Science and Technology News

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

Dennis Police Win Grant to Combat Opiate Crisis
CapeCod.com, (11/08/2016)

The Dennis Police Department in Massachusetts will use a U.S. Department of Justice grant for drug interdiction efforts and for training officers on responding to persons with mental health issues. The $72,443 grant is from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The program provides Massachusetts with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement; prosecution and court programs; prevention and education programs; corrections and community corrections; drug treatment and enforcement; crime victim and witness initiatives; and planning, evaluation and technology improvement programs.
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Center for Applied Forensics Acquires Mobile Crime Scene Unit
The Anniston Star, (11/09/2016), Kirsten Fiscus

The Center for Applied Forensics in Alabama has a new vehicle for crime scene response. The truck was bought by Dekalb County initially for use as a mobile methamphetamine unit. It was transferred to the Center in August and is undergoing changes such as addition of LED lighting. The truck will provide a secure and climate controlled environment to process evidence at a crime scene. The Center will use a federal grant to purchase a new camera system and laser trajectory kits for the vehicle.
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Body Armor Protects NY Cop From Knife Attack
PoliceOne.com, (11/10/2016)

A police officer in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., survived a knife attack on November 10 thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest. Officer David Sanchez had pulled over a suspected stolen vehicle, and the driver initially fled, then left the vehicle and led the officer on a foot chase. When Sanchez caught up to and attempted to apprehend Ronald Greenland, police said he resisted arrest by striking Sanchez and attempting to stab him multiple times.
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APD to Get New Body Armor With $900,000 Ga. Power Donation
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, (11/10/2016), Leon Stafford

The Atlanta Police Department will purchase new helmets and body armor designed to protect against assault weapons using a $900,000 donation from Georgia Power and matching funds from the city. About 1,500 protective vests and helmets will go to police, while 281 will go to firefighters and 75 to department of corrections officers.
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Corrections News

Drug Diversion Program Proposed in Augusta to Get Addicts into Treatment
Centralmaine.com, (11/11/2016), Keith Edwards

Several law enforcement agencies and treatment providers in Maine would partner together in a program to keep drug addicts out of jail and get them into treatment. Augusta city officials want to seek grant funding from the state for the program, which would include drug treatment providers and five other area law enforcement agencies. Under the plan, low-level, first-time drug offenders could avoid a drug charge being placed on their record if they undergo drug treatment successfully. State statistics showed there were 189 drug overdose deaths in the state through June 30, a 50 percent increase over the same period in 2015.
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Suit Filed to Block Death-Penalty Measure Prop. 66
SFgate.com, (11/10/2016), Bob Egelko

A lawsuit has been filed to try and block a newly passed initiative aimed at speeding up executions from taking effect. The lawsuit filed on November 9 said Proposition 66 will cause "confusion and upheaval" in the courts, interfere with their authority, and force courts and lawyers into hurried and less-reliable decisions in capital cases. Prop. 66, sponsored by prosecutors, requires the state Supreme Court to rule on death penalty appeals within five years of sentencing, more than twice as fast as its current pace. It sets the same five-year deadline for the second-stage appeals and requires defense lawyers to file those appeals with the trial judge within a year, compared with the previous three-year deadline.
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Cook County Jail Population Drops With More Electronic Monitoring
Chicago Sun Times, (11/11/2016), Matthew Hendrickson

The population at the Cook County Jail has dropped below 8,000 for the first time in years due to more detainees being sent home on electronic monitoring, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office. The number of detainees at the jail recently fell to 7,999. As of November 4, the jail had 2,207 detainees at home on electronic monitoring.
Link to Article


Jail Overcrowding Underlines Need
Coshocton Tribune, (11/11/2016), Joe Williams

Local leaders want to build a new $14 million jail due to overcrowding at Coshocton County Justice Center, but the project is on hold due to lack of funding. The facility, built in 1973, should be holding up to 16 prisoners a day by modern state standards, but the daily total often exceeds 60 prisoners and has gone higher. The jail holds prisoners awaiting trial on traffic, misdemeanor and felony charges. Once they are convicted, felons move on to state prison or community control, but the others can remain behind to serve jail terms.
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Whatcom Sheriff Asks Everyone to Stop Booking People in Jail for Minor Crimes
The Bellingham Herald, (11/12/2016), Samantha Wohlfeil

To relieve crowding at the Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham, Wash., agencies are being asked to avoid booking people unless they are required to or if it is a matter of public safety. Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo has asked that people not be booked on suspicion of crimes such as driving with a third-degree suspended license, or "other offenses that might alternatively be handled with a citation." When the jail population hits 212, agencies are asked not to book people for certain minor crimes. The jail staff still plans to accept people arrested on suspicion of assault, for domestic violence offenses that require arrests and for driving under the influence if the arrested person is an imminent threat to public safety or has a long history of failing to attend court appearances, according to an Oct. 21 memo.
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