Science and Technology News

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Public Safety Technology in the News

Public Safety Technology in the News

NYPD Using High Tech K9 Units
WABC, (02/01/2012), Joe Torres

New technology recently implemented by the New York Police Department adds a wireless infrared camera to a canine officer's harness to allow human officers to see what is happening from a short distance away. Dogs can also get into small openings and crevices that are inaccessible to humans, and the camera will then send back information to the dogs' handlers. NYPD's canine officers are also now equipped with GPS tracking collars that keep them in touch with their human partners at all times.
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Cape Police More Efficient With In-car Laptops
Southeast Missourian, (02/06/2012), Patrick T. Sullivan

A Missouri Police Charitable Foundation Grant has enabled officers with the Cape Girardeau (Mo.) Police Department to file reports from their cars instead of returning to the police station, eliminating considerable downtime and putting more officers on the streets for longer periods of time. Grant funds purchased 29 laptops that allow officers to file their reports from the field, look up warrants and locate their fellow officers. Cape Girardeau had been the largest police department in the state that lacked in-car laptops.
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Meridian Township Police Use Facebook to Solve Crimes, (02/07/2012), Caroline Vandergriff

The Meridian Township (Mich.) Police Department uses Facebook® and Twitter to inform local residents, share tips and alerts, and solicit input from area citizens into helping solve crimes. Since April 2011, the department has identified more than 10 suspected shoplifters by posting their photos on social media sites. The department also has a blog and recommends the use of social media to other law enforcement agencies.
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Dogs Take Bite Out of Big Cell Phone Business in Prison, (02/07/2012)

At Kern Valley State Prison in California, Sybil, a two-year old Belgian Malinois, sniffs out cell phones in the maximum security unit and helped to recover 475 cell phones in 2011. More than 15,000 contraband cell phones were located in California state prisons last year. Inmates use the phones to conduct criminal activity and phones may sell within the system for as much as $1,500 each. Handlers use another dog, Mongo, to locate illegal drugs.
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Florida Law Enforcement Increasingly Reliant on Mobile Video Surveillance Vehicle
SmartPlanet, (02/09/2012), Jenny Wilson

The Ft. Lauderdale Police Department and Brink's, a security services company, have collaborated to create "The Peacemaker," a surveillance vehicle used to target high-crime areas with its video cameras. The city began using the vehicle in August 2011 and has seen a measurable decline in crimes rates in the targeted areas. The vehicle's surveillance equipment is operational 24/7.
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O.C. Police Introduce Taser Program
WBOC 16, (02/09/2012), Aisha Khan

In Ocean City, Md., the police department recently deployed Tasers® for the first time, but only after all officers received training, including extra training for the 14 officers who will actually carry the X2 less-lethal weapon. The devices range in cost from $1,000 to $1,300, and were paid for with funds realized from drug seizures.
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Group Offers Weapons Against Cyber Crime
The Daily Item, (2/10/2012), Francis Scarcella

The Safe Surfin' Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in Bedford, Va., offers Cop-in-a-Box, a program with a goal of helping law enforcement officers conduct investigations against Internet sexual predators. The nonprofit organization offers the tool to selected agencies affiliated with the Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; each Cop-in-a-Box includes hardware, software and access to specialized training for one individual.
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City Buys Face Shields to Protect Cops From G-8 Protesters
Chicago Sun-Times, (02/14/2012), Fran Spielman

When the May 2012 NATO and G-8 Summits come to Chicago, law enforcement officers will be able to face possible protesters with equipment that includes new face shields that fit comfortably over their gas masks and seal tightly to keep out liquids. The city has awarded a $193,461 emergency contract to Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. for more than 3,000 of the new face shields. This is the first purchase made under sweeping power granted to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to acquire new equipment for use by officers during the summits, without obtaining City Council approval or using competitive bidding. The authorization applies only to equipment that cannot be bought under already existing contracts.
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Crimestoppers Introduces New Smart Phone App for Tipsters
The Times-Picayune, (02/14/2012), Michelle Hunter

TipSubmit, a new smart phone app, allows New Orleans residents and tourists to report anonymous tips to Crimestoppers Inc. of Greater New Orleans. Individuals who see suspicious activity during Mardi Gras — or at any other time — can now use their phones to share the information. Crimestoppers will in turn pass the information on, as appropriate, to local law enforcement agencies. The app is available in both iPhone and Android versions.
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City Launches New Emergency Notification System
The Stamford Times, (02/14/2012), Kara O'Connor

February 13 marked the launch of Stamford Alert, an electronic notification system operated by emergency communications network CodeRED. The Connecticut city will use the new electronic notification system to provide information to area residents during emergencies. City officials can use Stamford Alert to send alert messages via text, phone and/or e-mail to specific areas or the entire city. The new system uses a data bank to which citizens submit cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Residents who do not register will not receive the alerts; approximately 40,000 residents and businesses have already signed up.
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