Science and Technology News

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology News



Law Enforcement News

Falmouth Police Procure State-of-the-Art Vessel
The Forecaster, (06/29/2016), Colin Ellis

The police department in Falmouth, Maine, has a new harbor patrol boat with advanced technology. The $327,000 vessel was purchased in part with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The 27-foot boat's advanced technology systems include a device that can pick up heat signatures of people in the water; an advanced navigation system and automatic course plotter that maps out hazards; a multi-unit communication system to connect with other agencies, and a radar system that can help in recovery missions. Also, an onboard computer can link to the police department's computer system, and the state's system, to check identification and boat registrations.
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Harrisburg Police Start Database of Private Video Systems to Help Solve Crimes
PennLive, (06/27/2016), Christine Vendel

Police in Harrisburg, Pa., are compiling a database of businesses and residences with video surveillance systems. The database is designed to help direct detectives to camera systems near where a crime is reported. Registering a video system with the police if voluntary. Police will contact owners of video systems if they need help with a crime.
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Cincinnati Police Body Camera Program Starts August 1
WVXU, (06/27/2016), Jay Hanselman

The Cincinnati Police Department will begin deploying body worn cameras on August 1. The city will initially have about 700 cameras for patrol officers, and is seeking funding for 400 more devices. The police department said body camera videos will be retained for 90 days unless they are needed for investigations or prosecutions. The department has established guidelines for using the cameras.
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Idaho Officer Shot in Chest, Saved by Vest
PoliceOne.com, (06/29/2016), from the Idaho Statesman

A Boise, Idaho, police officer was saved by his ballistic-resistant vest on June 28, when he took a shot to the chest when responding to a 911 call for a shooting. His injuries were not life-threatening; the suspect died at the scene. It was not immediately clear whether his injuries were self-inflicted or a result of police gunfire.
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State Allocates $49K to 15 Agencies to Buy Body Armor; Baltimore Gets Biggest Award
WBFF, (07/05/2016), Zoe Zellers

Fifteen law enforcement agencies across Maryland will split $49,000 in funding for purchasing body armor. Each year, the Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention awards body armor grants to different agencies that did not receive a grant the previous year. The state made the funding available July 1. The highest amount - $14,000 - will go to Baltimore.
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NCPD: Police Officer Saved by Bulletproof Vest, Suspect in the Hospital
Fox19Now, (07/05/2016)

Officer Wayne Pavlischek of the North Charleston (S.C.) Police Department was treated and released at a local hospital after his ballistic-resistant vest stopped a shot to his abdomen during a Fourth of July standoff with a suspect. Officers initially responded to a report of a speeding vehicle that attempted to strike a pedestrian; they subsequently became engaged in a standoff situation with the alleged driver, who fired shots at them from the second story of a home. The suspect was wounded during the incident and also transported to the nearby hospital.
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Corrections News
SC Hopes Telemedicine Will Improve Inmate Care and Cut Costs
The Herald, (07/04/2016), Meg Kinnard for The Associated Press

The South Carolina Department of Corrections plans to begin using telemedicine to examine inmates. The agency will partner with the Medical University of South Carolina. Using tools such as videoconferencing, doctors at the Charleston hospital can examine inmates remotely, doing routine exams and diagnosing illnesses. Corrections director Bryan Stirling said telemedicine will save the costs of transporting inmates to hospitals. Officials say it also reduces possible security risks to physicians.
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Dane County Health Center Testing Drunken Drivers Using Fingernails, Not Blood
Wisconsin State Journal, (06/30/2016), David Wahlberg

A Wisconsin mental health center is testing repeat drunken drivers using fingernail clippings instead of blood. The Journey Mental Health Center in Dane County switched the testing method from blood to fingernail clippings earlier this year. Drunken drivers convicted three or more times undergo assessments and treatment for a year, during which they are tested periodically to see if they have been drinking. The chemical deposited by alcohol that is detected through testing stays longer in fingernails than in blood, providing a window of detection going back three months, compared to a window of two to three weeks.
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Exclusive Footage: SC Prisoner Live-Streams From Inside Prison
WYFF, (06/30/2016)

An inmate in a South Carolina Department of Corrections facility used a cell phone to live-stream from inside his prison cell with help from the mobile app Periscope. In the footage streamed on June 26 and 27, there were three to four other prisoners in the cell drinking from an orange cooler and smoking a substance. Viewers were able to comment and ask questions as prisoners responded in real time. The department says two inmates have been identified but not charged. An investigation is underway to identify all involved.
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White House Says Data Can Help Fix America's Overcrowded Jails
CNET, (07/01/2016), Alison Vayne

The White House has launched an initiative to help direct low-level offenders and people with mental issues out of the jail system. Seven states and 60 communities have committed to the Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) initiative. The plan is to use data collected on individuals who are often in touch with the police, emergency departments and other services and link them to health, behavioral health and social services within the community. First responders will be trained in how to deal with people experiencing mental health issues to better direct them to the proper services. The administration is developing a toolkit that will guide jurisdictions toward the best practices, policies and programs that have been successful in DDJ communities.
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Changes in Sentencing Policy Raise Pressure on Probation Officers
Wall Street Journal, (07/05/2016), Gary Fields

The current push for shorter prison sentences is adding to the work of federal probation officers and raising concerns that details might be missed that could prevent relapse among probationers. About 5,500 federal probation officers oversee about 180,000 people in the United States. The proportion of federal ex-inmates whose probation has been revoked dropped to 27 percent in 2015 from 29 percent in 2010. That decline has been attributed in part to improved risk assessments. But probation officials say the drop is due chiefly to the fact there are fewer officers, relative to the number of ex-inmates, to spot violations, so more offenders are remaining free.
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Bill Nemitz: Credit LePage for Putting Foot Down on Domestic Abuse
Portland Press Herald, (07/03/2016), Bill Nemitz, Columnist

Gov. Paul LePage of Maine has called for statewide use of electronic monitoring devices to keep domestic abusers away from their victims. The governor wants to expand four pilot programs now operating in four counties where ankle bracelets are currently used to track high-risk defendants accused of domestic assault as they await trial or, in a few cases, as a condition of their probation. The governor wants the bracelets to be used not only on those charged with domestic violence, but also on anyone subject to a protection-from-abuse order.
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Drones Deliver Illegal Goods to Prison Inmates 'Like Amazon'
Vocativ, (06/30/2016), Jennings Brown

Prisons are beginning to install technology to prevent and detect attempted deliveries of contraband via drones. The Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead, N.Y., installed drone detection technology last month. Integris, the security company in New York, collaborated with Dedrone to build a drone security system at the correctional facility. Dedrone makes the DroneTracker, a device that uses ultrasound, infrared and Wi-Fi sensors to detect drones within 1,640 feet. Several DroneTrackers alert officers if a drone is nearby. At that point personnel can determine the best way to prevent the drone from completing a delivery.
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