Science and Technology News

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Officer Nearly Dies After Accidental Overdose, (05/15/2017)
It took four doses of Narcan to revive an East Liverpool, Ohio, police officer Friday night in the aftermath of a traffic stop. Officer Chris Green inadvertently got a small amount of fentanyl on his hand after a patdown and began to suffer its effects after returning to the station; a fellow officer administered one dose at the station and staff at a nearby hospital gave him three additional doses following admission. Guidance for all first responders on best practices in the presence of a suspected overdose can be located at  The DEA has also issued a video warning first responders of the dangers of Fentanyl that can be found at

CCPD Officers Share Selfies to ‘Humanize the Badge'
Clayton, (05/10/2017), Chelsea Prince
Using the hashtag "LEselfiechallenge," a number of law enforcement agencies in the metro Atlanta area are sharing selfies of officers interacting with family members in an attempt to show local communities that officers are human, too. The challenge originated in the Norcross Police Department with its social media coordinator, and Chief Billy Grogan of the Dunwoody Police Department has spread the challenge through the Metro Atlanta Law Enforcement Social Media Group.
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Facebooking a Felony: How Social Media Is Helping Police Catch Crooks
Fox 4, (05/12/2017), Lisa Greenberg
Social media has become a tool that law enforcement agencies across the country are using to investigate and solve crimes. Cape Coral, Fla., area departments say that it has upped officers' workload, but also resulted in more arrests and more case resolutions.
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While Dispatchers Get Familiar With New Systems, KC Police Officers Told to Refrain From Some Regular Tasks
Fox 4, (05/11/2017), Megan Dillard
Until issues have been resolved with the city's new computer-aided dispatch system, patrol officers in Kansas City, Kan., have been told not to initiate calls to dispatch by stopping speeding drivers, pulling people over, or making any other routine traffic stops or self-initiated activities. The stoppage is intended to give dispatchers time to become more familiar with the new system. Officers are to continue to initiate action in the event of an emergency, however.
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Missing Fairfax Co. Woman Identified, Confirmed Dead 27 Years Later
WTOP, (05/13/2017), John Domen
Police in Orange County, Calif., have used the National Institute of Justice's NamUS (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) to solve a 27-year-old cold case and bring closure to the family of a Fairfax County, Va., woman. The department entered DNA, fingerprints and other physical material into the system, and positively identified the woman based on fingerprints taken when she had worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Metro Looks for New Options for Less Lethal Force, Shows Off New Sponge Rounds
8Las Vegas Now, (05/11/2017), John Langeler
Metro Las Vegas Police will begin using a new sponge round this summer to increase their less lethal options. The new rounds are bigger and somewhat softer than the beanbags currently used by the force, but actually produce more pain. The rounds are shot out of a weapon that looks like a 1930s tommy gun.
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A First Shot at That Split Second
Toledo Blade, (05/11/2017)
The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy recently opened two buildings in its new "training village." The facility includes an area where officers can practice making split-second decisions in a video simulation, which includes the option to conduct a live role-play scenario ranging through several rooms. This editorial discusses why such scenario-based training is important.
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Clergy Seek to Bridge Divide Between Cops and Communities
Fox News, (05/12/2017), Jonathan Serie
One Congregation One Precinct (One COP), a new nationwide program, uses houses of worship leaders as go-betweens for law enforcement and local communities. The Atlanta-based initiative plans to use activities and community meetings to resolve conflicts. In Atlanta, several houses of worship leaders recently took "shoot, don't shoot" training to help them understand law enforcement officers' perspectives.
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Oklahoma Law Enforcement Officers Receive Training on Handling Dog Encounters and Veterinary Crime Scene Analysis
Humane, (05/15/2017)
From May 15-19, 2017, more than 550 Oklahoma law enforcement officers are receiving free training and resources on handling encounters with dogs from the Humane Society of the United States and local organizations. Officers receive training on non-lethal force options, dog behavior, mannerisms and body language; veterinary forensic crime scene analysis; and differentiating between animal and human evidence. Individuals receive eight Counsel on Law Enforcement Education Training credits and free equipment that will help them implement their new skills.
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Bulletproof Vest Saves Chicago Cop's Life in West Side Shooting
Chicago, (05/12/2017), Joe Vince
A Chicago police officer suffered only a minor injury Friday thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest, police and hospital officials say. The plainclothes officer was conducting a narcotics mission and got out of his car to question a man and a woman he thought were acting suspiciously. The man fled, and the woman opened fire. She was wounded multiple times and hospitalized in critical condition when the officers returned fire.
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Corrections News

California Shifts From Scanners to Dogs to Catch Smugglers
U.S. News and World Report, (05/12/2017), Associated Press
As a three-year, $15.3 million program that used a variety of techniques to try to stop contraband from entering California correctional facilities comes to an end, the state has decided not to continue many of the technical aspects of the program. Rather, funds will go toward using ensuring that each prison has a minimum of two dogs that will sniff out contraband, including cellphones and drugs. Facilities will also continue to use a less intensive technological approach.
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8,000 Colorado Inmates Given Computer Tablets With Games, Books, Music
Breitbart News, (05/10/2017), Charlie Nash
In Colorado, some 8,000 prison inmates may now place phone calls from their cells between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 part of a pilot program. Inmates can also use the devices to play games, read books and listen to music. If successful, GTL Corp. hopes to expand the Inspire program nationwide.
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NJ High Court Makes New Ruling on Parole Conditions for Sex Offenders
CBS Philly, (05/09/2017), Mike DeNardo
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that the state may require sex offenders to take lie detector tests related to compliance with the terms of their release. However, the state parole board must ensure that offenders are aware of their rights against self-incrimination prior to testing.
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A Fresh Take on Ending the Jail-to-Street-to-Jail Cycle
The Marshall Project, (05/10/2017), Christie Thompson
A program launched in April 2017 in New York City provides apartments for repeat offenders who have cycled in and out of jail for years, usually on low-level drug charges. The program identifies frequent offenders and offers them permanent housing and support services on release, an initiative that will save the city some $16,000 per person compared to the costs of returning them to jail. Services include addiction treatment and counseling. Similar programs have been started in other cities across the country.
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Colorado's Pricey Polygraph Testing of Sex Offenders Under Fire as Critics Target Accuracy, Expense
The Denver Post, (05/14/2017), Christopher N. Osher
A bipartisan group of legislators and a retired judge are questioning a Colorado program that uses lie detector tests administered to convicted sex offenders to help state officials decide whether the inmates are suited for release. The program has cost the state more than $5 million over a seven-year period, and the group contends too much weight is given to the tests, which some consider unreliable.
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New Technology Being Used to ID Offenders
WSAW News 7, (05/12/2017), CNN
The Milwaukee County Jail recently began using iris scans to identify individuals booked into the facility. The Inmate Recognition and Identification System compares the scans to those of more than 1 million individuals whose scans are recorded in databases across the country.
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Guernsey Prison Testing Pioneering Anti-drone Tech
ITV, (05/12/2017)
Skyfence, a new technology that detects and deflects incoming drones, will be used in a pilot project in Les Nicolles Prison in Guernsey. The use of drones to bring contraband into correctional facilities is an increasing problem in the United Kingdom.
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Milwaukee Police, County to Share Real-time GPS Data on Juvenile Offenders
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, (05/11/2017), Ashley Luthern
A new agreement with Milwaukee County gives officers with the Milwaukee Police Department real-time access to data from juveniles wearing offender tracking devices. The agency's Fusion Center and dispatch center will be given access if a juvenile offender goes outside a designated area or if the police have probable cause for an arrest related to a criminal incident.
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Davenport Police Release Educational Video to Fight Vehicle Thefts
KWQCTV6, (05/04/2017)
A rash of vehicle thefts, thought to be the work of juveniles, has prompted the Davenport (Iowa) Police Department to release an educational video telling residents what to look out for to help combat the thefts. The video profiling the department's "Lock It Up" initiative is meant to be shared on social media.
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Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff's Office Joins Private-Sector Partnership
Government Technology, (05/08/2017), David Chanen
Minnesota's Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has become the 10th law enforcement agency in the country to start its own Shield program, a public-private information-sharing partnership that is modeled after, and an affiliate member of, the NYPD Shield. Businesses can apply via website to join; the Mall of America is already on board.
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Texas Police Department Implements Distance Measuring Radar Device to Catch Close Passers
Cycling Weekly, (05/09/2017), Jeffrey Stern
The Houston Police Department recently began using a C3FT device on all patrol bicycles that will allow officers to ensure that vehicles keep to the minimum 3-foot distance when passing cyclists. The new technology will help officers enforce the city's 2013 Safe Passing/Vulnerable Road User Ordinance.
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Corrections News

TCSO Detention Officers Utilizing New Stab Resistant Body Armor
Tifton Gazette, (05/03/2017), Eve Guevara
Officers in Georgia's Tift County Jail now have stab-resistant body armor to wear for protection during their shifts. Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough said that more than 100 homemade weapons have been confiscated from inmates in the past five years, during which six corrections officers have been attacked.
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2 Accused of Trying to Fly Drones at SC Prison
WMAR2 Baltimore, (05/04/2017), Meg Kinnard for the Associated Press
In South Carolina, two men have been arrested for attempting to smuggle contraband materials into the medium-security Kershaw Correctional Institution. The suspects were carrying knives, marijuana and cell phones when they were arrested after a police chase.
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Cut the Potentially Deadly Prison Cell Phone Connection
Post and Courier, (05/05/217), Robert Johnson
The author of this opinion piece, a former corrections captain who was left with permanent disabilities after an assassination attempt in his home that he believes was orchestrated with a contraband cell phone, explains why he believes correctional facilities should be given the authority to jam cell phone signals. He also emphasizes the need for a multifaceted approach to stopping the smuggling of contraband phones.
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Licking Jail Scans Find Drugs, Bullets and Babies
Newark Advocate, (05/05/2017), Bethany Bruner
The scanner at the Licking County Justice Center in Newark, Ohio, has been used 2,400 times since it began operation on Nov. 7. In addition to expected finds of contraband to include drugs, the scans have turned up several unusual items and have detected potential pregnancies in several female inmates.
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The Factory Where Prisoners Get a Second Chance
CNN Money, (05/08/2017), Parija Kavilanz
Dan Meyer, owner of Nehemiah Manufacturing in Cincinnati, which makes household and personal products, has made it a mission to hire individuals with criminal records who otherwise have difficulty finding employment. The business has 110 employees, and approximately 60 have criminal records. Its three facilities are located in some of the poorest sections of the city.
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Delaware County Sheriff's Department Looks to Buy Full Body Scanner to Combat Drug Problem Inside Jail
WTTV, (05/08/2017)
So far in 2017, the Delaware County Jail in Indiana has had 18 drug-related incidents, including several overdoses. In order to combat the problem, the sheriff's department has asked the county commissioners to purchase a $200,000 full body scanner, similar to the ones used in airports.
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Spike in Mentally Ill LA Jail Inmates Leads to New Policies
ABC News, (04/29/2017), Michael Balsamo for the Associated Press
Over the past seven years, the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles has seen a 50-percent increase in its population, and nearly 30 percent of inmates deal with some kind of mental illness. The Los Angeles County Sheriff blames the increase on meth use, while medical experts say it's often difficult to tell whether the abuse causes the mental illness, or the drug use comes from attempts to self-medicate. The department has added additional training to help deputies cope with inmates who have mental health and substance abuse issues.
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Technology Has Already Created Innovative Solutions for Our Bloated Jail Populations, We Just Have to Implement Them
Washington Examiner, (05/03/2017), Arthur Rizer and John Haggerty
Attempts to greatly reduce swelling jail populations in turn create challenges for parole and pretrial release officers in the form of larger caseloads, but new smartphone apps and jail management technologies could make dealing with those caseloads easier. Implementing these technologies, which are described in detail in this article, could also post significant cost savings compared to keeping low-risk individuals locked up.
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Federal Prison Inmates Used Dark Web, Cellphones to Swap Child Porn
NBC News, (04/26/2017), Tracy Connor
Inmates at the low security federal prison in Ft. Dix, N.J., used contraband cellphones and the Dark Web to share child pornography images, according to recently released court documents. Five inmates, one of whom is secretly helping with the investigation, have been charged in connection with the network.
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