April 16, 2005

Detective Drew was the best

Drew was among the best of the best in law enforcement. During his legendary career he was responsible for putting more than 500 criminals in prison.

He was so good that criminal defense lawyers preferred not to have him testify. Instead, they’d advise their clients to plead "guilty" rather than risk a jury trial where the penalty could go much higher.

One of Drew’s important cases in the early 1980s went all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. In that case, two men were convicted of breaking into a hardware store and stealing expensive power tools.

Deputies had called Drew out in the middle of the night to work that case. Though they were hours behind the crooks, the veteran sleuth tracked the burglars through thickets and mud fields until the posse reached a ramshackle hut along a dirt road. Based on the law of "hot pursuit," Drew led his fellow officers up the front porch steps. The command, "Police! Open up!" was quickly followed by a kick from the foot of a burly deputy. Inside, officers found two men hiding under bed covers. Drew had skillfully followed the suspects’ trail for more than three miles through rough terrain from the crime scene to the arrest scene.

Lawyers appealed the conviction. But by the time it was over, the highest court in the land upheld Drew’s actions and the conviction stood.

The warrantless arrest was valid, the high court said, because Drew maintained "hot pursuit" of the suspects, even though the posse was hours behind the burglars.

Drew died nearly a decade ago from cancer. But in the minds of many police veterans who knew him, the mere mention of Drew’s name causes a feeling of pride for deeds that may never again be equalled. They know there’s not likely to be another like him. Drew was, indeed, a truly remarkable police bloodhound.

No comments:

Post a Comment