Science and Technology News

Monday, July 9, 2012

Public Safety Technology in the News

GHPD Now on Facebook, Twitter,(06/21/2012), Akiko Oda

Facebook® and Twitter are among the newest tools put into use by the police department in Gig Harbor, Wash. The social media outreach program aims to provide more timely information to area residents; for example, the Facebook page will include basic contact information and announcements about breaking news, including suspect photos, a public safety update, and department news and announcements. Short-term and timely messages, such as public safety updates and road closures, will be dispensed via Twitter.
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Effingham Crime Data Online
SavannahNow.Com, (06/21/2012), DeAnn Komenecky

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Rincon Police Department recently joined the growing numbers of Georgia law enforcement agencies using the online crime mapping program RAIDS Online. Hourly updates are provided at; local residents who sign up to use the service can also post anonymous tips and then receive updates on the status of the tip. Users can also sign up to receive targeted e-mail alerts, search for crime reports near their address and download an Iphone app for the program. RAIDS Online is provided at no charge to residents or the two law enforcement agencies.
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Surveillance Videos Crucial in Assisting Police Cases, (06/22/2012), Bethany Anderson

In Houston County, Ala., the sheriff’s office has implemented the use of surveillance cameras mounted on cars and microphones worn by officers to record incidents and protect officers and citizens alike. In the event that a complaint is filed, the department can monitor tapes to see and hear exactly what happened.
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Port Security Grant Bringing 18 Cameras to Sturgeon Bay, (06/22/2012), Ramelle Bintz

Law enforcement in Sturgeon Bay, Mich., is getting a helping hand in solving crimes from Wisconsin Department of Transportation cameras located on the Michigan Street Bridge, and the city has plans to implement use of 18 more cameras before the end of 2012. Locations for all 18 cameras have yet to be determined, but their range will cover almost all of the city. Funds from a $700,000 Port Security grant, awarded in 2009, will be used to purchase the equipment.
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Truckee Police Department Patrols Include Paddle Boarders
The Sacramento Bee, (06/24/2012), Barbara Barte Osborn

The Adventure, Recreation and Community Team at the Truckee (Calif.) Police Department is putting bicycles, boats and paddleboards to use in a community-based policing project recently implemented in this resort community. The sergeant and four officers who make up the team are certified in bicycle and water-patrol operations; the paddleboards were donated by a manufacturer who is providing free training in their use to the officers. The team also has a truck to haul its equipment, which includes a patrol boat that has been in operation for the past nine years.
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Canton Receives $821,489 Federal Grant to Hire Cops
CantonRep.Com, (06/25/2012), Ed Balint

The city of Canton, Ohio, is among the recipients of COPS 2012 Hiring Program grants; the funding will enable the police department to use the $821,489 grant to hire seven police officers who must be post-Sept. 11 military veterans. The funding, spread over a three-year period, can also be used to rehire laid off officers or prevent planned layoffs, provided the officers meet the qualifying criteria. The city must provide a 25-percent match to receive the funding, a change from previous years when the COPS program did not require a match nor require departments to hire military veterans.
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Rancho Cucamonga Police to Expand Camera Surveillance
Contra Costa Times, (06/23/2012), Neil Nisperos

The sheriff’s department in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will focus 20 new surveillance cameras in public areas with increased crime rates, with even more cameras scheduled for later phases of the enhanced surveillance project. The city plans to use grant funding to cover the cost of the project, which is currently in the bid process.
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Predictive Policing Arrives in Charleston
Charleston City Paper, (06/27/2012), Paul Bowers

The Charleston (S.C.) Police Department has entered into a partnership with IBM to start a predictive policing project. The department will test part of IBM’s Crime Prediction and Prevention software, focusing on armed robberies. The program has analyzed crime reports, police dispatch records, and geographic and weather information from the past three years for use in generating predictions. If the department likes the results, it may enter into a contract for the full crime-prediction suite.
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Crime Mapping Comes to Shakopee, (06/27/2012), Lisa Baumann

The Scott County (Minn.) Incident Mapping site recently expanded to include incidents reported in the communities of Shakopee and Jordan. Reported incidents mapped on the site include burglary, assault, property damage, DWI, vandalism, theft, robbery and traffic accidents. Users can choose to view a countywide picture or incidents in a specific area, and can also sort and select incident reports by a date range. Other communities already listed on the site include Elko New Market, New Prague, Prior Lake and Savage.
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Body Cameras Likely to Aid Police Work
Modesto Bee, (06/27/2012)

Modesto Police Department officers will soon begin wearing body-worn cameras on their helmets, glasses or collars. Paid for with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the cameras will be put into service during interviews and crime investigations, as well as at other times. Officers will download and recharge the cameras, which provide greater flexibility than in-car video, at the end of each shift. The department will require all uniformed officers to wear the cameras; the grant funding covers the cost of 157 units.
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