Science and Technology News

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Department Upgrades Body Armor Vests
KAIT Region8 News, (09/14/2017), Japhanie Gray
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department in Arkansas has purchased 16 heavy duty metal plates to use inside body armor. The plates, paid for with a $3,500 grant, weigh five pounds each and add protection. Deputies have been wearing the extra plate during high-risk situations and on search warrants.
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Ore. Trooper Saved by Ballistic Vest, (09/13/2017), Samantha Matsumoto for The Oregonian
An Oregon state trooper on an attempted traffic stop near Creswell was saved by his ballistic-resistant vest when the suspect shot him. The trooper returned fire and the suspect fled; he was captured later in the day.
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UPD Trains Faculty for Active Shooter Situation
Pipe Dream, (09/17/2017), Sasha Hupka
Police recently held a training at Binghampton University on strategies for surviving an active-shooter situation. The training used simulation, discussion and a video. Madeline Bay, deputy chief of police at Binghamton University's New York State University Police, said police have been training students, faculty and staff on the topic for years.
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Local Sheriff, Police Departments Receive Over $20,000 in Grants
Cannon Courier, (09/18/2017)
Approximately 400 grants exceeding $18 million will be distributed to law enforcement agencies in Tennessee to support local highway safety initiatives. The grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be distributed through the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. The Cannon County Sheriff's Department received a $10,000 grant and the Woodbury Police Department received $10,700.
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New Jersey Schools Turn to Anti-Drug Programs in Response to Opioid Crisis
CBS New York, (09/18/2017)
Anti-drug programs such as LEAD and DARE are being revived in New Jersey as part of the response to a surge in opioid use. Twenty-three law enforcement officers from across New Jersey are training in Somerset County to become DARE officers. DARE and Law Enforcement Against Drugs offer drug education and violence prevention programs.
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UMD Opens Outdoor Flight Laboratory to Advance Autonomy, Robotics
The University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering has opened a netted enclosed outdoor flight laboratory for testing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region. Located near the main College Park campus, the Fearless Flight Facility is a 100-foot wide, 300-foot long and 50-foot high netted enclosure that allows testing in wind and weather conditions. It also serves as a link between the Clark School of Engineering's College Park labs and the university's UAS Test Site in Maryland's St. Mary's County.
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Corrections News

Correctional Officers Need Raises, Lawmakers Told
Charleston Gazette-Mail, (09/17/2017), Phil Kabler
West Virginia lawmakers were recently told the state needs to raise starting salaries for correctional officers in state prisons and regional jails in order to compete with pay rates in neighboring states and reduce high turnover rates. Regional Jail Authority executive director David Farmer told a legislative committee the state needs to raise salaries to at least $30,000 from the current $24,664 to stay competitive. Farmer said regional jails lost 600 officers last year and currently have 255 vacancies.
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Jail Staff Trained to Use Narcan to Prevent Opioid Overdoses
The Morning Call, (09/17/2017), Pamela Lehman
The staffs at jails and work release facilities in Northampton and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania are now trained to use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses. Despite efforts to keep contraband out, authorities acknowledge that drugs still make it into jails. This summer, both county jails announced a program to offer inmates Vivitrol, a drug used to block cravings for opioids and alcohol. The program also offers inmates educational therapy, including advice on coping skills and strategies to stay clean.
Link to Article

Jail Training Aims to Improve Addiction Treatment
Bismarck Tribune, (09/11/2017), Jack Dura
North Dakota jail administrators and medical and mental health staff met in September to discuss issues surrounding inmate addiction treatment. The Heartview Foundation and Community Medical Services contracted with the North Dakota Department of Human Services for correctional training and technical assistance, working with jails to help develop policies.
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Lancaster's Life-Training Boot Camp Keeps People From Returning to Prison
The Inquirer, (09/15/2017), Bobby Allyn for WHYY
A Pennsylvania intensive care-management program to help incarcerated individuals succeed after release is having impressive results. The Lancaster model has a recidivism rate of just 15 percent among former inmates who participate in the program in Lancaster. Program participants are provided with transitional housing and job workshops on personal finances, resumes and learning how to talk about the offense that landed them behind bars. Each person is assigned a case manager, who monitors weekly goals. Probation and parole officials in Lancaster are partners in the program.
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How Diverting Mothers From Prison May Break the Cycle of Incarceration
PBS News Hour, (09/14/2017), Rebecca Beitsch for Stateline
This article discusses the benefits of programs that divert mothers from prison. In Oklahoma City, pregnant women who are facing imprisonment for nonviolent offenses can avoid doing time and stay with their children by participating in a program known as ReMerge. The program, which is also open to mothers who have already lost custody of their children, includes two years of intensive therapy, parenting classes and job training. Women who graduate have their charges dropped.
Link to Article

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Caribbean Calls for Aid; Airmen Use Analytical Skills in Irma Recovery

By Senior Airman Anthony Agosti, 118th Wing, Public Affairs, Tennessee Air National Guard

Last week, Hurricane Irma hit the southern United States coast, and while there was little that could be done to lessen her impact, Airmen from the 118th Wing utilized their skills in geospatial imagery analysis, and experience in working previous natural disasters, to provide damage assessment products to first responders on the ground, and therefore quicken the recovery process.

“[We] first started in Puerto Rico, and moved to a small island outside of Puerto Rico, and did a lot of damage assessments there,” said Master Sgt. Lauren, a member of the 118th Wing. “And then we moved to Florida, it keeps growing each day.”

“The way things are now a days with technology, there’s not really a friction of distance or time,” said Capt. Charles, a member of the 118th Wing. “We can create a product, upload it to a common portal they have access to and they can get it pretty quick as well.”

The process in which the Airmen create the damage assessment products requires going through numerous satellite pictures of the area from multiple agencies.

“Basically we look at the first image, pre-disaster imagery, and then we look at the home or whatever we are trying to analyze,” said Lauren. “Then we compare it to the post-disaster imagery we are receiving daily.”

“We’ve had Civil Air Patrol imagery, imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, as well as from NASA,” said Charles. “USGS [United States Geological Survey] has been another big source as well.”

From the images, the 118th Airmen are able to identify a variety of damage inflicted by the hurricane.

“Mainly [we see] wind damage, a lot of blown debris, collapsed structures; and every now and then, depending on when the image was shot, you’ll see flooding,” said Charles. “We can also see if anything leaks, if there are materials or substances that are unnatural that leak into natural waterways.”

The 118th Airmen have already created over 100 damage assessment products from the imagery for ground crews to use, said Lauren.

With the birds-eye view and analysis the Airmen are able to provide, it provides essential advice to the first responders on the ground.

“FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] has been getting back with us saying it’s really helpful,” said Lauren. “It’s going to speed up their reach out to these people who’ve lost their homes.”

“The feedback we’ve gotten is that they’ve incorporated a lot of the stuff we have produced, and it’s helped make their job easier,” said Charles. “Being able to provide them some of those situational awareness products, and say ‘Hey don’t worry so much about this area, this area is a little more impacted,’ again helps drive their decision making process.”

Evolution of Cyber Requires Change As Normal Concept, Rogers Says

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Sept. 19, 2017 — The cyber world will look quite different in two years and five years than it does today, Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, said today.

Speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference here, the admiral addressed defending the newest frontier and breaking the cyber barrier.


Because cyber is ever evolving, “The idea that we’re going to stick to a specific construct, a specific set of operational practices, or a specific set of skill sets over time, I think, is very flawed,” said Rogers, who is also the chief of the Central Security Service.

The Defense Department must become used to change as a normal component of the cyber mission set, and what the implications of that change are, he said.

Cybersecurity and the broad fundamentals he said he would highlight are cyber’s ability to bring together multiple perspectives and multiple organizations to achieve the desired outcome.

“The idea that the DoD all by itself is just going to defend its networks [is not] going to get us where we need to go,” the admiral noted.

Four Focus Areas

“When we look at what we should be defending, … the four things I tend to focus on [are] networks, platforms, weapons systems, and data,” Rogers said.

“As we’re trying to build a future for us from a joint perspective within the DoD, we are very focused on those four areas increasingly,” he added.

‘We’re also asking ourselves: ‘What do we need to evolve to? What does the future look like?’ It’s not necessarily where we are today,” Rogers said.

Open To Ideas

Rogers said he’s grateful that DoD’s leaders tell commanders and intelligence professionals to be open to the idea the future is going to be different from the past.

“The underlying principles remain fairly consistent over time, but the way we go about achieving [and] organizing to achieve them evolves over time,” he said.