Science and Technology News

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Man Suspected of Shooting Hesperia Deputy May be Connected to Separate Homicide
Daily Bulletin, (03/16/2017), Beatriz Valenzuela
A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy survived a shooting following an armed robbery in the early morning hours of March 16. The deputy was treated for minor injuries and released the same morning. Authorities were investigating an armed robbery that took place about 12:30 a.m.
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Duval County Creates Safety Hotline to Report School Threats
News4JAX, (03/16/2017), Francesca Amiker                
Duval County School Police will manage a new hotline, 904-348-SAFE (7233), and email address,, that students, faculty and parents can use to report threats or incidents of school violence. In addition to the anonymous tip reporting service, the school district is also instituting random searches and planning several educational programs.
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More Details Emerge in Shooting of 2 Detroit Officers
(03/16/2017), Associated Press
Two Detroit Police Department officers will recover from injuries sustained when a suspect in a narcotics investigation shot both of them during the night of March 15. One of the officers' body armor stopped two bullets to the chest area; he was shot in the ankle. The other took a hit in the neck but will survive, according to a police statement.
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'Drunk Goggles' to Help Laurie Police Educate Public About Dangers of Drunk Driving
Lake News Online, (03/18/2017)
The police department in Laurie, Mo., recently received approximately $3,500 in safety equipment thanks to a state grant, one of only three awarded by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The agency received a hand-held radar gun, six pairs of "drunk goggles" and portable breathalyzers. Police will use the goggles for public education at schools and at community events.
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Inman Police Honored for Driver Safety Program, (03/20/2017), Daniel J. Gross
The Inman (S.C.) Police Department recently received an award from the Safety Council of South Carolina's Alive at 25 program. The department has taken the 4.5 hour Alive at 25 curriculum and enhanced it by adding a component wherein high school students drive a golf cart through a parking lot course, first while texting and then while wearing "drunk goggles." The Safety Council honored the department for its innovation, which it hopes to expand to schools outside its jurisdiction.
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Madison Township Police Handle 5 Opiate Overdoses Over 3 Days as New Database Helps Track Addicts
The News-Herald, (03/21/2017), Jonathan Tressler
The Lake County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office and its Heroin Task Force have created a county-wide database that will track whether an individual who asks police for help in combatting a drug addiction actually follows through. The need to track status is a result of Ohio HB110, which allows individuals who are in violation of the state's narcotics statutes to request help in lieu of jail time. The legislation came about as police departments in Ohio, as in many others states, deal with an ever-increasing numbers of calls for opioid overdoses.
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Corrections News

How Community Paramedics Improve Care, Reduce Costs in Correctional Facilities
CorrectionsOne, (03/14/2017), Doug Wylie
In Scott County, Minn., a new program uses the skills of community paramedics to improve and expand health care provided to persons incarcerated in the local jail while also cutting health care costs. A community paramedic receives supplementary training in providing an expanded scope of care, such as extended assessments and exams, under the supervision of a licensed physician.
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Florida Senators Call Staffing Shortages in State Prisons a Crisis
WGCU, (03/16/2017), Sarah Mueller
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones has asked the state legislature for additional funding to help the state recruit and retain corrections officers. She characterized corrections officers in general as being "young, inexperienced and tired," as well forced to work a great of overtime due to staffing shortages.
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Wisconsin's Rising Prison Population Poses Budget Challenges
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, (03/17/2017), Patrick Marley
The chair of the Wisconsin Assembly Corrections Committee says the state is looking to expand drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs to help deal with rising corrections costs. Other cost-cutting measures proposed include an expanded early release program for qualified inmates and the addition of a facility targeting the needs of elderly inmates.
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Judge Allows Vocational Nurses to Administer Naloxone in Prisons
The Fix, (03/17/2017), Paul Gaita
A federal judge has granted a waiver requested by California Correctional Health Care Services that will allow licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to administer naloxone in prison settings without first obtaining permission from a doctor. Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose within minutes. Drug overdoses are among the leading causes of death in the state prison system.
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2 Mississippi Prisons Searched in Contraband Shakedown
NewsCenter 11, (03/17/2017)
Inmates at two Mississippi correctional facilities face disciplinary action after a predawn search operation on March 16 resulted in the confiscation of homemade alcohol, cell phones, cigarettes and suspected illegal drugs. Searches took place at the Yazoo County Correctional Facility in Yazoo City and the Holmes-Humphreys County Regional Correctional Facility in Lexington.
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

New $16 Million 911 Center Under Construction (03/08/2017), Stephanie Taylor
Construction is underway on a $16 million Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations and Communications Center that will house the 911 operations of all county agencies and the Emergency Management Agency. Work on the facility should be finished by December, with staff occupying the building next spring. Tuscaloosa and Northport police and fire departments, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office and Northstar Ambulance will all have space in the new building.
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Grants Help Police Crack Down on Speeding, Impaired Drivers
The Republican Journal, (03/08/2017), Ben Holbrook
The Belfast Police Department in Maine will use grants to target impaired drivers and speeders on the roads. For speed enforcement, a $10,000 grant will cover costs associated with the increased patrols and the new radar equipment for the department. Additional funding will cover increased patrols to identify impaired drivers.
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Okla. EMS Agency Equipped With Body Armor, (03/10/2017)
The Bryan County EMS in Oklahoma has added 30 ballistic-resistant vests to its protective gear for personnel. The agency's personnel will also undergo active shooter training with local law enforcement throughout the year.
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Houston Police Launch Enforcement & Information Campaign to Protect Bicyclists
Houston Public Media, (03/10/2017), Al Ortiz
Houston police have a campaign to protect bicyclists from vehicles on the city's streets. A 2013 city law requires passing vehicles to be at least three feet away from bicyclists, and trucks a minimum distance of six feet. The campaign will now enforce the law with a new C3FT device that measures the distance at which a vehicle passes a bicyclist. The campaign also raises awareness of the law by displaying electronic public safety messages and distributing brochures.
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FBI Unveils Plans for New Regional Computer Forensic Lab
Chelsea Record, (03/10/2017), Seth Daniel
The FBI plans to open a regional computer forensic lab in the new Chelsea, Mass., headquarters of the agency's Boston division. The lab can serve as a resource for area law enforcement agencies. Plans call to open the lab this spring.
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Use of High-Tech Tool to Locate Shooters May Greatly Expand in California Under Proposed Bill
Los Angeles Times, (03/13/2017), Patrick McGreevy
A California lawmaker wants to expand the use of gunshot location technology in the state. Eleven California cities currently use the gunshot detection system ShotSpotter, which uses a network of sound sensors to quickly triangulate gunshots and provide GPS coordinates for the shootings. State Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia has introduced a bill to provide state grants to law enforcement agencies to pay for gunshot detection systems and other technology to improve policing.
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Alabama School Security and Student Safety Task Force Issues Report
Dothan First, (03/10/2017), Stephen Crews
Implementation of a statewide notification system allowing school systems to immediately inform Alabama officials of emergency situations is among the recommendations included in a final report from a school safety task force. Other sample recommendations from the Alabama School Security and Student Safety Task Force include designating an individual as a safety coordinator in each local school district, and requiring local school districts to develop simplified Emergency Operating Plans that comply with guidelines provided by the Department of Education.
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LPD Officers Equipped With Overdose-Reversal Drug
Lincoln Times-News, (03/13/2017), Michelle T. Bernard
Police in Lincolnton, N.C., are among the latest law enforcement officers to begin carrying Narcan (naloxone), a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. Patrol officers and school resource officers who are assigned a vehicle and are trained to administer the drug will carry the kit, which contains intra-nasal and/or auto-injector naloxone, in their vehicles while on duty.
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Crash Course: Law Enforcement Train for Chase by Practicing for High-Speed Pursuits
Daily Journal, (03/14/2017), Michele Holtkamp
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office in Indiana recently leased a driving simulator to help deputies train on how to drive during high-speed driving situations. The sheriff's office typically has trained at a driving course in Bartholomew County. The simulator allows for training on multiple road scenarios, including high-speed pursuit, and includes three large screens and virtual mirrors to offer as close to a real-life scenario as possible.
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Corrections News

Tacoma Approves Interim Rule to Block Expansion of Immigration Detention Center
The News Tribune, (03/08/2017), Candice Ruud
The Tacoma City Council has approved an emergency ordinance that will temporarily limit where public correctional facilities can be sited within city limits and ban new or expanded private correctional facilities. The ordinance creates an interim regulation that will last six months and targets any future expansion at the Northwest Detention Center, a privately owned and operated federal immigration detention center.
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R.I. Corrections Officials to Examine Their Use of Solitary Confinement
Providence Journal, (03/09/2017), Katie Mulvaney
The Rhode Island Department of Corrections is considering ways to improve the use of solitary confinement. One suggestion is to express what officials hope to achieve by placing prisoners in segregation and developing methods of monitoring its effectiveness in reaching goals such as increased security and deterring inmate misconduct. The department will also review its disciplinary classifications so prisoners will be on written notice about the disciplinary measures for various infractions. The plans were outlined to the state House of Representatives by the Special Legislative Commission to Study and Assess the Use of Solitary Confinement in Rhode Island.
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Plan to Build Prisons Advances in Alabama Legislature, (03/09/2017), Mike Cason
An Alabama state Senate panel has approved a plan to borrow up to $775 million to build three state prisons and renovate existing ones. The bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee would allocate $125 million for renovations. Under the plan, most of the existing men's prisons would close and be consolidated into three larger, regional prisons at sites to be determined. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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State Grant Would Help Santa Barbara County Keep Mentally Ill Out of Jail
Lee Central Coastal Newspapers, (03/12/2017), April Charlton
Santa Barbara County has applied for a $3.4 million grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections for a program to promote alternatives to incarceration for the mentally ill. The county is competing with more than 50 other counties in the state for a portion of the $103 million in Proposition 47 funding, which would pay to start a pilot post-arrest diversion and support program in Santa Barbara. The aim of the pilot project would be to divert individuals with severe mental illness or substance abuse disorders to trauma-informed, community-based wraparound services. Treatment would be offered as an alternative to jail.
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Connecticut Prison in Cheshire Launches Program to Help Young Males
The Middletown Press, (03/14/2017), Luther Turmelle
A pilot program in the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut targets young men in an effort to keep them from becoming repeat offenders. Modeled on a program in Germany, the state Department of Correction's pilot program is for 70 male inmates between the ages of 18 and 25. Elements of the Cheshire prison program include using a selected group of older inmates, who are serving life sentences, to serve as mentors to their younger counterparts, and involving young inmates' families in the rehabilitation process.
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Bail Bond Reform Bills Introduced in Texas to Help Poor Defendants Get Out of Jail
Houston Chronicle, (03/08/2017), Lise Olsen
Proposed bail bond reform in Texas could eliminate cash bail for nonviolent offenders who are not deemed dangerous or a flight risk. Bills introduced in the Texas House and Senate would require judges to use a proven risk assessment tool and quickly determine within 48 hours whether a defendant accused of a nonviolent crime might be eligible for a personal bond, which carries a financial penalty only if the person fails to show up for court.
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Nevada Prisons Launch Program to Combat Opiate Addiction
Las Vegas Review-Journal, (03/14/2017), Lawren Linehan
The Nevada Department of Corrections plans to begin a pilot program in April in two prisons to use Vivitrol to help inmates with opiate addition. Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain and inhibits dopamine production, rendering no physical effect from drug use. Volunteer inmates will receive the initial injection for free a few days prior to their release, and will be set up with community providers who will continue the treatment. The program will include 100 inmates who are scheduled for release in the coming months.
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