Police Chief Sees Drug Toll With Father's Eyes

Preston Peet ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Thu Aug 25 00:52:28 EDT 2005


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/24/national/24baltimore.html?

Police Chief Sees Drug Toll With Father's Eyes

By JAMES DAO and GARY GATELY
Published: August 24, 2005
BALTIMORE, Aug. 17 - Nicole Sesker sleeps in vacant buildings. She sells her 
body to buy heroin, living from trick to trick and fix to fix while dodging 
police officers who chase her from the street corners she haunts in plastic 
heels.
"I'm a survivor," said Ms. Sesker, a petite 36-year-old, in the rough-edged 
neighborhood of discount liquor stores and boarded-up row houses that she 
calls home. "I'm out here surviving."
In Baltimore, where the drug trade has brought one of the highest murder 
rates in the country, her story might not seem remarkable except for one 
detail: the stepfather who raised her from age 3 is the city's newest police 
commissioner, Leonard D. Hamm.
For nearly two decades Mr. Hamm has struggled with his stepdaughter's 
addiction, having discovered by reading her diary that the one-time star 
athlete snorted cocaine at age 17. He helped her find work, housing and 
rehabilitation only to see her lapse. Now he has reached a painful 
conclusion: she will find the strength to change only after she sinks lower.
"When she gets sick and tired of being sick and tired, I'll be there for 
her," Mr. Hamm said. "She's not there yet."
In his first interview about his stepdaughter, Mr. Hamm, 56, said he decided 
to speak to dramatize the depth of the drug problem in Baltimore and to 
underscore the need for new strategies.
As the new commissioner of one of the nation's largest police departments, 
Mr. Hamm is in the position of shaping his city's drug enforcement policies 
and his approach is clearly being colored by his painful experiences with 
his stepdaughter.
snip-
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Peace and love,
Preston Peet

"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment is often 
mistaken for madness"
Richard Davenport-Hines

ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Editor http://www.drugwar.com
Editor "Under the Influence- the Disinformation Guide to Drugs"
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