Science and Technology News

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

Police Foundation Buys "Game Changing" Tactical Equipment for Green Bay Officers
WBAY, (01/11/2017), Sarah Thomsen
The Green Bay Police Foundation has funded 100 sets of tactical vests and ballistic helmets for police officers in Green Bay, Wis. The foundation was created last summer to fund equipment and training the department otherwise can't afford. The foundation can receive donations from the community.
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NJ Law Enforcement Officials Ask for Better Information Sharing Among Agencies
New Jersey 101.5, (01/13/2017), Joe Cutter
A New Jersey state Senate committee has approved legislation to improve the flow of critical crime and terror information among New Jersey law enforcement agencies. The bill approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee would establish the New Jersey Criminal Justice Information Sharing Environment Coordinating Council to oversee the free flow of intelligence among State Police, local police departments, Homeland Security and others.
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NIST to Launch Ongoing Face Recognition Vendor Test
BiometricUpdate, (01/13/2017), Rawlson King
The National Institute of Standards and Technology will launch a new, ongoing "Face Recognition Vendor Test," beginning in February 2017. The test will seek to evaluate the face recognition performance on cooperative images, as collected in civil and criminal identity management applications. The test will additionally evaluate accuracy on more difficult images, including in-the-wild and photojournalism images and non-cooperative surveillance stills.
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$80,000 Grant Will Help Forensics Department
Times Daily, (01/13/2017), Russ Corey
The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will use an $80,000 federal grant to obtain equipment vital to completing criminal investigations. The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will allow the department to purchase pathology supplies to help with performing autopsies and chemistry supplies to help with analyzing controlled substances.
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Albany State University Forensic Science Research Receives $600,000 NIJ Grant
Albany Herald, (01/14/2017)
Albany State University in Georgia will use a $600,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to explore human microbiome, or genes of microorganisms in and on the body, as trace evidence for forensic identification. Research into microbiome, including human skin, may help link human-touched objects to the identity of victims or suspects.
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Lawmaker Pushing Tweak to Drones Law
The Bismarck Tribune, (01/16/2017), Nick Smith
A North Dakota state senator has introduced legislation to eliminate the possibility that law enforcement in the state could use nonlethal weapons on a drone. The bill would amend legislation passed in 2015 that left open that possibility. A hearing date on the proposal has not been scheduled.
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Hampton P.D. Receives Body Cams
Hampton County Guardian, (01/16/2017), Matt Popovich
The Hampton Police Department in South Carolina used a state grant to purchase 11 body cameras for officers. The grant from the South Carolina Department of Transportation's Office of Highway Safety and Justice Commission allowed the purchase of the cameras and accompanying electronic technology devices, which turn on an officer's body camera whenever a patrol vehicle's emergency lights are activated.
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Cohasset Police Introduce Citizen Police Academy
WickedLocal Cohasset, (01/17/2017), Amanda C. Thompson
Police in Cohasset, Mass., plan to hold a Citizen Police Academy in January to provide 20 participants a chance experience what it is like to be a police officer. Academy students will learn about the department's hiring process and organization, community policing, the parameters within which police must operate and computer forensics.
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New Jersey Buys Police Body Cameras
njtoday, (01/18/2017)
Thirty-seven law enforcement agencies across New Jersey will share $566,000 in grants to buy 1,132 police body-worn cameras. The grants are being provided using funds from the U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Agencies can use up to $500 in grant funds for each camera or camera package, including camera and related equipment. Police departments in 15 of New Jersey's 21 counties received awards.
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Courts News

Maine to Convert to Electronic-Based Court Records
Seacoastonline, (01/10/2017), Brian Early
Maine intends to convert its paper-based court system to an electronic one. In December, the Maine Judicial Branch announced a 10-year, $15 million contract with Tyler Technologies to computerize Maine District, Superior and Supreme Judicial courts. Initial implementation in two counties is to be completed by 2019, with state-wide implementation by 2021. The court will use software that has been used in 11 other states and by 600 county courts nationwide.
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Corrections News

Drones Soon Could Be Banned From Flying Near SC Prisons, Jails
The State, (01/12/2017), Cassie Cope
A South Carolina state Senate subcommittee has approved a proposal to ban drones from flying within 500 feet of prisons and jails in the state. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to fly a drone within 500 feet around or 250 feet above a prison or jail without written consent from the state prisons director. The bill now goes to the full Senate Corrections and Penology Committee for consideration.
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Fewer Inmates Now Walk Away From Halfway Houses, Corrections Chief Says
Alaska Dispatch News, (01/17/2017), Devin Kelly
Changes in security, screening policies and counseling have contributed to a drop in the number of walkaways from Alaska's halfway houses, according to Dean Williams, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Corrections. Williams said two or three dozen people had been leaving each month and not returning. Between July and December 2016, the number of walkaways in Anchorage halfway houses dropped to 39, compared to 117 in the first six months of the year.
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