28 October 2000

Thomas F. Egan, Chairman
Board of Trustees
State University of New York
State University Plaza
Albany, New York 12245

Dear Chairman Egan:

I was delighted last year with the State University's decision to appoint Tom Constantine a Public Service Professor in his retirement. I was even more pleased with the news that he will be overseeing the establishment of a Leadership Institute for Police Executives of New York State. As a student of law enforcement, I am acutely aware that we have been remiss in providing our police executives with adequate academic preparation to shoulder the burdens of their office. I've nonetheless been confident that New York would show the same leadership it did in 1959 when Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller signed into law the nation's first minimum basic training requirement for new police officers. The profession has come a long way since that day and no one more fully epitomizes its long and dedicated evolution toward excellence than Professor Constantine. I saw him present the concept of the Leadership Institute to our police chiefs' professional association in August. It was very well received and I can assure you that under his aegis, they will make it a smashing success.

And now onto other things.

Chancellor King's office has told me that the University has been developing a concept for a program that will make the intellectual and technical resources of the University community more dynamically accessible to support law enforcement in its struggle against international criminal and terrorist conspiracies. These organizations are the greatest contemporary threat to our democratic values and to our nation's peace and prosperity. Their ruthlessness and their resources are unprecedented in history. State, local and federal law enforcement agencies have the heart and courage needed to confront them, but they must be supported by huge intellectual and technological resources. All of the best minds must join us in waging this historic struggle. So I applaud the Chancellor and the Trustees for taking up the task and I look forward to reading the Provost's status report on the progress of this initiative that I have been promised.

That being said, I should tell you that in 1999, there landed on my desk a scholarly article authored by then DEA Administrator Constantine that had been submitted for publication in a SUNY periodical. I had been asked to do some editorial work on it. His optimistic thesis was that the history of America's confrontation with the traditional Italian-American Mafia provides a firm foundation for developing the strategies we will need to confront and defeat the emerging international conspiracies that threaten the world's peace and prosperity today. Although Professor Constantine decided not to publish it at the time, the thesis of his article was so compelling to me that, as I have many a time in the past ten years, I went to the State Legislature with a proposal for legislation inspired by what I had learned from the Professor. That proposal is alive and well and will be before the Legislature during the 2001 General Session. I have no doubt that it can be reconciled with the concept being developed by the Provost and present us in the very near future with a powerful response to the phenomenon of international criminal and terrorist conspiracies.

That as well being said, I look forward to working with -- and better yet -- for the State University of New York to make this concept a reality. The bill I drafted calls for an endowed chair and I should like to be handed the task of building that endowment.

Yours truly,
Albany, NY


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