Science and Technology News

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Public Safety Technology in the News

Seminar Teaches Wildlife Forensics for Poaching Cases
The Missoulian, (05/24/2012), Rob Chaney
Proper evidence collection techniques can be just as important in building cases against serial wildlife poachers as they are in building cases against serial killers, and a class of game wardens recently spent three days learning to deal with decaying carcasses and their attendant bugs with a goal of furthering those efforts. DNA forensics play a role in solving poaching cases too, they learned at the Wildlife Field Forensics Seminar held in the Seeley Lake area of Montana.
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Bozeman Police Expand Social Media Presence
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, (05/29/2012), Whitney Bermes
Like numerous other police departments around the country, the Bozeman Police Department has made its presence known on Facebook and Twitter in the past year. As part of its quest to get information out to the public immediately, the Montana agency has come up with a couple of rather original features. In "For the Record," a weekly Facebook feature, the department provides information on specific laws with which the public may not be overly familiar, but which the department deals with on a regular basis. Another weekly feature, "Real Police Reports," gives statistics on every call that the department has answered since the previous week's report.
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South Portland Police Add Online Crime Mapping
The Forecaster, (05.31.2012), David Harry
Police in South Portland, Maine, have joined Raids Online, a free crime mapping service used by numerous police agencies in the United States and other countries. South Portland will use the service to provide information about crimes within the city and also to allow residents to submit tips. It features a digital map that uses virtual push pins to indicate where crimes have been reported. Clicking on a pin provides the user with a case number, a date and a time. Citizens can also subscribe to periodic reports, and the information can be accessed via free mobile apps for iPads and IPhones.
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Council Approves Updating Fire, EMS System, (05/31/2012), Maggie Rotermund
An upgraded computer aided dispatch system will soon be on its way to University City, Mo., following upgrade approval by the city council. The CAD upgrade will align fire, EMS and policy dispatching. The system switch should be able to be accomplished without hiring additional personnel.
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License Plate Readers Help Police But Raise Privacy Concerns
Vermont Public Radio, (05/31/2012), Charlotte Albright
The Hartford (Vt.) Police Department has been using license plate reader technology for approximately three years, using a database maintained by the state's Department of Public Safety and matching numbers against a "hot list" to determine if the person is wanted for any type of offense. However, in nearby Norwich, the town recently decided not to purchase license plate reader technology due to privacy concerns.
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K-9's Equipped With Bullet Proof Vests
WIN K News, (05/31/2012)
Three tracking dogs from Florida Fish and Wildlife stationed near Ft. Myers recently received combination ballistic/stab-resistant vests thanks to a donation from the Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida. The Ft. Myers Police Department lost a tracking dog in 2010 during a robbery attempt at a local fast-food restaurant.
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Students Learn the ‘Impact' of Drunken, Irresponsible Driving, (06/01/2012), John Fitts
The Canton Police Department teamed up with a number of other local public safety agencies to put on a DUI simulation for Canton High School students on May 31, using breaking glass, crunching metal and simulated blood to drive home the dangers of drinking and driving. In addition to graphic demonstrations of a number of rescue technologies, the event also included a firsthand account by a young man whose driving while intoxicated resulted in another's death.
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Ohio's Blue Alert System Begins
Chillicothe, (06/01/2012), Jona Ison
The Ohio Blue Alert program, similar in concept to the Amber Alert program, provides an avenue for public assistance when a law enforcement officer is critically injured or killed and no arrest has been made. The program also goes into effect if an officer goes missing while on duty. Information is input into the Amber Alert database, activating a toll-free tip line, sending out a media blast and a message to all state troopers, creating an entry into the Ohio Turnpike License Plate Recognition system (when applicable) and sending a radio broadcast to all law enforcement agencies in the state. Future improvements include social media alerts via Facebook and Twitter, media blasts and trucker alerts.
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Speed Camera Coming to Seven Courts Drive, (06/02/2012), Emily Kimball
The locations of five new speed cameras in Baltimore County, Md., include cameras near Seven Oaks Elementary, Winands Elementary, Loch Raven Academy, Bais Yaakov School for Girls and St. Ursula School. Prior to this year, Baltimore County had been limited to 15 speed cameras, but a law approved by the county council in February removed that limit. The five new cameras now raise the total in the county to 22.
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Mobile Firearms Trailer Helps Police Play Out Real-life Scenarios, (06/04/2012), Scott J. Croteau
Officers from the police department at Becker College (Worcester, Mass.) recently took part in scenario-based firearms straining in a 48-foot mobile range provided by Blue Line Corp. Officers from a number of other colleges and universities in the area also took the training, offered at a cost of $75 per person. The combined training event was sponsored by the Holden Police Department.
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