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Poured Into That Uniform: The new sheriff's poster deputies are Jim Singleton, Rob Paul, and Nellie Rodriguez.

Public Eye

Pretty Police

Calendar centerfolds, look out! Here come the new-model cops. County sheriffs are putting their best faces forward in an ad campaign meant to attract the next generation of smokies. The Santa Clara County Office of the Sheriff formally announced its recruitment campaign, "New faces of law enforcement," at a press conference held in San Jose Monday, April Fool's Day. For the first time, the agency hired an advertising firm to help get an invitation out to future cops. ... After the 10-year hiring freeze that followed its split from the Department of Corrections, the Sheriff's Department intends to fill about 100 positions over the next year and a half, as older deputies retire. In addition to a new recruiting website, www.gosheriff.com, print ads already started running this month and billboards will follow. ... The Sheriff's Department hired Carter Israel Advertising & Public Relations to round up, interview and photograph deputies for the recruitment campaign. "We found some people who happened to be very photogenic, as well as good citizens," Carter Israel's VIC HEMAN said. "It took a little coaching and convincing because they're getting a bit of good-natured ribbing." Sheriff's Department officials and Carter Israel picked deputies NELLIE RODRIGUEZ, ROB PAUL and JIM SINGLETON to stoically pose for a series of ads. ("You, too, can be a serious, no-nonsense cop type person.") Interestingly, although Heman stresses the Sheriff's Department's desire to portray its diversity ("They want to recruit Asians and Hispanics and especially women," he says), the deputy poster boys and girl look strikingly similar to each other, ethnic and gender differences notwithstanding.


Lamborghini, Anyone?

Internet auction supersite eBay acknowledged a security hole last week after the Canadian computer security expert NULL told an Internet news site that anyone with cut-and-paste skills could copy code from a browser's address bar and reset another eBay user's password. Officials at the Campbell-based firm said last week they didn't think anyone's accounts were compromised though. ... Well, on Monday the San Diego district attorney's office notified Metro that the winning bid on an item it had listed and sold--a lease for half a VIP box at Shoreline Amphitheatre--had been placed by a fraudulent bidder. eBay brass say they don't know if the hacker--who went on a half-hour shopping rampage and placed 53 winning bids on $1.2 million in merchandise--exploited the security hole revealed last week. ... Among the items purchased by the merry misanthrope: 17 cars, among them a $57,999 Porsche 911 Carrera, a $23,500 Porsche Boxster and a Pearl Orange $260,000 Lamborghini Diablo owned by a "well known celebrity." Besides securing rights to sit next to Metro employees and clients for the entire 2002 concert season (cost: a cool $22 grand), the little twerp also snagged the right to purchase an assortment of rare collectible baseball cards, Britney Spears tickets, underwater photography equipment and a couple of Buffy the Vampire Slayer box sets. The pièce de résistance, however, may be "a revenue generating active porn site" with "over 2.25 million newsgroup images ... all nicely thumbnailed for your spanking pleasure" by a seller who claimed that "5 Islamic militant midgets kidnapped me at gunpoint and force [sic] me into the pr0n [sic] business." ... Ebay brass say it's almost unheard of for hackers to hijack identities to place phony bids. Usually disreputable parties prefer to assume the identity of a well regarded seller in order to make money. ... In the meantime, anyone want to share a box at Shoreline?

Career Breaker Dot Bomb

Wanted: President, unaffected by so-so revenue streams or grabby competitors. Must relocate to San Jose. The recent gnashing sound emanating from the Knight Ridder building wasn't its huge sign creaking in the wind. It was Tony Ridder's teeth as his main bandwidth jockey jumped ship. On Monday, April 8, Knight Ridder Digital President DAN FINNIGAN accepted a position at Yahoo! where he'll become executive vice president of Yahoo!-owned recruitment site Hotjobs.com--the main competition for Knight Ridder's Careerbuilder.com, one of the many Internet products Finnigan used to manage. In a published report on Yahoo!'s Finance site, GREG COLEMAN, executive vice president of North American operations brags, "Dan's experience, leadership style, and reputation as a visionary who also possesses outstanding operational skills will help us create a powerful force in the recruitment marketplace." Uh, yeah. A search for Dan's replacement is imminent. According to an internal memo, KR wants to shore up the successor by early next week, so all you wannabe bigwigs: comb your hair, grow a belly and post your ad now, preferably on Careerbuilder.

What Would Cesar Say?

Emails are flying and the Municipal Employees Federation is bristling over the fact that the city's 911 dispatchers got stiffed for CESAR CHAVEZ DAY this year. It seems that the holiday was awarded to all city employees as part of a sweeping program nationally to honor Latino hero and UFW legend Cesar Chavez. But the 200 dispatchers, who traditionally receive in-lieu pay for holidays since they can't take them off, didn't get squat. ... "The city absorbed the cost of the holiday for 95 percent of the members of MEF, but as far as dispatchers there's nothing there for them," one member complains. ... The city, supposedly (although no one called Eye back), has pled poverty on the issue. At around $200 a pop, paying the 200 dispatchers for the day would run the city another $40,000, something the city doesn't want to shell out. MEF Prez BILL POPE, who says the union hasn't received a formal response yet, says, "It's surprising to me because we've had a difficult time recruiting dispatchers, and keeping them. Of all the groups to have to be excluded from a holiday, this is the wrong group." The final kicker? This coming week is National Telecommunications Week, where the dispatchers will be honored with ice cream sundaes, free espressos and barbecues. But it may take a lot more than that for the union to swallow this one.

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From the April 11-17, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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