Science and Technology News

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Columbia County Sheriff's Office Becomes First in the Nation to Use Church Safety App
WJBF, (01/19/2017), Barclay Bishop
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Stevens Creek Church in Columbia County, Ga., are using the National Institute of Justice's Safeguarding Houses of Worship app, which helps congregations assess their security risks and plan accordingly. Todd Coleman, a reserve deputy with the sheriff's office, was key in the app's development. Church Pastor Eric Kennedy leads the church safety team, which is training other churches on a new app. Coleman said, "It allows you to start thinking about those things that you might have to deal with one day."
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Muhlenberg Police Department Launch Digital Crime Fighting Tool
Muhlenberg Township, 01/19/2017
Muhlenberg Township, Penn., has a new website that provides the public direct access to crime- and public safety-related information. The website,, was developed in partnership with CRIMEWATCH Pennsylvania and is part of the CRIMEWATCH Network. It allows for geographically targeted information sharing and intelligence gathering.
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Valparaiso Police Launch Drone Program
NWI Times, (01/19/2017), John Scheibel
Police in Valparaiso, Ind., are using unmanned aerial systems to assist in investigations such as locating missing persons and taking crime scene photos. The department has two drones, both equipped with cameras, one with a thermal imaging device, and holds two certifications for their use from the Federal Aviation Administration. Three officers are FAA certified to use them, and three more officers are in training to become certified.
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Wounded Idaho Sheriff's Deputies Recovering
The Spokesman-Review, (01/18/2017), Eli Francovich
Both Bonner County deputies wounded in a January 16 confrontation with a suspect on whom they were attempting to serve a battery warrant are recovering in a local hospital, one in serious condition, one in fair condition, according to a law enforcement spokesman. An ER nurse who lives near the scene of the shooting and who was nearby with her horses administered first aid and said it appeared that one of the deputies survived shots to the torso thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest.
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Pennsylvania Officials Issue Warning on Dangers of Synthetic Opioid
Pain Medicine News, (01/19/2017)
Following two recent overdose deaths, Pennsylvania state officials are alerting the public about the potential dangers of the use of and exposure to the synthetic opioid carfentanil. Carfentanil is used as an animal tranquilizer, but can be mixed with heroin or used as a heroin substitute. Officials recommend that health professionals and first responders exercise extreme caution when treating individuals suspected of taking the drug to reduce the risk for accidental exposure.
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Drones, Emergency Software, and New Pick-Up for Westfield Police Department
WWLP, (01/20/017), Amy Porter
A drone, communication and safety software, and a pickup truck are among items approved for the Westfield (Mass.) Police Department by the city council. The council accepted a $15,000 gift to the police department for the purchase of a drone, authorized a transfer of $32,000 from reserve to allow the purchase of COPSync 911 communication and safety software, and another inter-department transfer of $44,102 to allow the purchase of a pickup truck to handle code enforcement for commercial vehicles.
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Bulletproof Vest Saves Waldoboro Officer's Life in Weekend Shooting
WABI TV 5, (01/24/2017). Alexander Downing
Waldoboro Officer John Lash was shot in the back when responding to a domestic disturbance call early Saturday morning, but was saved from serious injury by his ballistic-resistant vest. The officer, who was treated and released at a nearby hospital, returned fire and killed the suspect at the scene.
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Corrections News

Proposal to Ban Drones Near SC Prisons and Jails Advances to Senate Floor
The State, (01/19/2017), Cynthia Roldán
A bill that would ban drones from flying near South Carolina's prison and jails advanced to the state Senate for consideration after receiving approval from a Senate committee. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to fly a drone within 500 feet around or 250 above a state prison or jail without the consent of the facility's director.
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DOC Requests Nearly $1 Billion for Two New Prisons
News 9, (01/24/2017), Justin Dougherty
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is asking state lawmakers to approve nearly $850 million to build two new prisons. The state's prison population is at 108 percent capacity, and it's expected to grow by about 40,000 inmates over the next 10 years.
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Lawrence County Jail to Partner With Centerstone to Help Inmates
WBIW News, (01/11/2017)
The Lawrence County Jail in Indiana will participate in a state pilot project to connect offenders with services needed to be successful following release. The Recovery Works Jail ReEntry Program will feature skills development and treatment access. Officials hope to serve 24 men and eight women in the first six months of the program and an additional 24 men and eight women in the subsequent six months.
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Jail Renovation to Eliminate Face-to-Face Visitation, (01/17/2017), Daniel J. Gross
Due to a $250,000 renovation to improve security, inmates in the Spartanburg County jail in South Carolina will communicate with visitors via video monitors. Jail Director Maj. Allen Freeman said the intent of the renovation is to enhance safety and security. The facility has allowed walk-in visitors to see inmates through a window in a room off the lobby area. The new plan is to have a bank of video monitors in the lobby for visitors to communicate with inmates. Families can also log into the system from home. Inmates will use video stations in their respective pods.
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