Science and Technology News

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Chattanooga Police Consider Creating Central-Intelligence Center
News Channel 9, (07/26/2016), Kelsey Bagwell

The Chattanooga Police Department plans to use the Watson Field Reporting suite to develop a central intelligence unit that would give field officers immediate access to information about ongoing cases and suspects. The information, including access to surveillance cameras, would be stored in this central database and monitored by officers in a newly created section of the department.
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Police in Michigan Are Trying to 3D-Print a Murder Victim's Fingerprint to Unlock His Phone
Quartz, (07/26/2016), Marta Cooper

The Michigan State University Police Department is leveraging research conducted by a research lab at the university to try to unlock a homicide victim's Samsung Galaxy 6 mobile device. The lab has been experimenting with using 3-D printed fingerprints to spoof mobile phone sensors, and the police department hopes the technology may help them gain access to a lead that would solve the crime.
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No More Ransom: Law Enforcement and IT Security Companies Join Forces to Fight Ransomware
BusinessWire, (07/25/2016)

The Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab have launched a joint initiative called No More Ransom (, an online portal that informs the public about the dangers of ransomware, offers information on recovering locked data without paying ransom to cybercriminals and explains steps individuals can take to protect themselves. The worldwide number of ransomware victims increased by more than 500 percent in the past year.
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Pekin, Ill., PD Offers Virtual Ride-Alongs via Facebook Livestream
Government Technology, (08/01/2016), Bill Lukitsch for the Peoria Journal Star

The Pekin (Ill.) Police Department offers monthly virtual ride-alongs via the Facebook Livestream application, offering residents a look at the daily duties of a police officer from the comforts of their own homes. The department uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a daily basis and has garnered more than 21,000 likes for its Facebook page. The public information officer calls social media one of the biggest assets the department has.
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Police Shootings Drive Hunt for Better Armor
Washington Times, (08/01/2016), Andrea Noble

In the past five years, approximately one-fifth of all officers who were fatally shot on the job were killed with high-powered rifles. Because of this high incidence of rifle-related incidents, many police departments are looking to equip their departments with higher grade ballistic-resistant body armor and/or ballistic helmets.
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Smithfield Police Capture Wanted Person With Help of 'Pokemon Go' Facebook Post
Daily Press, (08/02/2016), Josh Reyes

The Smithfield (Va.) Police Department posted a picture of Ditto, a Pokemon yet to be found on its Facebook page, and invited eight citizens to the police station for a chance of catching the Pokemon: the same eight individuals with outstanding warrants who were listed on the department's website. One of these individuals turned herself in after her sister saw the posting and encouraged her to give herself up.
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Women's Body Armor: Staying Ahead of the Curves
Taking Measure (NIST Blog), (08/01/2016), Jennifer Huergo

This blog post discusses ongoing research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology related to women's stab-resistant body armor; the research has been prompted by a growing national trend toward women's entering the corrections field and the realization that body armor designed for male corrections officers does not meet women's needs.
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Corrections News
Illinois Summer Camp Program Unites Jailed Moms With Their Children
CBS Chicago, (07/30/2016), Nancy Harty

This week, 47 children between the ages of 7 and 12 will participate in the "Mom and Me Summer Camp" held at women's prisons n Logan and Decatur, Ill. During the four-day camp, which helps mothers reconnect with their children, the youngsters spend time with their mothers during the day in special prison rooms, then go to a campground in Bloomington for the night.
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Fentanyl's Cachet Grows Thanks to Lack of Drug Testing for It
WCVB5, (07/28/2016), Karen Anderson

This 2:46 video looks at the prevalence of fentanyl on Massachusetts streets, and examines how it has become the drug of choice for some because many routine drug tests do not detect it.
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Crackdown on Prisoner Cell Phones Proves Difficult
Mississippi Today, (07/28/2016), Patsy R. Brumfield

In the past five years, officials at two Mississippi state prisons have intercepted more than 9 million texts and other attempted transmissions from contraband inmate cell phones. The state recovered more than 3,000 devices in 2015, but officials say that far from alleviated the problem, and the state has joined with others in a request to the Federal Communications Commission to permit jamming of cellular signals from inside correctional facilities.
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Could This Experimental Synthetic Opioid Break the Cycle of Addiction?
Miami Herald, (07/29/2016), Tony Pugh

Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, are developing a synthetic opioid that they say stops pain without causing physical dependence. Physical dependence and addiction related to opioids such as OxyContin is a growing problem in the United States; researchers caution the new drug is still years away from commercial production.
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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Wants Sex Offenders Off Pokemon Go
CNN Money, (08/01/2016), Sara Ashley O'Brien

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to forbid sex offenders on parole from playing Pokemon Go and other Internet games; at the same time, he asked the creator of the wildly popular game to help keep sex offenders from playing. The game allows players to purchase a "lure" to encourage people to visit a certain location for a mere 99 cents, which means registered sex offenders could place one near their homes.
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