Science and Technology News

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Deputy Carries Man Lost in Woods on His Back as Drone Guides Them to Safety
12 on Your Side, (10/24/2018)
A sheriff's department drone helped guide a Stafford County (Va.) deputy who was carrying a lost man on his back to safety. The deputy located and assisted the injured man as part of a search and rescue effort, and the drone provided guidance in the dark.
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Idaho Falls Police Get Ahead of the Curve With New DNA-testing Device
East Idaho, (10/23/2018), Rett Nelson
The Idaho Falls Police Department has become the first law enforcement agency in the state to begin using a new device that uses a "vacuum cleaner" concept to gather forensic evidence for DNA testing. A company official says the M-Vac system is up to 200 times more effective than a traditional swab test.
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Some Police Dogs Now Have Cameras, Too
Times Daily, (10/24/2018), Carrie Antlfinger for the Associated Press
In Oregon and elsewhere, some police dogs are getting their own version of body-worn cameras. The devices, attached to the dogs' vests and worn on their backs, transmit video to their handlers to help with situational assessment. Departments generally use the cameras when dogs go out to look for suspects, missing people or explosives.
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New Technology to Track Dementia Patients, At-risk People Now Available in Hall County
11, (10/25/2018), Joe Henke and Lauren Padgett
Officers from three Georgia law enforcement agencies recently received training on new GPS tracking devices to be given to dementia patients and people living with autism. When an individual equipped with one of the devices goes missing, a caregiver can call law enforcement and provide the tracking number; officers can then attempt to locate the person with police radio frequency receivers.
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Hero 24/7: Virginia State Trooper Raises Awareness of PTSD in Law Enforcement
WJLA, (10/24/2018), Nancy Chen
This piece profiles Virginia State Police Trooper Michael McSellers and his efforts to raise awareness about the struggle that police officers and other first responders have in dealing with PTSD. McSellers has made a video about his own experiences that has gone viral.
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Officers in Pews, Pastors in Police Cars: Program Lets Police and Community Walk a Mile in Each Other's Shoes
CBN News, (10/26/2018), Amber C. Strong
In Indianapolis, a program called One Cop involves community policing officers and members of the local clergy working together in a crime prevention effort. This article describes the program's effectiveness.
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'Art of Forensics' at Tampa History Center Aimed at Solving Cold Cases
Tampa Bay Times, (10/29.2018), Josh Fiallo
The University of South Florida's Institute of Forensic Anthropology & Applied Science has created clay busts from the unidentified remains in 21 cold cases throughout the country; the busts remain on display at the Tampa Bay History Center through November 27. The goal of the event is for an attendee to recognize a face and be able to help investigators identify a victim. Similar events held previously have succeeded in helping close cold cases.
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School Drug Prevention Program Puts New Focus on Opioids
Newsday, (10/28/2018), Keshia Clukey
The Shelter Island School District has become the first in New York State to begin using a new D.A.R.E. program that targets opioid abuse. The police-led curriculum lessons focus on opioid and over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse prevention. Shelter Island has a year-round population of 2,500 residents; the community saw 26 drug overdoses between 2013 and 2017.
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Southern California Police Are Sending Drones to Respond to 911 Calls, (10/28/2018), Feilidh Dwyer
The Chula Vista (Calif.) Police Department recently began deploying drones to certain 911 calls. If used in a response, a drone moves quickly to the scene and gives responding officers a live aerial view of the area. In the first week of the project, the department used drones to respond to more than 30 calls.
Link to Article

Apple, Google Add Life Saving 911 Location Data to iOS & Android
KTLA 5, (10/29/2018), Rich Demuro
New software added to the latest operating system updates for both iOS and Android phones enables dispatch centers to more precisely target the location of someone calling 911 from a wireless phone. Previously, the operating systems relied on tower triangulation, which only placed the call within a wide area.
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Corrections News

Oklahoma Prison Experiences Three Synthetic Opioid Overdoses in One Day
NewsOK, (10/25/2018), Josh Delaney
At Oklahoma's Jess Dunn Correctional Center, three inmates overdosed on synthetic opioids and were revived by first responders using Narcan. The incidents at the facility in Taft took place in a 15-minute span.
Link to Article

S.C. Probation Officers Searching for More Than 5,000 Wanted Parolees
ABC 4 News, (10/25/2018), Ashley Blackstone
This article looks at the work of some of the individuals who search for wanted parolees who have gone off the state's radar in South Carolina. More than 5,000 individuals are unaccounted for, including two murderers and 29 sex offenders.
Link to Article

South Dakota Prison Job Fair Aims to Reduce Recidivism
Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, (10/29/2018), Randy Dockendorf
As part of a pilot program aimed at reducing recidivism, Mike Durfee State Prison in Yankton, S.D., recently held a job fair. Approximately 325 inmates met with representatives of 15 employers who are willing to give them a chance at employment after their release.
Link to Article

Gwinnett County, Ga., Receives $50K Grant to Expand Use of Recidivism-Reducing Software
Government Technology, (10/29/2018), Ben Miller
Probation and parole officers in Gwinnett County, Ga., are using a new software that helps their clients communicate with the myriad agencies and deal with the many requirements they must meet in order not to commit technical violations that would return them to prison. The county has received a $50,000 grant that will move use of Pokket from a pilot phase to permanent use.
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