Science and Technology News

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Public Safety Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News
2015 Police Suicide Statistics
According to a Badge of Life study, 51 law enforcement officers died by suicide in the final six months of 2015, which represents a decrease from the rate in a similar study conducted in 2012, but still an unacceptable level of death. The number of officers who die by suicide far exceeds the number who died as a result of firearms-related incidents (42) and the rate is 1.5 times than the rate among the general population.
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Chief Medical Examiner Seeks Public's Help to Identify Skeletal Remains
WSLS.com, (01/12/2016)

Using facial approximations created by forensic anthropologists and artists with the FBI's Forensic Anthropology Services and Forensic Imaging Unit, Virginia's Western District Chief Medical Examiner has requested help from the public in identifying the remains of eight unknown individuals found across the Commonwealth. The reconstructions have been entered in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems (NamUs, a web-based computer search engine funded by the National Institute of Justice) to facilitate identifying missing and unidentified persons.
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City Introduces Community Policing App
KUNR.com, (1/14/2016), Julie Ritchey

The city of Reno, Nev., has introduced myRPD, an app meant to make it easier for the general public to report crimes. The app includes interactive crime mapping and registered sex offender information, and accepts reports and tips in both English and Spanish. Other features include the Secret Witness program for anonymous submission of tips and the ability to submit complaints or compliments to the department's Internal Affairs Division.
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OK2Say Received More Than 2,000 Student Tips in 2015
Three Rivers Commercial-News, (01/18/2016)

In 2015, OK2Say, Michigan's anonymous school safety tipline, generated more than 2,165 tips in 30 categories, including 536 tips related to bullying and 396 related to suicide threats. OK2Say is a student safety initiative operated through a partnership between the Department of Attorney General, Michigan State Police, other state agencies, schools, parents, law enforcement and community leaders.
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City Officials Announce Crime-Fighting Data Center
Indy Star, (01/19/2016), Jill Disis

Six analysts will initially serve as staff in the Real-Time Data Center, a new initiative that is part of an overall crime-fighting plan being implemented in Indianapolis. Analysts will receive data from field reports and local surveillance cameras, and compare it to arrest reports and records to help provide details that may help officers solve crimes more quickly.
Link to Article


Corrections News
Drones Deliver Smuggled Cellphones to Inmates
Fox 5 Atlanta, (01/13/2016), Randy Travis

The Georgia Department of Corrections is facing a new challenge when it comes to stopping contraband from reaching the interiors of the state's correctional agencies: drones. The state has recovered four drones from near state correctional facilities, and investigators believe all were possibly used to smuggle cell phones behind bars.
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Roswell Man Charged In Prison Drug Trafficking Ring
Roswell Patch, (01/13/2016), Kristal Dixon

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia has charged three current Georgia Department of Corrections inmates and 14 others in a drug trafficking scheme allegedly being run from inside a state correctional facility. Inmates supposedly used contraband cell phones to employ brokers, distributors and runners who were distributing illegal narcotics in the metro Atlanta area and throughout the Southeast.
Link to Article


Lifetime GPS Monitoring in Wisconsin Challenged in Court
News8000.com, (01/13/2016)

The state of Wisconsin has launched a federal appeal against a Milwaukee federal judge's ruling that a state law requiring lifetime GPS monitoring for some convicted sex offenders is unconstitutional. The defendant in the case is a 72-year-old man who spent 15 years in prison for child sexual assaults and then was civilly committed to a treatment center as a sexually violent person. He sued the state over the lifetime monitoring requirement in 2010.
Link to Article


Medina County Jail to Use Body Scanner
Medina Gazette, (01/12/2016), Katie Anderson

The jail in Medina County, Ohio, plans to implement use of a new full-body scanner similar to those used in airports, with a goal of preventing the smuggling of heroin, other drugs and additional contraband into the jail. The sheriff's office has trained approximately 20 employees in the use of the scanner and plans to begin operations in approximately two weeks.
Link to Article


Jury Convicts Man on 31 Counts in Prison Drone Plot Trial
Herald & Review, (01/15/2016), David Dishneau

A jury in Allegany County, Md., has convicted a man of 31 offenses for plotting to use a drone to smuggle illegal drugs, a cellphone and other contraband into the maximum-security prison in Cumberland. The jury deliberated two hours and 15 minutes before returning convictions on all but four counts.
Link to Article


Md. Panel Recommends Less Prison for Drug Offenders, More Treatment
Washington Post, (01/17/215), Ovetta Wiggins

Maryland is looking at changing sentencing guidelines for drug offenders. Among 25 recommendations forwarded to the General Assembly by the Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council is one that proposes sentencing guidelines that focus on treatment rather than incarceration for individuals charged with possession. Nearly a dozen states have already passed similar legislation.
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