Science and Technology News

Friday, March 3, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Law Enforcement Academy Tries to Bridge Communication Gap
The Covington News, (02/15/2017)
Twenty-three officers from 10 law enforcement agencies in the metropolitan Atlanta area recently attended a five-day training session on building communication and relationships in communities. Topics discussed during the training, called "Beyond Community Policing: Building & Sustaining Positive Relationships for the Long Term," included cultural diversity and cultural responsiveness, crisis intervention, building positive community relationships, effective communication and defining community policing. The training was hosted by the Law Enforcement Academy of Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
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New Police Drone Takes Flight in Morrow
Clayton News-Daily, (02/14/2017), Chelsea Prince
The Morrow Police Department in Georgia is among the latest law enforcement agencies to begin using an unmanned aerial system. The Federal Aviation Administration cleared the department to fly UAS up to 400 feet high, depending on proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Police have used the device in a search for a missing person, and anticipate using it in busy commercial areas to patrol parking lots to curtail break-ins.
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Chesapeake Launches Mobile App Aimed at Getting Quicker Aid to Cardiac Arrest Victims
The Virginia-Pilot, (02/15/2017), Margaret Matray
Chesapeake, Va., has launched a free mobile app aimed at getting help to people suffering cardiac arrest as quickly as possible, even before first responders arrive. The PulsePoint app notifies CPR-trained users of sudden cardiac arrests in nearby public places. The app is synced to the city's computer-aided dispatch system. When 911 dispatchers get a call, the PulsePoint technology notifies users when it identifies a cardiac emergency. People who have downloaded the app get a push notification when they're within 400 meters of a cardiac emergency in a public area. The technology maps out the location of the victim and the nearest automated external defibrillators.
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Chattanooga City Council Approves $750,000 in Tools for Police Intelligence Center
Times Free Press, (02/15/2017), Paul Leach
The Chattanooga City Council has approved $750,000 in cameras, software and video networking tools for the police department's Real-Time Intelligence Center. Technology items to be purchased include 15 pole-mounted cameras, networking software and a video monitor wall for the center. Other police intelligence-gathering purchases include a $316,095 contract for data management services and face-matching software.
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Bristol County DA's Office Goes High Tech With New Digital Forensics Lab
The Sun Chronicle, (02/17/2017), David Linton
Bristol County, Mass., has a new digital forensics lab. District Attorney Thomas Quinn said he decided to create the lab, which opened this year, to train troopers because digital evidence has become much more common in major crimes over the past five years. He said smartphones are more ubiquitous in drug crimes, domestic assaults and child pornography.
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Wisconsin Law Enforcement Working to Improve Communications
Wisconsin Public Radio, (02/18/2017), Danielle Kaeding
Bayfield County in Wisconsin is building a $650,000 tower to improve emergency communications. Bayfield County Sheriff Paul Susienka said the county has had problems with emergency communications since the Federal Communications Commission required changes to free up space on increasingly congested radio bands. He said the location of the county's towers, the terrain and interference have resulted in marginal coverage for some areas of the county.
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Corrections News

Bill Plans to Provide Pay Raises for Corrections Officers
KOCO News, (02/15/2017)
An Oklahoma state senator has proposed legislation to provide a five-percent pay raise to all Department of Corrections employees. Corrections officers make less than $26,000 per year, and DOC officials said the low pay is a contributing factor to the challenge of recruiting and retraining workers. The department has a 40-percent turnover rate, with 30 percent of security officers positions left unfilled. The legislation was proposed by Sen. Roger Thompson.
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Larimer County Jail Adds $200K Airport-Like Body Scanner
Coloradoan, (02/05/2017), Jason Pohl
The Larimer County Jail in Colorado has a new full-body X-ray scanner. The $200,000 device scans inmates and can reveal contraband such as concealed weapons or drugs. During its first month of use, the scanner led to detection of a lighter, drugs and a radio.
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Ohio Bill Could Reduce Prison Time for Nonviolent Offenders Who Violate Parole, (02/22/2017), Jackie Borchardt
Under a bill introduced in the Ohio Senate, nonviolent offenders who breach their parole through technical violations such as missing a meeting would not automatically be sent to prison. That proposal and other reforms in the bill are intended to reduce the state's high prison population and focus more on rehabilitation for nonviolent offenders.
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This Drone Crashed Inside a Prison. Under New Bill, Pilot Could Wind Up There, Too.
The Charlotte Observer, (02/24/2017), Ames Alexander
Legislation introduced in North Carolina would make it a crime to fly a drone over prisons and jails in the state. The bill would prohibit anyone but law enforcement officials from flying drones within 250 feet above or 500 feet around prisons and jails. Those who use drones to deliver weapons or other contraband could be charged with felonies; others who simply fly drones near prisons could be charged with misdemeanors. The bill resembles one introduced earlier this year in South Carolina.
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Prisons Experiment With Cell Blocks for Military Veterans
NBC News, (02/26/2017), Tracy Connor
Some correctional facilities have cell blocks designated for military veterans. To create the program-intensive "veteran pod" in Albany County, N.Y., the facility partnered with a nonprofit organization, Soldier On, which provides services for homeless veterans and opened transitional housing down the road from the lockup. The program includes group discussions on addiction and post-traumatic stress, psychological counseling and one-on-one meetings to connect inmates to benefits and plan for their discharge.
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