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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, September 16, 1951, Image 144

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1951-09-16/ed-1/seq-144/

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SHE TRAPS DOPE PEDDLERS
Continued from page seven
in the hospital. We knew that
regardless of who we had to
fight, she was as good as a man.”
Her jujitsu has come in handy
at least a dozen times, Laurette
says. But usually she relies on
ruse. She has been disguised as
everything from a Greenwich
Village artist to a schoolteacher,
from an old woman to a dancer.
Sometimes she leaves a place in
one disguise and returns a few
minutes later in another.
Perhaps her most successful
disguise is the simplest one: a
girl out on a date. Early in the
morning some weeks ago Lau
rette and Detective Spinosa sat
on a stoop holding hands. Across
the street. Detective Valente,
disguised as a dope addict, was
trying to buy drugs. The seller
looked around suspiciously,
asked, “Who are those two?”
“Just a couple of kids neck
ing,” said Valente.
Inst Business
“So we necked,” recalls
Spinosa. “My wife’s very broad
minded she knows this is just
business. All the time Laurette
was watching the guy. She saw
him go to the next-door house
to get the stuff, saw the lights go
on and knew exactly what room
he kept it in. When he came
back and sold the stuff, we made
the arrest.”
It’s fairly easy to look like a
drug addict if you know how,
according to Laurette. ‘There’9
a shuffling walk, a twitch, a
running nose just keep blow
ing your nose all the time.”
Another requirement is being
on the slim side. Laurette is
quite slim enough.
A graduate of the Pickpocket
Squad, Laurette has worked in
narcotics little more than a year.
Before joining the Police Depart
ment three years ago. she had
gone from job to job, model
ing evening gowns and hats,
serving as a Chief in the Waves,
and working as a mathematician
for the Atomic Energy Commis
sion. Her true vocation dawned
“Before we start in chatting, madam, it's only
fair to warn you I'm getting paid $2.75 an hour"
on her when her father, who is
in the moving business but had
always wanted to be a cop, sug
gested that she try the Force.
“My mother didn’t like it at
first, but I guess she’s become
reconciled to it now,” Laurette
said. “I have a younger sister
who wants to be a detective, too.
As for me, I enjoyed police work
from the very beginning.”
She's One in Six
Why did she prefer it to, say,
modeling? “Well, there’s more
activity,” Laurette replied in
her usual understatement. “Also,
the satisfaction of helping cut
down on dope sellers.”
Os the Squad’s 32 active
members, only six are wom
en, and all work around the
clock. They average 60 to 70
hoursa week. In addition, they’re
always on call. Laurette may
never tell her family anything
about her work, but even when
she goes swimming (next to play
ing the violin, it’s her favorite
recreation) she leaves word as
to where she may be reached.
The nicest assignment they
have had together, the partners
agree, was “Operation Candy
Store.”
Fattening lob
While watching a Brooklyn
candy-store clerk whom they
suspected of selling heroin to
teen-agers, the two men went
on an orgy of ice-cream sodas.
After two weeks, they had gained
10 pounds each. Laurette, how
ever, suffered no after-effects
she had wisely limited her
self to coffee and soft drinks.
Meanwhile they had heard sev
eral teen-agers give the pass
word, “Yankee Doodle,” and
seen them buy capsules of heroin
over the counter. As soon as
they tracked down the clerk’s
own source of supply, they made
their arrest.
Codes and passwords are com
mon among dope sellers. With
out them, gaining admittance to
Continued on next page
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