Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Public Safety Technology in the News

Only 59 Percent of Agencies Require Officers to Wear Body Armor, Survey Shows, (09/22/2009)

Most law enforcement agencies provide body armor to officers, but just over half require their officers to wear the armor at least some of the time, according to a new report. The report details results of a survey sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. A nationally representative sample of 782 agencies participated in the survey, 59 percent of which said they require officers to wear body armor at least sometimes. Nearly 100 percent said they make body armor available to officers, which the report said has helped reduce the number of officers killed in the line of duty. In 1987, only 28 percent of police agencies provided body armor or money to officers to purchase armor. The report said agencies can take further steps to ensure officers wear their armor. For example, most departments do not have written policies, which can make enforcement more difficult.

Alabama Could Pioneer New 911 Technology
Tuscaloosa News, (09/20/2009), Stephanie Taylor

Alabama is eyeing technology that would allow text messages to be sent to a 911 emergency line. Rod Coleman, Tuscaloosa E-911 director, said Alabama could begin using Internet protocol-based 911 technology next year. The network would be called ANGEN, for Alabama Next Generation. Calls could be shared with other agencies within the network, and agencies would not have to make a series of phone calls to share information. Citizens could send photos to 911, which could then be transferred to laptop computers in police vehicles. Dispatchers could access car crash data, building plans and extrication guides, traffic information and electronic maps. The cost to set up the system is estimated at $1.9 million, part of which will be paid for with federal grant money.

FBI, Fairfax Police Test Child Abduction Response Plan
Washington Post, (09/20/2009), James Hohmann

The FBI and the Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Department recently conducted a mock kidnapping to test the FBI’s child abduction response plan. The six-hour simulation involved 100 people from five local police departments. In the early hours of an investigation, separating suspects from victims can be challenging. Many children are abducted by people they know, and investigators are trained to not immediately rule out parents as suspects. Organizers said participants learned a valuable lesson during the drill. Agents did not check with neighbors until several hours after the child had “disappeared,” although canvassing a neighborhood can lead to important information. After a series of investigative actions, the scenario ended with tactical entry into the “suspect’s” room, where the child was recovered.

Grant Gives Fresno County Another Crack at Cold Cases
The Fresno Bee, (09/19/2009), Pablo Lopez

Fresno County authorities are making progress in solving cold cases, thanks to DNA technology grant funding from the National Institute of Justice. The Fresno Police Department has about 425 unsolved homicide cases and more than 900 unsolved sexual assault cases, many of which occurred more than 12-years ago. Since receiving the funding, the department has solved two old homicide cases and more than a dozen rape cases. The Fresno Sheriff’s Office has solved two homicide cases dating back at least 20 years. Over the past three years, the police department has spent more than $300,000 on DNA equipment, and the sheriff’s office is using part of its grant money to pay a private lab to analyze DNA samples from old homicide cases.

James Bond-Caliber Crime Center Opens Downtown (City News Service), (09/17/2009), Christina Villacorte

The Los Angeles Police Departments new Regional Crime Center has boosted the city’s arsenal of investigative tools. The 5,000 sq. ft. center contains sophisticated computers to collect crime information in real-time, facial recognition software to help identify suspects on security cameras, a GPS tracking system to monitor ex-offenders and paroled gang members, and a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear sensor system. The round-the-clock center will be run by the department’s Real-Time Analysis and Critical Response division.

Grant Expected to Improve Communication Among Fire Departments, (09/18/2009), Raymond Legendre

First responders in one Louisiana parish will soon be able to easily communicate with each other using handheld and mobile radios purchased with a federal grant. The 700 MHz radios will make it easier for firefighters, law enforcement personnel and emergency preparedness staff to work together during disasters. The $780,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide LaFourche Parish’s 11 fire departments with 107 mobile radios for fire trucks and 265 portable radios for chiefs and line officers.

Mobile Phones Connect Police, Community
San Francisco Examiner, (09/18/2009), Tamara Barak Aparton

Some San Francisco foot patrol police officers can receive incident calls on cell phones from businesses and citizens, courtesy of local merchants. Officers working out of the Ingleside Station have voicemail and e-mail, but they did not have department-issued cell phones because of the expense. At the suggestion of Ingleside Capt. David Lazar, merchants participating in the Bernal Business Alliance, which is served by the station, chipped in to pay for one police cell phone, which cost $47 per month. Implemented in August, the phone is shared by two beat officers. The phones do not replace 911. Merchants have called the officers to report license plate numbers of drug dealers and shoplifting problems. Lazar said he hopes to expand the pilot program to the three other foot patrols in his district. The cost of the phones would be paid by other neighborhood merchants.

Shootings Study to See If Stun Guns Would Help
San Francisco Chronicle (09/19/2009), Jill Tucker

San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón has ordered a review of shootings involving police officers since 2005. The analysis will likely include whether police use of less-lethal weapons, such as conducted energy devices (for example, Taser®), would have made a difference during the incidents, according to a spokesman for the department. The review will examine eight fatal and 12 nonfatal shootings by police. City police currently do not carry conducted energy devices. A 2008 review by the Police Executive Research Forum recommended that San Francisco officers use stun guns.

State-of-the-Art Computer Forensic Lab Opens
The Reading Advocate, (09/23/2009)

Boston has a new computer forensics laboratory that will provide additional tools for investigating cyber crime. The technology in the 3,000 sq. ft. lab enhances investigators’ ability to conduct exams on digital media such as computers, cell phones, laptops, PDAs and GPS devices. The lab also includes features to make it more cost-effective. For example, it has a climate-controlled training room that can detect when the room is occupied and can adjust the room’s temperature accordingly to save on energy costs. An enhanced security system will protect evidence stored in the lab. The floors of the evidence intake room and the imaging room are “grounded” to eliminate static electricity and protect digital evidence from being damaged or compromised.

Domestic Violence Death Risk Study
Tulsa World, (09/21/2009), Nicole Marshall

Law enforcement officers and domestic violence workers hope to reduce domestic violence deaths in Oklahoma by predicting the likelihood of domestic violence homicides using a “lethality assessment.” Eight Oklahoma agencies are participating in a study, funded by the National Institute of Justice, to determine the effectiveness of using the assessment. Oklahoma typically ranks about fourth in the United States in the number of domestic violence homicides, according to Janet Sullivan-Wilson, an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The assessment, developed by a nursing professor at Johns Hopkins University, is being used in other states, but Oklahoma will be the first to evaluate it. The assessment is a set of interview questions used to determine the danger level of the victim’s relationship with an abuser. Officers can use the assessment at domestic violence scenes.

NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence Announces Oct. 27 Webinar on Precision Location for Public Safety

The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence (CoE) will host a webinar on “Personnel Precision Location Technology” on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Program Manager Peter Small will be joined by Center Director Rick Mulvihill and Chief Technology Officer Alan Kaplan of Drakontas, LLC, to present an introduction to this technology for criminal justice professionals. Join the CoE to learn about personnel precision location technology and its role in law enforcement and corrections operations. The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence will host a series of webinars over the next year, with one occurring approximately every eight weeks. You can register for the personnel precision location technology webinar by clicking on this link:
About the Communications Technologies CoE
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) established the NLECTC Communications Technologies CoE in October 2007 to serve as a specialized technology resource for the more than 19,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement and corrections agencies across the United States. To learn more about the Communications Technologies CoE, go to

This project is supported by NIJ Award No. 2007-IJ-CX-K013 and Supplement One. The opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Fifth International Joint Conferences on Computer, Information, and Systems Sciences, and Engineering (CISSE 2009)

December 4-12, 2009
Sponsored by the University of Bridgeport
Technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, Communications
Society and Education Society (Connecticut Section)

CISSE 2009 provides a virtual forum for presentation and discussion of the state-of the-art research on computers, information and systems sciences and engineering. CISSE 2009 is the fifth conference of the CISSE series of e-conferences. CISSE is the World's first Engineering/Computing and Systems Research E-Conference. CISSE 2005 was the first high-caliber Research Conference in the world to be completely conducted online in real-time via the internet. CISSE 2005 received 255 research paper submissions and the final program included 140 accepted papers, from more than 45 countries. CISSE 2006 received 691 research paper submissions and the final program included 390 accepted papers, from more than 70 countries. CISSE 2007 received 750 research paper submissions and the final program included 406 accepted papers. A total of 948 paper submissions were received for CISSE 2008 and the final program included 382 accepted papers, from more than 80 countries.

The virtual conference will be conducted through the Internet using web-conferencing tools, made available by the conference. Authors will be presenting their PowerPoint, audio or video presentations using web-conferencing tools without the need for travel. Conference sessions will be broadcast to all the conference participants, where session participants can interact with the presenter during the presentation and/or during the Q&A slot that follows the presentation. This international conference will be held entirely on-line. The accepted and presented papers will be made available and sent to the authors after the conference both on a DVD (including all papers, PowerPoint presentations and audio presentations) and as a book publication. Springer, the official publisher for CISSE, published the 2005 proceedings in 2 books and the CISSE 2006,
CISSE 2007 and CISSE 2008 proceedings in four books each.

Conference participants - authors, presenters and attendees - only need an internet connection and sound available on their computers in order to be able to contribute and participate in this international ground-breaking conference. The on-line structure of this high-quality event will allow academic professionals and industry participants to contribute their work and attend world-class technical presentations based on rigorously refereed submissions, live, without the need for investing significant travel fund or time out of the office.

The concept and format of CISSE is ground-breaking. The PowerPoint presentations, final paper manuscripts and time schedule for live presentations over the web had been available for weeks prior to the start of the conference for all registrants, so that the participants can choose the presentations they want to attend and think about questions that they might want to ask. The live audio presentations were also recorded and are part of the permanent CISSE on-line archive - accessible to all registrants - which also includes all the papers, PowerPoint and audio presentations.

Potential non-author conference attendees who cannot make the on-line conference dates are encouraged to register, as the entire joint conferences will be archived for future viewing.

The CISSE conference audio room provides superb audio even over low speed internet connections, the ability to display PowerPoint presentations, and cross-platform compatibility (the conferencing software runs on Windows, Mac, and any other operating system that supports Java). In addition, the conferencing system allowed for an unlimited number of participants, which in turn granted us the opportunity to allow all CISSE participants to attend all presentations, as opposed to limiting the number of available seats for each session.

Prospective authors are invited to submit full papers electronically in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format through the website of the conference at:

Accepted papers must be presented in the virtual conference by one of the authors. To submit your paper, please visit

CISSE 2009 is composed of the following four conferences:

International Conference on Systems, Computing Sciences and Software
Engineering (SCSS 09)
Topics: Grid Computing, Internet-based Computing Models, Resource
Discovery, Programming Models and tools, e-Science and Virtual
Instrumentation, Biometric Authentication, Computers for People of Special
Needs, Human Computer Interaction, Information and Knowledge Engineering,
Algorithms, Parallel and Distributed processing, Modeling and Simulation,
Services and Applications, Embedded Systems and Applications, Databases,
Programming Languages, Signal Processing Theory and Methods, Signal
Processing for Communication, Signal Processing Architectures and
Implementation, Information Processing, Geographical Information
Systems,Object Based Software Engineering, Parallel and Distributed
Computing, Real Time Systems, Multiprocessing, File Systems and I/O,
Kernel and OS Structures.

International Conference on Telecommunications and Networking (TeNe 09)
Topics: Optical Networks and Switching, Computer Networks, Network architectures and Equipment, Access Technologies, Telecommunication Technology, Coding and Modulation technique, Modeling and Simulation, Spread Spectrum and CDMA Systems, OFDM technology, Space-time Coding, Ultra Wideband Communications, Medium Access Control, Spread Spectrum, Wireless LAN: IEEE 802.11, HIPERLAN, Bluetooth, Cellular Wireless Networks, Cordless Systems and Wireless Local Loop, Mobile Network Layer, Mobile Transport Layer, Support for Mobility, Conventional Encryption and Message Confidentiality, Block Ciphers Design Principles, Block Ciphers Modes of Operation, Public-Key Cryptography and Message Authentication, Authentication Application, Stenography, Electronic Mail Security, Web Security, IP Security, Firewalls, Computer Forensics.

International Conference on Engineering Education, Instructional
Technology, Assessment, and E-learning (EIAE 09)
Topics: Instructional Design, Accreditation, Curriculum Design, Educational Tools, 2-2-2 Platforms, Teaching Capstone Design, Teaching Design at the Lower Levels, Design and Development of e-Learning tools, Assessment Methods in Engineering, Development and Implementation of E-learning tools, Ethics in Education, Economical and Social Impacts of E-learning.

International Conference on Industrial Electronics, Technology &
Automation (IETA 09)
Topics: Advanced and Distributed Control Systems, Intelligent Control Systems (NN, FL, GA, .etc), Expert Systems, Man Machine Interaction, Data Fusion, Factory Automation, Robotics, Motion Control, Machine Vision, MEMS Sensors and Actuators, Sensors Fusion, Power Electronics, High Frequency Converters, Motors and Drives, Power Converters, Power Devices and Components, Electric Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation, Process Automation, Factory Communication, Manufacturing Information System Advances in Manufacturing Systems, Industrial Applications of Multi Media, Intelligent Systems Instrumentation, Industrial Instrumentation, Modeling and Simulation, Signal Processing, Image and Data Processing, VR and Parallel systems.

Paper Submission
Prospective authors are invited to submit full papers electronically in
Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format through the website of the conference at
Accepted papers must be presented in the virtual conference by one of the
authors. To submit your paper, please visit
Paper submission Deadline: October 12th, 2009
Notification of Acceptance: November 13th, 2009
Final Manuscript and Registration: November 26th, 2009
S. Patel
Technical Support, CISSE 2009
University of Bridgeport
221 University Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604, U.S.A.

Defense Department to Announce Balanced Social Media Policy

By Heather Forsgren Weaver
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 23, 2009 - Defense Department officials plan to forward a social media policy to the department leadership within the next two weeks that will balance the pros and cons of social networking sites, the department's top public affairs official said on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" yesterday. "I think there are two issues that need to be balanced," said Price Floyd, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. "No. 1, you need to recognize the benefits taking part in social networking sites and social networking media give you, as well as the risks involved. And I don't want in any way to shortchange the risks.

"I believe [the policy] ... will encourage the use of social networking because of the benefits that are there, but also understand and underscore the risks there," he added.

Social media generally refers to using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other interactive media tools to communicate with ever-expanding networks of family, friends and colleagues. Currently, Floyd said, the department does not have a policy on the use of social media.

"Right now there is no policy on working with or in social networking sites or media. It's currently under review," he said. "It's on course to be finished within about two weeks."

Introduced on NPR as the department's "social media guru," Floyd said not everyone in the department feels the same because they worry that operational security -- Opsec -- will be violated.

"In the past, when a soldier, airman, [sailor] or Marine sent home a letter to their family or loved ones and had information in it that might have been sensitive, it could have been read by two or three people, and that was it," he explained.

"The problem now with social networking is that when you Twitter that information that might be sensitive ... or put it on your Facebook page, thousands of people see it immediately, and then thousands more could see it as it's forwarded on to others," he said. "The ramifications of making a mistake, of putting things that shouldn't be on there on those sites, are even greater than they used to be."

Noah Shactman, editor of Wired magazine's National Security Blog 'Danger Room,' was also a guest on the NPR program. He noted there are dozens of overlapping policies about what various branches of the military are allowed to do. The Marines, for example, recently banned Twitter and Facebook from its official networks, while the Army ordered that its networks be allowed access to the sites.

"That's just one example of how there's a lot of tension within the military about whether to use these sites or not, and that's why I think this review is very helpful," Shactman said.

The operational security concerns "might be a little overblown," Shactman said, noting that a 2006 study revealed independent military blogs only had 28 security violations over the course of a year, while official military sites had more than 1,800 violations of those same security policies.

Floyd said he used his Twitter account to get feedback on the Marine policy ban when it was announced. Most people who responded said they wanted folks to have access, but "a large minority" said they understood there were security concerns.

"These people were on Twitter saying, 'Yes, this should be blocked,' so not everyone who uses social networking sites is in favor of having complete and open access," he said.

Many of the people who called into the NPR program spoke in favor of more regulation of social media sites, even as they pleaded for more constant access to their deployed loved ones.

One former soldier, Matt, who served two tours as an officer in Iraq, said using social media in Iraq earlier this decade was distracting to his troops.

"I've also heard comments from other commanders on the ground that they need to be focused on the fight, not what's going on at home," Floyd said. "But I've also heard lots of comments about how it was easier to reintegrate once they came back."

Mike, a noncommissioned officer who served a tour in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq, said for his soldiers to have "seamless communication with their families was absolutely helpful to morale."

Kira called in to say she talks to her deployed boyfriend in Iraq via Skype, a free video chat service. She thanked Floyd for being able to use social networking, but she said she also recognizes the risks it poses.

"It might seem innocuous, but if the right pieces of information are put in the right order, then that can really put our troops in danger," she said. "I think [operational security] needs to be emphasized more within the military community."

Floyd pointed out that some military commands have been using social media for years: Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO's top military commander, launched his Facebook page and blogged while leading Southern Command.

Recruiters also are using social media to keep in touch with troops who have signed up but have yet to report for duty, Floyd said.

"I was at the Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky, several weeks ago, and they're going to use Twitter to keep in touch with recruits before they show up," he said. "They also use Twitter to let their recruits know how they can earn credit towards promotion even before they show up for their first day of duty."

Overall, Floyd said, he believes there is a general misunderstanding about social media.

"A lot of people think of it as a new way to get information out. So in that sense, when we went from blast faxing information to blast e-mailing, people were so excited you could push one button and reach so many people," he said. "And they believed that Web 2.0 is just the next extension of that. I believe that's just a fundamental misunderstanding of what Web 2.0 is all about."

It's not so much a way of getting more information out, he said, it's also a way of engaging the American people, and "in the case of the military, engaging internally with our internal audience of several million members of the Defense Department."

The department's newly revamped Web site,, is designed to engage the public in discussion, Floyd stressed. He added that he is not concerned that things may be posted that haven't been strenuously scrubbed – "things that may not be -- quote-unquote -- 'approved talking points' from public affairs."

"I actually welcome that sort of talk and chatter on the Web," he said. "I believe it shows a Pentagon that has multiple voices, and it gives a transparency to our decision-making process that I believe is good."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Students Spend Summer as MIT Scholars

By Christen N. McCluney
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 22, 2009 - While other high school students spent the summer working and spending time with friends, three Defense Department students ratcheted up their education at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology program. Husain Mogri, from Bahrain American School; Derrick Lewis, from Ramstein High School; and Shannon Grammel, from Heidelberg American High School, spent their time working under the mentorship of eminent scientists and researchers as part of the 2009 Research Science Institute at MIT.

The three Department of Defense Education Activity students were selected to participate in the six-week program sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education. As part of the program, the students attend college-level classes taught by distinguished professors; work with scientists, mathematicians and engineers; and complete hands-on research with professionals at corporations, universities and research organizations.

The students shared their experience in a Sept. 16 interview on "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" on Pentagon Web Radio.

Shannon shared the basic experience of the students who lived on the MIT campus, which included a week of classes as a group and individual classes. Students then were matched up with mentors for four weeks. The program culminated with a presentation of the research.

Shannon's presentation, "Ejection Behavior of Hypervelocity Stars in the Presence of Sagittarius A* and the Milky Way Potential," focused on hypervelocity stars -- those with velocity so great that they escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy. She used computer programs to simulate star behavior, matching it with observations of 20 real stars. She placed in the top five of best final presentations.

Husain conducted organic chemistry research under the guidance of graduate students at Boston College. The goal of his project, "The Synthesis of Bicyclo [3,2,1] octan-2-one," was to develop new methods that could improve the speed and efficiency of chemical reactions.

Going into the program Husain had no experience in organic chemistry. "I wanted to try something new that I had not been exposed to in school," he said.

He was able to jump into lab work after only five days of tutorials.

Derrick conducted experiments involving computer modeling of the human voice. The goal of his project was to mimic the human voice and identify certain characteristics that could provide information about the speaker, including physiology, emotional state or body shape. This work ultimately could impact voice recognition technologies used in security systems.

Each student faced challenges while working on their projects. Because he went into his project with very little experience, Husain said, he had to pay close attention to details.

"It was truly different from what I've experienced in school," where sample sizes are much larger and there is more room for mistakes, Husain said. "It's amazing that so much work over so much time was given to such little amount of substance."

This program was Shannon's first experience in astrophysics and she taught herself to use the computer programs so she could be ahead of the learning curve. However, on the day her research was due, she discovered a problem with the computer program and her data turned out to be all wrong, she said.

"That was quite a challenge to hear that when I had about six hours left," she said. So, to complete her project, she learned quickly to change focus and wrote on the steps taken to prepare for search, methodology and the steps for the future.

Derrick discovered that sometimes technology can be too powerful and spent hours before classes -- as early as 3 a.m. -- in an MIT lab tweaking variables so that he could get successful results. He also faced the challenge of learning calculus in two weeks. "It was stimulating and inspires you to do more." he said.

One of the highlights of the program for Husain was the opportunity to experience college life, he said. For Derrick, it was a chance to learn to balance work and a social life.

"This is probably the best summer of my life. I've never experienced anything like this before and I think it will be difficult to match this," Shannon said.

(Christen N. McCluney works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Security Expert Urges Troops to Safeguard Data

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 22, 2009 - Military family members who gathered here recently to learn how to protect their identities were told to "think like a spy" in protecting their personal information. John Sileo, an author and identity theft expert -- himself a victim of identity theft -- spoke at the Defense Department's Joint Family Readiness Conference here, hosted by the Office of Military Community and Family Policy.

Sileo told the audience of the case of Albert Gonzalez, a Miami man who pleaded guilty last month in the largest-ever identity theft case, which involved hacking into data on 130 million credit and debit cards used at five major retail stores. The news was meant as a wake-up call.

"You guys have a one-in-two chance that this man, alone, has stolen your identity," Sileo said. "One man."

To protect their identities, Sileo's first piece of advice was to think like a spy on requests for personal, identifying information.

"A spy is trained in stealing data, information, knowledge, intellectual capital. Unlike a thief who steals physical things," Sileo said. "Not only is a spy trained in how to collect it, but how to protect it."

To think like a spy requires some specific mindsets. The first is called the "privacy reflex," he said. "Spies are trained immediately to have a reflex anytime somebody requests their personal information. They do this using a device called a trigger."

Sileo calls the five triggers the "Hogwash 5" because when a solicitor says them, your response should be "hogwash." They are: "trust me," a claim of protecting finances, asking for a "little bit" more information and things Sileo calls "bribe bias and fear bias."

"I'm going to give you something in exchange for your information," Sileo said. "Now, that's not identity theft, but it's the same principle, which is, 'I'm going to bribe you out of your information.' The reverse is, 'If you don't do this, then I'll take something away'" – the fear bias.

"The fifth [trigger] is the most common," he added. "It's the most subtle. Eighty percent of the time all they have to do is say, I just need a little bit more of your information. We're so used to giving it away that that's all they have to say."

The second mindset of a spy involves interrogation, which Sileo describes as aggressive and systematic questioning. In other words, slow down the interaction and consider what's being requested and why. If it's a phone call allegedly from a bank claiming fraudulent activity and offering to close out the account, ask for verification.

Request only information the bank could produce like the date, amount and location of the last transaction.

"If it's the bank, who is sitting at a computer, or a really good identity thief, they'll have the answer. If not, you'll hear your first excuse," Sileo said. "Red flag number two. Any excuse is hogwash."

That leads to mindset three: target the enemy.

Sileo suggests stopping the receipt of information the enemy seeks such as preapproved credit applications. Freezing credit, which requires people to provide a password before a new account can be opened in their name, also is a way to stop a would-be identity thief, he said.

Methods for reducing the chances of identity theft are plentiful, but they're not foolproof. Keeping an eye on accounts and expedient investigation into any unusual activity can make all the difference, he said.

"It's that speed of catching identity theft -- it's not that we get rid of all of it," Sileo said. "It's that we monitor it and stop it."

Sileo's suggestions come from experience. His problems started when he walked into the bank where he'd done business for 15 years to open a new checking account in 2003. His request was denied because "your history's bad."

"That's hogwash," Sileo told the teller. "Things were fine when I was in this bank last."

Hogwash or not, the teller told him, he'd conducted a lot of financial business -- and become a woman -- since he'd been in the bank last.

"The first time my identity was stolen it was by a crime ring called the Cashmen who dress up like your trash men ... [who] collect the garbage off your curb, [and] take it back to a warehouse where they filter through it for your numbers, your identity," Sileo said. "A woman ... purchased my stolen identity on the Internet and used it to buy herself a second home in Cleveland, Ohio."

Then she stopped making payments, defaulted on the loan and declared bankruptcy in his name, he said.

Two weeks later he'd straightened things out, though it had cost him that much time away from work and a firm suggestion from the bank teller to take some action to prevent a repeat. He chose to ignore the advice, which would prove to be a life-altering mistake.

"I'd paid my dues and lightening wasn't going to strike twice," he said. Until a few months later when there was a knock on his door.

"When I opened it, standing there was a gentleman – black suit, black tie, very official badge – who tells me ... I'm about to be charged with a theft of $298,000," he added.

Sileo was being charged with embezzling from his clients to pay for the $20,000 a month he'd supposedly spent on personal items.

Two years later, Sileo won a long, hard fight to prove his innocence – but the war wasn't over.

"In the end, I didn't lose my freedom. I did, however, lose my business -- a 40-year-old business I'd taken over from my father -- my salary, my career," he said. "And I lost something so much more fundamental to my identity than any of that financial stuff. I lost two years with my family."

Preventing identity theft doesn't have to be difficult, but it does take some effort, Sileo said.

"You are in control of this amazingly powerful asset called your identity, but you have to be willing to protect the value of that asset," he said. "If you won't do it for yourselves, do it for your kids. In your case, do if for your country because we all need you [to be free to focus on the mission at hand, not reclaiming your identity]."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ten Ways You Can Use the NCSTL Web Site

by Diana Botluk
Where do you go when you need to know more about a type of forensic science or a particular scientific evidentiary issue? Whether you are a law enforcement professional looking for information on voice analysis, a lawyer preparing a forensic anthropologist for trial, an academic doing research on forensic linguistics, or a person who just wants to know if the latest story line on CSI: Miami could possibly be true, there is a Web site that can help.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

IJIS Institute Educates Congress on Information Sharing

Sponsors briefing on the Hill to call attention to critical homeland security issue

The IJIS Institute, a nonprofit organization established by a shared private-public vision to improve mission-critical information sharing in justice, public safety, and homeland security, hosted a Congressional Briefing on Information Sharing and the Security of our Nation in cooperation with Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro. The briefing, held on Patriot Day, September 11, 2009, was attended by legislative directors and congressional staff, committee and sub-committee staff, high-ranking officials from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (U.S. Department of Justice), and representatives from major national public safety organizations.

Information is the lifeblood of effective public safety and homeland security. Sharing crucial information pertaining to justice, public safety, and anti-terrorism continues to be a national imperative. Terrorism, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events have exposed the shortcomings of government computer systems and their inability to share information across domains, between agencies, and amongst neighboring jurisdictions. The briefing educated participants on what the government and its private sector partners are doing to help the information sharing effort for the common good.

The briefing, moderated by the chairman of the IJIS Institute’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Steve Mednick, featured IJIS Institute President, Mike Lyons, speaking about “Connecting the Dots” in information sharing, as well as Maury Mitchell, director of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, who provided a presentation on “Information Sharing from the State and Local Perspective.” The session ended with a discussion on “National Initiatives for Information Sharing” presented by IJIS Institute’s executive director, Paul Wormeli. Several participants engaged the panel with questions about information sharing benefits, costs, and solutions.

Reflecting on the briefing, Wormeli noted that, “There is a fear in the information technology industry that information sharing – even as critical as it is to public safety and homeland security – will be overshadowed and undervalued in the coming years. I am pleased to have been able to put this crucial topic back on the Capitol Hill radar and I look forward to continued engagement in national-level dialogues on this vital topic.”

About the IJIS Institute—The IJIS Institute serves as the voice of industry by uniting the private and public sectors to improve mission critical information sharing for those who protect and serve our communities. The IJIS Institute provides training, technical assistance, national scope issue management and program management services to help government fully realize the power of information sharing. Founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with national headquarters on The George Washington University Virginia Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, the IJIS Institute has grown to more than 250 member and affiliate companies across the United States. For more information visit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Public Safety Technology in the News

Law Enforcement Officers Gain Powerful Tool: Video Billboards
The Leaf Chronicle (Associated Press), (08/29/2009), Duncan Mansfield

After bank surveillance photos from a string of robberies dating back to May flashed on electronic billboards across the South, the FBI named a suspect in the manhunt. A four-month search using traditional investigation techniques failed to produce a suspect, but the man was identified within 24 hours of the photo’s appearance on highway signs. Major billboard companies and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America have organized a 40-state network that has led to the capture of at least 20 individuals in the past 18 months. In this case, the photo initially ran on electronic billboards in Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The billboard companies make the service available free of charge.

Md. Officials Test Cell Phone Detection at Prison
Houston Chronicle (Associated Press), (09/03/2009), Brian Witte

Recently, officials from Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware gathered to observe cell phone detection technology testing at a closed Maryland prison, along with representatives of the National Governors Association, the American Correctional Association and the American Jail Association. Six vendors put their technology to the test at the Maryland House of Correction, closed in March 2007 because of difficulty in controlling inmate violence. The technologies are designed to allow corrections officials to locate and root out contraband cell phones. Five of the six technologies would not require a change in laws related to cell-phone jamming, prohibited by federal law. One company required a special Federal Communications Commission license for the testing procedure. Using dog and security measures, Maryland officials confiscated 947 cell phones in 2008.

Electronic Ticketing Integration Saves Municipal Court Time and Resources
Reuters, (09/03/2009)

The Kansas City Municipal Court (KCMC) and the local law enforcement department have achieved integration between the court’s JustWare Municipal Court case management solution and the city’s Advanced Public Safety, Inc.’s (APS) electronic ticketing devices. Ticket information from an officer’s PocketCitation ticketing devices is entered automatically into JustWare, eliminating the need for paper copies and manual data entry. The transfer is not real-time, but occurs at the end of each shift when an officer docks a handheld unit into the system. KCMC serves a population of more than 144,000 and has used JustWare Municipal Court since 2007.

Power Management/Anti-Idling Technology Provides Law Enforcement Agencies With Efficient, Cost-Effective Way to Operate Vehicle Electrical Systems During Stops Without Engine Engaged
Reuters, (09/03/2009

Energy Xtreme’s Independence Package provides a unique power management system that operates a car’s electrical system with the engine turned off. This package helps law enforcement deal with the high demand that advanced electrical systems often take on engines. It installs in the trunk of an officer’s car and needs only minimal space, yet can power a car’s systems for up to four hours. It automatically recharges once the engine is turned back on. The Independence Package can also start an engine that has a dead battery.

Federal Funds Bring B.E.A.R. to Valley
The Brownsville Herald, (09/07/2009), Jared Taylor

Hidalgo County, Texas, has begun using “the B.E.A.R.,” a 12-foot high armor-plated vehicle that can transport up to three six-member SWAT teams or used to rescue up to 35 people. The vehicle includes a detachable battering ram on its front and has eight openings in its bulletproof walls and windows to enable law enforcement officers to return fire. The B.E.A.R. can withstand armor-piercing rounds, grenades and improvised explosive devices. It includes a turret suitable for mounting a machine gun and is the first of its kind being used by a law enforcement agency south of San Antonio. The vehicle also features an infrared camera that will allow officers to search for suspects in rough terrain at night. Its purchase was funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Convicted Sex Offender Arrested for Child Porn in N. Arizona
Associated Press, (08/07/2009)

Field Search, a product developed by NLECTC-Rocky Mountain, played a role in the arrest of a convicted sex offender charged with possessing pornographic images of children on his computer in Yavapai County, Ariz. The sheriff’s office charged 57-year-old Larry Dick with 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Lehigh County and CODY Systems Go Live With Real-time Records Sharing Software for Police Officers and Investigators Countywide
MarketWatch, (09/08/2009)

In Lehigh County, Pa., 19 agencies have begun sharing data in real-time on the countywide real-time Records and Data Sharing Network, using an integrated solution from vendor CODY. The suite includes a records management system (RMS) module available to all law enforcement agencies, mobile field reporting for all users and a system that connects all agencies under one data sharing network. The cities of Bethlehem and Allentown and the district attorney’s office also participate.

U.S., Mexico to Build Cross-Border Network
InformationWeek, (09/04/2009), J. Nicholas Hoover

The United States-Mexico High-Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications has established a bilateral working group to oversee construction of a new $7 million public safety and law enforcement network that will extend between the two nations, using existing wireless infrastructure where possible. The working group plans to keep the technical architecture confidential to maximize cybersecurity. The network will be managed jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Mexican Secretariat of Public Security. No date for launch has been set.

Baton Uses Handcuff Tech to Detain Violent Suspects
Manteca Bulletin, (09/01/2009), Glenn Kahl

The Ripon (Calif.) Police Department is testing a police baton that doubles as a handcuff. Officers recently underwent manufacturer-supplied training on the use of the “Apprehender” police baton, which can be used as either a wrist or an ankle restraint. The length of the baton gives the officer leverage that can be used in putting suspects on the ground. It can also be used to lock up a car’s steering wheel. In initial testing, 10 officers will take the device into the field and provide evaluations. Promotional batons are also being tested in New Jersey, Utah, Florida and Canada.

Tasers’ Test Results Spark Invention
Richmond News, (09/09/2009), Nelson Bennett

Datrend Systems, a Richmond (Va.)-based company that manufactures instruments to test specialized medical equipment such as defibrillators, is working on development of TAZRTest, a portable device that law enforcement agencies could use in the field to determine if their conducted energy devices (CEDs) are working properly. The company recently applied for a patent, with approval expected in about 18 months. At present, law enforcement agencies must send their CEDs to one of the few labs that perform testing if they suspect that the weapons are not discharging at the proper rate.

NIJ to Host Four Standards-Related Workshops for Manufacturers

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, during the 116th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference and Exposition in Denver, Colo., the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will host four standards-related workshops for manufacturers. These workshops will provide the opportunity for NIJ to introduce manufacturers to new standards under development and receive their feedback. Participants are strongly encouraged to come prepared to ask questions and to voice suggestions and concerns. Space is limited.

For information on how to register, follow the workshop-related links below:

· NIJ Law Enforcement Duty Holster Retention Standard Workshop
· NIJ Restraints Standard Workshop
· NIJ Vehicular Digital Multimedia Evidence Recording System Standard Workshop
· NIJ Metal Detector Standards Workshop

Microsoft Earns Award for Support of Guard, Reserve

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 16, 2009 - When Tom Castellano was called on to deploy in 2007, his manager at Microsoft had a parting gift. "She gave me a GPS device," the Army Reserve major said. "She told me, 'This is to help find your way back to Microsoft.'"

Castellano deployed from his home in Omaha, Neb., to Fort Meade, Md., where he spent 14 months working in support of Operation Noble Eagle. In addition to the GPS gift, Castellano received the difference between his military pay and his Microsoft salary during his deployment. The company also continued medical and life insurance benefits for Castellano and his family.

For its support of Castellano and several hundred others at Microsoft also in the reserve-component forces, Microsoft, along with 14 other employers, will receive the Defense Department's Freedom Award in a ceremony here tomorrow.

"Their support allowed me to focus on the military mission. I didn't have to worry too much about finances," said Castellano, a military intelligence officer. "I got some positive feedback from even some high-level executives at Microsoft. It made me feel proud to know they were out there supporting me doing something worthwhile."

As a matter of policy, Microsoft recognizes the military service of Castellano and other citizen-servicemembers through newsletters, official Microsoft publications and public events. Company officials also bent some of the rules for Castellano upon his return, he recalled.

"Usually the policy is [that] if you don't use your vacation, it would get lost if it lasts over a year," he said. "But I was reinstated all the vacation time I accrued up to my deployment. They made the exception for me so I could get that back."

Teresa Carlson, Microsoft's vice president of U.S. federal government sales, said Microsoft goes to great lengths to alleviate work-related stress that reserve-component servicemembers on the company's payroll feel while on active duty.

"When someone goes to active duty, the one concern they have is, 'Am I going to have a job when I come back?' Absolutely. Yes, you're going to have a job. Yes, you continue your benefits, and we give you pay differential," Carlson said. "So we try to ensure that when they leave us to go to active duty, they still maintain those same benefits. They don't have to worry about that -- that's one thing that's taken off their plates."

Carlson said employees often mention servicemen and women deployed overseas during company meetings. "We continually keep them in the conversation until they come back and join us again," she said.

When asked if there were qualities in military members that carry over into their civilian jobs, Carlson prefaced her response by disclosing her own family's experience.

"My husband was Army, my son's at West Point, and I spent a lot of years as a military wife. I have a bias," she said. "They are warm-hearted, good people. [They have] high values, care about their government and care about their country. And that absolutely translates to their work life.

"They don't know boundaries of time, because they work until the job's done," she said. "Their training is such that you give them a job to do [and] even though they may not have been specifically trained, they take the hill. They get it done."

The Freedom Award, instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, recognizes U.S. employers that rise above the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Prescription Monitoring Program Achieves Milestone

Exchange of simulated data paves the way for nationwide capability

The IJIS Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on mission-critical information sharing for justice, public safety, and homeland security, is pleased to announce the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Information Exchange (PMIX) project realized a significant milestone on September 1, 2009, with the successful exchange of simulated patient data between the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The PMIX project, which helps states exchange dispensed controlled-substance prescription data, is a partnership of the IJIS Institute, representatives from the involved states, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

PMP systems are controlled by authorized state agencies to collect controlled substance dispensing data in a centralized state database. Designed to help detect and prevent the diversion and abuse of these substances, the programs involve the cooperative efforts of law enforcement, health providers and communities in general. The IJIS Institute is helping states exchange dispensed controlled-substance prescription data through a multi-phased process of developing baseline standards for automated information exchanges, implementing pilot exchange capabilities, and expanding successful pilot implementations into a multi-state solution.

The primary objective of the PMIX project was to develop and test a prototype, intermediary Hub server to enable future, cost-effective expansion of PMIX capabilities to a national scale. The capability to exchange simulated patient data through the Hub was successfully demonstrated on September 1 by representatives of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The exchange of simulated patient data was covered by a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that enabled the sharing of data between test systems in the two states. The demonstration showed how a prescriber in either state could make a request and receive dispensed prescription data through the state's web-based PMP system.

With assistance from the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs (ASPMP), additional states are already developing MOUs with exchange partners and making preparations to implement and test similar PMIX capabilities using simulated patient data.

An important project outcome was to demonstrate a way to reduce the overhead cost that could have accrued at the national level if every potential pair of exchange partners was to implement a separate point-to-point exchange. Another was to make substantial progress supporting the community's long-range goal of achieving a National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)-conformant nationwide PMIX capability. The project showed the feasibility of developing real, executable software code to serve the expectations of a diverse set of stakeholders under substantially divergent state statutes. The states of Ohio and Kentucky, with assistance from an array of IJIS Institute member firms, stepped up to meet this challenge and deserve credit for aggressively taking the lead in the PMP domain. The following IJIS Institute members contributed to the project: BruckEdwards, Inc., Patriot Data Solutions Group, Optimum Technology, Vortx, Delegata, and Health Information Designs, Inc.

The PMIX project is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), with supplemental funding under the 2008 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. BJA supports PMP programs, such as the PMIX project, through the 2008 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, technology assistance projects through the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), and coordination through the ASPMP. The PMIX project receives guidance from the BJA/IJIS Institute PMP Committee comprised of state PMP representatives (Alabama, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, and New York), Institute members, and representatives of various federal interests, including BJA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Robotic Rodeo Displays Future Help for Soldiers

By Christen N. McCluney
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 11, 2009 - Two seemingly different U.S. Army organizations gathered robotics experts, technologists, academecs, soldiers and companies from across the country in search of solutions to help save soldiers' lives. The 3rd Corps and U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, based on Fort Hood, Texas, hosted the first Robotics Rodeo to showcase what's new in the world of automation.

"The number one goal is to save the lives of our soldiers," said Lt. Col. Barry "Chip" Daniels, 3rd Corps' robotics project officer said in a Sept. 9 interview on "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" on Pentagon Web Radio.

The rodeo was intended to foster better communication between soldiers and robotics developers. In this forum, soldiers can offer information on what they actually need in theater, and developers can share what technology is available in the development stage, as opposed to the fielding stage, Daniels said.

More than 30 exhibitors were on hand to display the latest in autonomous robotics, a capability that allows robots to function without a user interface, which helps in areas with limited communications or when soldiers have other tasks to focus on.

"There are a lot of enabling technologies and we saw a lot of examples at the rodeo," said Jim Overholt, director of the Joint Center for Robotics at TARDEC. "Robots are still in their infancy. If we don't have the robots keeping up with the operational tempo of what the troops are used to, they will leave the robots behind."

Daniels advised thinking beyond common perceptions of what robots are capable of when thinking of how they might help the military.

"Often we fall victim to what Hollywood tells us a robot can do," he said. "If they [soldiers] know what the robot is capable of doing, they can see the utility in having it fielded."

Overholt said he is excited that technology developers who have been hearing the need for more mobile platforms, higher rates of speed and stability, are responding to the demand.

Soldiers' feedback is valuable in updating technology and helps with the development phase in all areas, from design of robots to the size of battery packs, he said.

TARDEC also has embedded engineers in Afghanistan and Iraq to see firsthand how soldiers would use the equipment and get insight from the field on how to design it.

Because many of today's soldiers grew up with gaming consoles, TARDEC designed many of the robots to be operated with joysticks.

"It's amazing, you give some of these soldiers robots that can be controlled from a game station or a simple controller and it's not a matter of reading manuals, they are operating that robot in a matter of minutes," Overholt said.

One of the main purposes of having the robots is to simplify capabilities so soldiers are not distracted from what is going on around them.

The robotic technology showcased at the rodeo was designed to help the military with four missions: route clearance, to allow robots to sweep areas instead of troops; logistic convoys, in which robots travel alone between different points; persistent stare, where the robots can observe an area with artificial intelligence alerts; and as future robotic wingmen to augment the current manned combat force, Daniels said.

"The learning that took place on both sides was wonderful to witness," Overholt said.

Daniels agreed that the collaboration between soldiers and robot developers must continue. "Until the systems are in the hands of the soldiers, we are not done," he said.

(Christen N. McCluney works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Defense Department Launches Weekly News Podcast

By Judith Snyderman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 8, 2009 - Defense Department officials have launched "AFPS News," a weekly audio podcast of stories from American Forces Press Service. "American Forces Press Service news and feature articles are a vital source of information to troops, their family members and the American public," said Linda Kozaryn, director of eProducts for the Defense Media Activity.

"The podcasts give AFPS another outlet for our stories, which traditionally have been available only in print and on the Web," she said. "We are excited to reach a broadcast audience via this new media tool."

AFPS, formerly a feature-article service mailed to military installation newspaper editors, has grown into a real-time news operation, posting more than 3,000 articles annually on the Defense Department's Web site. In addition to covering the activities of top Defense Department leaders, it provides timely information on matters important to servicemembers and their families while showcasing the work being done around the world by the nation's men and women in uniform.

To listen to the AFPS podcast, visit the Pentagon Channel's room on iTunes or visit http://:// Defense Department officials have launched "AFPS News," a weekly audio podcast of stories from American Forces Press Service. and click on the podcasts section. It's also available on BlogTalkRadio at

Visitors to, a new portal launched in August, can listen to the AFPS podcasts by choosing the Podcasts tab, then clicking on the AFPS link in the audio podcasts section. They also may subscribe to receive automatic updates of the show each Thursday. The portal provides a handy link to some 28 audio and video podcast programs from a tab in its left column.

"The podcast offers a convenient new way to get a weekly roundup of coverage from AFPS – it's quick, and it's portable," said Brian Natwick, acting director of the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate and general manager of the Pentagon Channel.

Each podcast features five to 10 minutes of news capsules, highlighting AFPS stories related to defense operations and troops around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan - along with coverage of health, environmental, technological and legislative issues. embraces social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and has a new feature called "We Want to Hear From You," which gives users the opportunity to ask questions of Defense Department leaders, vote on policy issues they want explained and explore frequently asked questions and answers.

Podcasting is a method of publishing audio and video broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files. Many content providers offer podcast feeds at no cost that deliver audio or video broadcasts to the user's desktop. Users can replay these files on the computer or load them onto an MP3 player or other portable device. The word "podcasting" combines the words "iPod" and "broadcasting," but the term can be misleading, since neither podcasting nor replaying podcasts requires an iPod or any portable music player.

The weekly podcast of AFPS articles is a production of the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate, established in October 2006 to educate Defense Department organizations about new media tools and applications, encourage their use throughout the department, and to communicate department leadership's messages and priorities more effectively with the public.

(Judith Snyderman works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Two Minute Report: Modern Day Blacksmith

Editor's Note: What do you do when your F16 Breaksdown and the parts aren't available? You make it yourself!

Kunsan Air Base Metals Technology Craftsman Airmen who build parts for F-16's when they aren't available and call themselves modern blacksmiths.

Biometrics Technology Helps Service Members

U.S. service members using the Biometrics Automated Toolset/Hand-held Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, in Afghanistan, to create a database of known identities and track movement. Produced by Staff Sgt. Marcos Alices.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

District Attorney lauds use of Leica Geosystems 3D laser scan data as demonstrative forensic evidence in homicide trial

District Attorney Joe Mulholland of the South Georgia Judicial Circuit added yet another legal case reference to the growing number of U.S. court cases in which Leica Geosystems 3D laser scan data has been admitted into evidence when he successfully proffered and tendered to the jury a visually compelling Leica TruView.

During the murder trial of Antonio Jerome Greenlee in Decatur County Superior Court, witness and crime scene investigator, Andy Forte of the Thomas County Sheriff's Department, used Leica TruView to virtually place the jury at the crime scene and to show them how the homicide could have occurred. The case stems from the homicide of 21-year-old Ebony Clarke of Bainbridge, GA, who was shot and killed on August 12th, 2008, during a street altercation between two men.

Leica TruView is a free, web-enabled panoramic point cloud viewer that allows users to view, pan, zoom, measure and markup the incredibly rich point cloud captured by the Leica ScanStation 3D laser scanner. The Leica ScanStation allows investigators to first photograph and then make millions of measurements of a crime scene in just a few minutes thus "freezing the scene in time" forever. A Leica TruView data set can then be generated in minutes after scanning for briefings or analysis or as in this case as a jury exhibit.

"The jury really, really liked it and we had jurors comment afterwards about how effective it was" said District Attorney Mulholland. "We not only used the TruView to support Andy's testimony, but the judge then allowed Andy to show it again during my direct examination of other witnesses as I asked them questions about where they were standing or where the shooter was. TruView is basically a high-tech picture. It is not testimony. It is offered as an exhibit and demonstrative evidence. This seemed to play well with the judge. The Defense did not object and I think that they thought the same thing."

Mulholland went on to say that after the trial the judge called him to the bench and commented on how effective the use of the Leica TruView was and encouraged him to use it again. "We certainly plan on doing so. The scanning software was absolutely fantastic" said the D.A. The judge also contacted Thomas County Sheriff R. Carlton Powell to thank him for his agency's assistance with the case and to compliment him on the professional nature of the exhibits generated by his investigators. Sheriff Powell was instrumental in bringing ScanStation technology to Georgia law enforcement and has made it available to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and other agencies as a courtesy.

"The Leica ScanStation has been the choice of police and sheriff's departments, state patrols, crime laboratories, prosecutor's offices, coroner and medical examiners and tribal justice agencies" said Tony Grissim the Public Safety and Forensic Account Manager for Leica Geosystems. "The high volume of traffic we are seeing on our web site at is an indicator to us that word is really getting around within the law enforcement community."

Leica Geosystems - when it has to be right

With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3'500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

For further information please contact:
Leica Geosystems Inc.
Andre Ribeiro
Director of Marketing
Atlanta, GA 30092
Phone: +1 (770) 326-9557
Fax: +1 (770) 447-0710

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Public Safety Technology in the News

Nassau Cops Credit Gunshot Detection System, (08/25/2009), Matthew Chayes

Gunshot detection sensors recently installed in Nassau County have alerted police to the locations of four gun crimes. The sensors in place in Uniondale and Roosevelt are part of ShotSpotter, an $850 million microphone and computer system that alerts 911 dispatchers to what the computer identifies as gunfire. Currently, the system is sensitive to fireworks, construction noise and helicopters, as well as gunshots. Authorities will spend about six months calibrating the system to help filter out false alarms. Eventually, most of the 911 alerts will be from actual gunfire. The computer identifies gunfire locations within about 82 feet. Police say the gunshot alerts can speed up medical care for the injured and allow police to respond quicker.

FBI Seeks Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, (08/25/2009), Becky Bereiter

The FBI’s field officers in North and South Carolina want to form a Regional Computer Forensics Lab (RCFL) to pool resources to handle caseloads. There are currently 14 RCFLs across the United States. The labs examine digital evidence and combine the expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, allowing for quicker case turnaround. During fiscal year 2008, RCFLs conducted more than 4,500 forensic examinations, trained 5,000 law enforcement officers in digital forensics techniques and appeared to testify in court 78 times.

NIST Unveils Mobile Biometrics Guide (08/26/2009), Eric Chabrow

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a guide for use of mobile biometric technology. Special Publication 500-280: Mobile ID Device Best Practice REcommendation Version 1, offers guidelines on use to ensure that mobile and stationary systems will work together. NIST researchers developed the guide with assistance from first responders, industry, the military and academia. In releasing the publication, NIST noted that although portable systems have come a long way, “intrinsic limitations” must be considered to ensure interoperability with desktop or large server-based systems. New biometric devices allow users to collect biometric data from suspects with a handheld device anywhere and then wirelessly send it to be compared to samples in databases.

DMV Making Identity Thieves’ Faces Their Own Worst Enemies
Las Vegas Sun, (08/26/2009), Abigail Goldman

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is making it tougher to fraudulently obtain a driver’s license, thanks to facial recognition software. In the past, DMV investigators had to rely on tips and suspicious documents to identify fraud. Now, the facial recognition computer program can scan 1.6 million photos in the DMV database for similarities. Each night, the software cross-checks DMV photos taken that day against the databank of ID and license pictures. If the program finds a similar face in the records, it’s flagged for review. Three months after the facial recognition software was launched in Southern Nevada in March, the number of ID fraud arrests was double over the same period in 2008. In the past seven months, DMV investigators have opened 900 fraud cases. On a typical day, DMV investigators catch eight to 10 people trying to get licenses with false names or stolen identities.

Memphis Turns Down Tasers, (08/26/2009), Jeanne Kniaz

The Memphis City Council has derailed city police department plans to use Tasers to subdue confrontational suspects. Tasers temporarily debilitate people through the transmission of electrical impulses transmitted via wires, but in recent years their safety has been questioned. A study funded by the National Institute of Justice in 2007 found that of roughly 1,000 incidents involving Taser use, 99.7 percent involved no injuries or mild consequences. Hospital admission was required in 0.3 percent of the cases. A report issued by Amnesty International in 2008 cited concerns suggesting that a Taser can aggravate conditions compromised by drugs, exertion or illness.

Network Improves Police Radio Service for Surprise, El Mirage
The Arizona Republic, (08/26/2009), Lisa Halverstadt

A new radio partnership in two Arizona communities has increased efficiency and reassurance for officer safety. Surprise and El Mirage joined the Regional Wireless Cooperative in July. The system was created to eventually allow police, firefighters and municipal staff who are part of the cooperative to communicate easily. The network, which was created by and is operated by Phoenix, includes 12 other cities. El Mirage and Surprise had previously relied on the Maricopa County communications systems to communicate with officers in the field. Cities do not have to pay to join the system but must have the equipment needed to communicate with other network participants. Grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security helped with purchasing the necessary equipment.

Homeland Security Grants Cody $112K Robot for Explosive Threats
The Cody Enterprise, (08/26/2009), Kristen Inbody

The town of Cody, Wyoming, has a new $112,350 Vanguard II bomb robot to help deal with potential explosive threats. The robot can keep explosives technicians out of danger as they investigative a potential threat. The robot, paid for with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has tank-like treads that can climb stairs and a video camera that provides a view for the operator and can record evidence. It also can go down the aisle of a plane and reach into an overhead compartment.

APD Gets Free Gear to Outfit New Facility
Andalusia Star-News, (08/26/2009), Stephanie Nelson

The Andalusia (Alabama) Police Department has received up to $100,000 worth of surplus equipment through the 1033 program, which allows law enforcement agencies to apply for federal surplus equipment at little or no cost to the agency. The equipment will be used for an auto mechanic garage at the department’s training facility. The department was able to obtain all the tools needed to equip the garage from Eglin Air Force Base, through the 1033 program. The training facility will also include a firing range and classrooms.

Alternative Power for Remote Communications Sites Webinar

The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence (COE) will be hosting a webinar on Alternative Power for Remote Communications Sites on Tuesday, September 15th at 1:30 PM EDT. Ed Vea, who will be joined by Center Director, Rick Mulvihill, will present a primer on the uses, applications, and dimensioning of alternative power at remote sites that might otherwise be difficult or costly to provide with fixed power. Depending on the amount of power required, sites can rely solely on alternative power for their operations, or an alternative energy/traditional generator solution. Join the Center of Excellence to learn about the tools and methods used to design such sites, review power sources, applications and basic system design to determine which power source may be best for your site.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Leica ScanStation C10 Gives Surveyors a Competitive Edge with High-Definition Laser Scanning

September 1, 2009 -- Leica Geosystems introduced today its fastest and most versatile laser scanning system, the Leica ScanStation C10. This new High-Definition Surveying™ (HDS™) scanner is designed to increase surveying productivity and accuracy in both routine surveys and large, complex projects.

The Leica ScanStation C10's Smart X-Mirror™, which can operate in either oscillating or rotating mode, eliminates the need for double window scans. Capable of scanning up to 50,000 data points per second, the ScanStation C10 can scan sites and structures up to 10 times faster than the Leica ScanStation 2. By using the ScanStation C10, surveyors can cut field time by 50% or more, enabling them to bid more competitively and increase profit margins, says Michael Harvey, Product Marketing Manager, Scanning at Leica Geosystems.

In addition, the Leica ScanStation C10 enables surveyors to produce a more accurate and detailed survey: The ScanStation C10 captures overhead, vertical, horizontal, and sub-level geometry over a full field of view (360 X 270 degrees), with a pointing accuracy of as little as 1mm. By eliminating the need for reflectors, HDS™ increases worker safety when scanning structures such as towers, bridges, and tunnels that have dangerous or difficult-to-reach areas.

The Leica ScanStation C10 is a fully integrated, cordless system with onboard batteries for extended field usage. The scanner has an easy-to-learn, surveyor-friendly onboard interface with high-resolution, color touch-screen and integrated, high-resolution zoom camera/video. A 5M-pixel CMOS digital image sensor captures both single frames and continuous video.

The ScanStation C10 features a dual-axis compensator, laser plummet, and rotating horizontal turret for quick setup over a known point. It can interface with standard survey accessories such as TPS batteries, total station prisms, and even the Leica GPS SmartAntenna. The ScanStation C10's onboard software makes users even more efficient, and the internal hard disk eliminates the need to attach a laptop.

"The Leica ScanStation C10 is the type of laser scanner that can drastically improve the business models of both new and existing customers," says Harvey. "By investing in HDS with the Leica ScanStation C10, you can save time and labor, eliminate the need to add staff, and complete jobs better and faster."

To arrange a free on-site demonstration of the Leica ScanStation C10 at your office or job site, call your local Leica HDS representative at 925-790-2455 or visit http// Customers who purchase a new Leica ScanStation C10 within 90 days of the demo and get a free software package (list price up to: $16,000) included with the system purchase.

Leica Geosystems - when it has to be right
With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.
Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon