs of the digital
IDs such as computer program
ming and installing new comput
ers and printers into Nebraska^ 100
existing examining sites.
Swimming gets axed
SWMMIN6 from page 1
the Athletic Department running
on lower budgets to accommo
date for last year’s overindul
gence, Haggerty said, the swim
ming program was running itself
on a much stricter budget than
its $13 million allocation.
“Both teams can be run on
half that and compete at a top-10
level. No question,” Haggerty
Concerns, Haggerty said,
may have come not in the day-to
day operations of the program,
but in future considerations.
Nebraska, he said, has a pool and
facilities to grow into a top-10
program. But to compete at the
next level, improvements would
have been needed, he said.
The budgetary concerns,
Haggerty said, were “under
“I don’t know if it was to the
drastic point of cutting a whole
program,” he said. “But they (the
Athletic Department) know more
than I do about how the money
goes in and out”
Bentz, who retired after he
and three of his assistants were
put on administrative leave after
the September investigation,
expressed disappointment and
disgust with how Nebraska had
handled the swimming program
during die last year.
Bentz, who said Byrne tried
to paint him and his former assis
tants as “criminals,” angrily said
the ousted coaches had been
given litde opportunity to defend
themselves in the case and had
Deen given no assistance oy me
The alleged mask of wrong
doing would give Byrne an
ample, but unsubstantiated, rea
son to cut the program, when in
reality it would be a cover for
Byrne’s budget problems, Bentz
"It’s been a budget problem
die whole time,” Bentz said, “and
that responsibility is Bill Byrne’s.”
Said Bentz when told of the
announcement released about 7
p.m. on Sunday: “I’ll guarantee
that (Bill Byrne) made that deci
sion some time ago.”
Byrne, who was athletic
director at the University of
Oregon when the swimming pro
gram was cut there, said looming
NCAA sanctions “accelerated the
process” but, “with our continu
ing budget concerns, we believe
discontinuing swimming is the
appropriate course of action to
take at this time.”
Byrne will meet with mem
bers of the men's swimming and
diving teams today to clarify the
decision. Scholarships of swim
ming and diving athletes will
continue to be honored, Byrne
Priority one is now helping
swimmers find other schools to
compete at Byrne said.
“It was a very difficult deci
sion, and we pledge our support
to than in helping them find new
schools. And for those student
athletes who choose to continue
their education at Nebraska, we
will honor our current scholar
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