Science and Technology News

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News


Law Enforcement News

Sheriff Announces Citizen Police Academy/Law Enforcement Mini Academy
Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, (03/13/2018)
The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office in New Jersey is holding a Citizen Police Academy/ Law Enforcement Mini Academy, which offers county residents ages 14 and above an opportunity to learn about the complex roles of modern-day law enforcement agencies. Speakers from municipal, county, state and federal agencies provide insight into their roles in law enforcement, and the role of citizens in assisting agencies in deterring crime. Enrollment in the course involves a six-week commitment to attend weekly classes. Sample topics include Internet Dangers and Safety Measures, Distracted Driving and the Importance of Fitness in Public Safety.
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Pittsburgh Council Backs Expanding Gunshot Detection System
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, (03/14/2019), Adam Smeltz
The Pittsburgh City Council has endorsed expanding the city's gunshot-detection system to reach all six police zones. Pittsburgh began a pilot with the technology in January 2015 in one zone, and the system has pointed to more than 2,200 gunfire incidents, according to the Department of Public Safety. Police have made 48 arrests and responders have located 83 shooting victims. Under the planned expansion, the detection technology coverage would include about 18 square miles citywide, targeting areas that account for the majority of gun-related incidents.
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Delaware Pilot Program Will Replace Driver's License With a Smartphone App
BGR, (03/14/2018), Chris Mills
The Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles has launched a pilot program to test use of electronic driver's licenses. The program will include about 200 DMV employees and stakeholders using the technology for the next six months. According to DMV, features of the mobile driver's license will allow, for example, enhanced privacy for age verification, ease of use and secure access.
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Long-Awaited 911 CAD System Goes Live
The Greenville Sun, (03/15/2018), Ken Little
A new 911 computer-aided dispatch system has been activated in Greenville, Tenn. Emergency call login information such as times and addresses will now automatically be shared with the Greeneville Police Department. Dispatchers from 911 are learning how to input new types of information such as how to run driver's license and vehicle tag inquiries. The information will then be relayed to police officers, eliminating an extra step involving a police dispatcher's communicating with 911.
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Analysis of Arkansas School Security Kicks Off
Arkansas Online, (03/19/2018), Cynthia Howell
The new Arkansas School Safety Commission formed to make recommendations on school safety held its first meeting in March. The panel is to identify gaps in school safety and how to make schools safer. It is to submit its preliminary report by July 1 and a final report by Nov. 1. The panel includes educators, members of law enforcement and mental health professionals.
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Medford Police Report Increase in Use of Overdose Reversal Medication
News10, (03/18/2018), Genevieve Grippo
The police department in Medford, Ore., has seen an uptick in the need to administer naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid overdoses. The police department began administering naloxone in 2015, and since then, has deployed it 39 times, saving 37 lives. By this time in 2017, police officers had administered naloxone three times. So far this year, the drug has been used eight times by the department.
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State Police Roll Out System for Real-Time Sharing of OD Data
The Tribune-Democrat, (03/20/2018) John Finnerty
The Pennsylvania State Police have launched an online tool for local police and troopers to submit information about drug overdoses. The Pennsylvania Overdose Information Network is a centralized repository to track overdoses, naloxone administrations and investigative drug information that may be used by police, public safety and health care professionals to better track and share information related to opioid abuse. The tool will help police coordinate efforts to combat drug trafficking and help identify hot spots of dangerous drug activity.
Link to Article


Area Police Participating in Aggressive Driving Initiative
The Tribune-Democrat, (03/20/2018), Ronald Fisher
Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies are participating in the Aggressive Driving Enforcement Initiative, a partnership comprised of municipal police departments, Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT, Highway Safety Network and Buckle Up PA. State police and 235 municipal agencies will conduct a targeted aggressive driving enforcement wave from now through April 29. The effort is an attempt to reduce vehicle accidents with a focus on speeding, work zones safety violations and lane changes.
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Corrections News

Nebraska Prison Unit for Veterans Helps Men Rediscover Honor and Respect
Lincoln Journal Star, (03/18/2018), JoAnne Young
This article describes a 40-bed unit in the Nebraska State Penitentiary that is solely for military veterans, and how it is helping them.
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Drones Used to Deliver Drugs, Cellphones and Other Contraband to Delano Prison, Documents Say
The Bakersfield Californian, (03/19/2018), Jason Kotowski
Authorities have documented incidents where drones carrying contraband have flown inside the perimeter of Delano's Kern Valley State Prison, according to court documents. Prison staff found a crashed drone in September and cellphones in a bag attached to the drone. In February, a prison staffer heard a noise that sounded like a drone and the sound of something hitting the dirt. Staff found bags containing cellphones, drugs and hacksaw blades.
Link to Article


Missouri Prisoners to Receive Smart Tablets
News-Press Now, (03/17/2018), Alex Flippin
Missouri plans to provide smart tablets to prison inmates. About 33,000 tablets will be donated to the Missouri Department of Corrections and distributed to every inmate in the state. Inmates will have access to email that will be monitored. They will not have access to the internet. The tablets will be loaded with rehabilitative lessons and programs.
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Alarming Spike in Panhandle Prison Deaths Reaches 'Point of Crisis'
Pensacola News Journal, (03/17/2018), Emma Kennedy
This article discusses inmate deaths and possible contributing factors in some Florida prisons. The three major prisons in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties - Century Correctional Institution, Santa Rosa Correctional Institution and Blackwater River Correctional Institution - investigated a total of six inmate deaths in 2016. That number rose to 23 in 2017, and so far in 2018, there have been seven deaths at those three facilities.
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Introducing Inmates to Real Life via Virtual Reality
U.S. News & World Report, (03/15/2018), Catherine Kim
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is using virtual reality to try to prepare some inmates for release from prison. The program is for people convicted as juveniles and serving life sentences. The department implemented programs such as classes, training and virtual reality, which has been used to give inmates a glimpse of where they will live after release, such as a halfway house.
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8 Surprising Reasons People Have Gotten Arrested on Purpose
SFGate, (03/19/2018), Mark Abadi for Business Insider
This article discusses reasons why some people purposely get arrested in order to go to jail, such as to obtain access to healthcare, smuggle in drugs to sell to inmates and to quit smoking.
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Screening Wastewater Could Help Cities Track Opioid Use
Government Technology, (03/16/2018), J.B. Wogan
A startup company has devised a tool to measure the concentration of opioids in sewage to estimate levels of drug use in different neighborhoods. Biobot Analytics was the winning startup in a pitch competition judged by mayors at the South by Southwest conference in Austin. Company officials say cities can collect wastewater samples and analyze the data every two weeks, and so pinpoint where residents are abusing drugs and whether consumption declines after policy interventions.
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