By Jim Garamone
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2006 – A 65-year segment of history ends Sept. 30, when the last American servicemember based in the country leaves Iceland. U.S. servicemembers will continue to work with, train with and operate with their NATO ally, but troops will not be based in the island nation, said Thomas F. Hall, assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs and the man who negotiated the U.S.-Iceland agreement.
Hall said the last American servicemembers will take down the U.S. flag at Navy Air Station Keflavik at 5 p.m. Sept. 30 and then depart.
The United States will continue to defend Iceland as part of the 1951 Defense Agreement between the two nations and as as a NATO ally. An attack on one NATO nation is considered an attack on all.
In March 2006, the United States announced the decision to close American facilities on the island and reassign the servicemembers. Since then, U.S. and Icelandic officials have been working together to craft the new relationship.
At one time, Iceland had more than 10,000 U.S. servicemembers based there. Then, the threats came from first Nazi Germany and then the Soviet Union. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the threats have changed and come from new directions: terrorism, international crime, and drug trafficking, Hall said.
The United States is stepping up its coordination with Iceland to help maintain the security of the country and the region against such emerging threats. U.S. forces could go back into the country quickly if conventional threats re-emerged, Hall said. The assistant secretary said there will be at least yearly exercises and U.S. ships will visit the nation on a regular basis.
Even before the U.S. entry into World War II, the U.S. government vowed to defend Iceland. In 1940, Denmark, which then had sovereignty over Iceland, fell to the Nazis. British troops moved into Iceland to defend the nation, which has never had a standing military force.
In July 1941, U.S. forces landed in Keflavik and replaced the Brits. With a few short breaks, American servicemembers have provided security for Iceland ever since.
During World War II and the Cold War, Iceland was critical to keeping the sea lines of communication open. The U.S. maintained aircraft on Iceland to defend Iceland and the North Atlantic sea lanes against conventional military threats: submarines, ships and aircraft. But those threats no longer exist.
A State Department official said the new agreement builds upon "our ironclad commitment" to defend Iceland under the 1951 Defense Agreement and the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty. "The package also puts us on course to see that Iceland's security needs are met and that Iceland contributes to global security requirements in deterring terrorism and countering trafficking in drugs and persons and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the official said.
Since the 1940s, most American forces based in Iceland were stationed at Naval Air Station Keflavik.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
By Jim Garamone
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Dr. Isaiah McKinnon has more than 39 years of experience in the public and private sector, education, law enforcement and private security. Since his retirement as Chief of Police of the Detroit Police Department, he has continued to educate more than 4 million television viewers on Personal Safety on his WDIV-TV program, "Stay Safe With Ike." Additionally, his Motivational, Inspirational, Educational presentations are heard by audiences nationally.
Isaiah McKinnon holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from Michigan State University, a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Detroit, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mercy College of Detroit. In addition he is a graduate of the FBI Academy in Virginia, and the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection School in Washington D.C. He is also certified by the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute in Homeland Security at Level 111 (the highest level).
He has written three books: "North Between The Houses,” a collection of very funny anecdotes collected over thirty years of service; "In The Line of Duty,” a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers from the State of Michigan; and, "Stand Tall," an autobiography.
Robert Roots joined the New York Police Department where he reached his goal of becoming an Undercover Police Officer. Assigned to midtown Manhattan, Robert was involved in cases ranging from petty theft to murder. In the peak of his career, Robert was recruited to work as a Police Officer for one of Florida’s wealthiest communities in the Coral Gables Police Department.
Using his copyrighted approach, Robert Roots presents a message that neither you nor your organization will ever forget. Because he incorporates a familiar story, The Three Little Pigs, audiences not only enjoy the ideas shared with them; they subconsciously start applying the information to their daily life. Audiences learn that the way they handle obstacles and challenges affects every area of their life. And discover whether their Straw, Wood or Brick and the habits and mind-set that it takes to become Brick. Brick is what most people want to be, but most people settle for Wood.
Sergeant Mitchell Grobeson was the Los Angeles Police Department’s first openly gay police officer. Following the publicity from his groundbreaking lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department’s discriminatory practices, Mitchell Grobeson created the first formal support group for Southern California gay and lesbian law enforcement, fire, rescue and paramedic professionals. He also formed and hosted the first Statewide and National conference of gay officers in California.
His first novel, “Outside the Badge,” tells the story of a serial killer hunting the streets of Los Angeles. According to Jack Connolly, “That some members of the LAPD could use a good spanking is no secret; allegations of abuse within and outside the Los Angeles Police Department have been surfacing for years. In Outside the Badge, former LAPD Police Officer Mitchell Grobeson (who sued the department for discrimination--and won) takes actual events to weave a fictionalized account of a cop under siege--from the streets and from his own department. Grobeson obviously knows his territory. Those with a cop fetish will enjoy his authentic voice and his attention to police procedure. And the unconventional cover image of him as a hunky bare-chested hustler will surely win him fans. But his gritty tale is not for the faint-hearted: the descriptions of the doomed hustlers--mostly runaways--are heartbreaking, and the torture scenes are cold and graphic.”
Ruben Benjamin Whittington was born and raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. During his enlistment, he spent a one year tour of duty in Vietnam as part of the U.S. build up during that war. He began his law enforcement career with the Norristown, Pennsylvania Police Department for four years before he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Los Angeles Police Department. He worked for LAPD for 21 years and retired at the rank of sergeant. Ruben also joined the California Army National Guard and the California Air National Guard. Ruben taught law enforcement for seven years to high school students at Los Altos and Workman High Schools under the direction of the La Puente Valley ROP. Today, Ruben is a franchise owner for Mr. Handyman, a national handyman franchise. Ruben has published one novel, Soldier: Behind the Badge.
His fictional novel tells the story of the dual life of an American special agent, like that of James Bond, who disguises himself as a police officer and fights crime on the busy and dangerous streets of Los Angeles. Then, when his country needs him, his true identity is revealed and he becomes a secret CIA special agent in this action-packed novel set in today's treacherous and volatile world. For fun, Lance Kessler is a Los Angeles Police Department police officer; but his real profession is being a top-notch freelance agent for the CIA. He's the best the CIA has. But now Lance has crossed paths with a secret worldwide criminal organization known only as PHANTOM, and PHANTOM has decided that Lance needs to be eliminated.
Both Mitchell Grobeson and Rueben Benjamin Whittington were also added to LAPDAuthors.com, a website dedicated to Los Angeles Police Department officers turned authors.
Police-Writers.com now lists 141 police officers and their 423 books in six categories.
Richard Foschino was born in New York City in 1947 and grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. In 1979, he moved his family from New York State to East Tennessee, settling in a small town about twenty-five miles north of Knoxville
After serving three years as Chief of Public Safety for the City of Norris, Tennessee he joined the Anderson County Sheriff's Department, became Chief of Detectives, and rose to the rank of Chief Deputy. The greatest challenge of his law enforcement career was the assignment of a series of unsolved murders that occurred in remote areas of the county years ago. His books, Mountain Revenge and Mother’s Blood detail those investigations and are available via Mountain Top Publishing
Gregory D. Lee, M.P.A., is a retired Supervisory Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and a former instructor at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy. Currently, he provides a wide range of consulting and expert witness services for the legal community and law enforcement agencies. Mr. Lee's expertise covers the entire spectrum of drug law enforcement. He is a qualified expert witness who thoroughly reviews both criminal and civil discovery material and provides a written case analysis based on his 30 years of law enforcement experience. His specific areas of expertise include the management of informants, deadly force, use of force, arrest procedures, drug raid planning and execution, undercover operations, surveillance, money laundering, drug identification, clandestine laboratories, terrorism, and police investigative procedures.
Greg literally wrote the book on drug investigations. He is the author of Global Drug Enforcement: Practical Investigative Techniques, Conspiracy Investigations: Terrorism, Drugs and Gangs, and Practical Criminal Evidence. Throughout his DEA career he wrote numerous articles for professional law enforcement publications.
Cheryl Hill is a published author, antique dealer, bookstore owner, musician, artist, property manager, real estate student, psychic investigator, tarot reader and entrepreneur.
Cheryl owned and operated one of the world’s largest psychic phone lines in the world. Cheryl also worked as an academy instructor and correctional officer for Corrections Corporation of American working in the Florence, Arizona facility. Her latest book, “Reverse Time” is about a female correctional officer’s first year in a federal detention center.
Police-Writers.com now lists 138 police officers and their 418 books in six categories.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
“Even as government health experts urge Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, federal rules for protecting consumers from such hazards as the current E. coli outbreak from contaminated spinach are weaker than for meat and poultry. And as food-borne illnesses attributed to produce appear to be rising, budget squeezes have federal regulators retreating rather than attacking. Compliance with safety guidelines on the handling of produce is voluntary and federal inspectors conduct fewer and fewer checkups, according to government documents and interviews with consumer groups and a top former Food and Drug Administration official. For example, since the FDA hired inspectors in the wake of bioterrorism concerns after the Sept. 11 attacks, the government has been steadily thinning their ranks. The number of FDA staff in field offices around the country shrank from 2,217 in 2003 to 1,962 currently, budget documents indicate.” (Los Angeles Times, 22Sep06, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar) http://www.latimes.com
House committee approves biodefense measure
“The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday passed legislation to promote countermeasures to bioterrorism and other public health threats. The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2006 (H.R. 5533), expands on Project BioShield, which was signed into law two years ago. The bill establishes a point of authority in the federal government -- the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority -- to coordinate and facilitate efforts to develop countermeasures for bioterrorism or pandemic infectious diseases.” (GovExec.com; 21Sep06; Kristen A. Lee, Congress Daily)
GAO [Government Accountability Office] joins inquiry of CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] with 2 audits
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, beset with low morale and growing staff dissent, is now under investigation by the Government Accountability Office, an inspector general and a second member of Congress. At the request of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, who has been investigating turmoil at CDC since the spring, the GAO has opened two investigations, his spokeswoman said Wednesday evening. One audit, prompted in part by a CDC whistle-blower, is examining whether the CDC is properly overseeing a $3.8 billion program of state bioterrorism grants. The second is examining whether the CDC is meeting its responsibility to provide guidance to state and local health departments in preparing for future public health emergencies, said Jill Kozeny, Senate Finance Committee spokeswoman. Grassley (R-Iowa) is chairman of the committee.”
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 21Sep06, Alison Young)
Panel to analyze biolab proposal
“A nine-member panel of real estate agents, educators and others will explore a proposal to build a biological weapons and agricultural disease research laboratory before the [Tracy, California] City Council takes a position on the issue, council members decided Tuesday night. Mayor Dan Bilbrey asked that the Tracy Tomorrow and Beyond committee delve into the proposal and report its findings to the council in January.” (The Record, 21Sep06)
OSU [Oklahoma State University] gets NIH [National Institutes of Health] grant for bioterrorism research
“Oklahoma State University receives a 2.9 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to further its efforts in bioterrorism research. OSU researchers are screening drugs that could be used to combat bioterrorism and emerging infectious disease agents. OSU's veterinary center is one of five institutes involved in an in-vitro screening project. Professor William Barrow says the funding will allow the school to shift from concentrating mostly on testing potential bioterrorism agents to the emerging infectious diseases arena.” (KFOR, 21Sep06, AP)
Boston passes stiff biolab requirements
“Biological research labs working with the most dangerous materials face stiffer city oversight under new rules approved by the board of the Boston Public Health Commission. Under the regulations passed Tuesday night, labs doing work at biosafety level 3 and 4 must obtain a permit from the commission, set up a safety committee that includes two outside community members and submit regular reports on research and safety procedures. In addition, Boston labs can't try to create weapons or conduct classified research and must hold public meetings to disclose research being done.”
(Boston Globe, 20Sep06, AP)
Railroads to upgrade security at terminals
“The Long Island and Metro-North railroads have approved a joint contract for improving Grand Central Terminal's chemical detection system and installing one in the LIRR section of Penn Station, LIRR officials said. The $4-million contract will allow the MTA to expand a chemical-detection technology that it has been testing at Grand Central for two years, said Lewis Schiliro, director of interagency preparedness for the MTA. The system is ‘designed to detect chemicals that at least historically have been used by terrorist organizations,’ Schiliro said yesterday.” (Newsday, 21Sep06, Jennifer Maloney)
OPCW and IUPAC Develop Code of Ethical Principles of Chemistry
“From 21 to 22 September 2006, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is meeting in Bologna, Italy, to convene a joint seminar on the OPCW/IUPAC chemical education and outreach project. Both the OPCW and IUPAC have collaborated in the past to review the verification of chemical weapons destruction and non-proliferation. The present project seeks to establish general ethical principles and a code of conduct for the scientific community dealing with chemistry. The development of a Code of Ethics was discussed to ensure that university and post-graduate curricula in chemistry will include education in the ethical norms that govern the peaceful uses of chemistry.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 21Sep06) http://www.opcw.org
Feds surveyed NYC [New York City] for radiation, found tainted park
“Anti-terrorism officials conducted a helicopter survey of New York City's radiation sources in preparation for a so-called ‘dirty bomb’ attack — and discovered a Staten Island park with dangerously high levels of radium, a new report found. Federal authorities found 80 unexpected ‘hot spots’ around New York City, according to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO report released Thursday details a previously undisclosed aerial anti-terrorism program in New York City, one which may be extended to other cities worried about the possible release of radioactive material by terrorists.” (Staten Island Live; 21Sep06; Devlin Barrett, AP)
Indo-US deal might spur terror attacks in India: Expert
“The Indo-US civilian nuke deal might increase the threat of terrorist attacks against India’s nuclear facilities, a science scholar with the US Council of Foreign Relations has warned. Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Charles Ferguson argues that the threats could grow in one of the three ways: Facilitating a substantial expansion of India’s plutonium stockpile in the civilian and military sectors and in the hands of terrorists could [sic] to crude devastating bombs including what has commonly known as the ‘dirty bomb’.” (ZeeNews.com, 21Sep06) http://www.zeenews.com
Ricin scare closes bank
“A local [Mississippi] bank was temporarily closed this morning while local, state, and federal officials checked it for a poisonous substance. Authorities were following up on a phone call saying that ricin, a deadly poisonous material was left at the bank yesterday, The Daily Star was told. The phone call was apparently a hoax. At press time no indications of any poisonous substance had been found.” (Grenada Daily Star, 21Sep06)
Thursday, September 21, 2006
"Police Used High-Tech Surveillance at Festival"
Lawrence Journal-World (KS) (09/15/06); Weslander, Eric
Lawrence, Kan., police used hidden-camera, thermal-imaging, and night-vision equipment at its recent Wakarusa Festival. The Government Security News journal reports that around $250,000 worth of such equipment was employed by police at the festival, enabling them to combat some drug-dealing activity that took place. The equipment was provided by NS Microwave, which stated that it was able to cover 85 percent of the festival premises with around six cameras. The firm constructs "covert" cameras disguised as various objects, including electrical boxes and birdhouses. They are able to see at night so long as there is some means of light close by, such as fire or a lantern. Four of NS Microwave's cameras were continuously deployed during the festival, and a minimum of two others were there to be utilized as required, the company stated. The computers were managed by a computerized command center in a trailer that was set up on a hill on the middle of some property in the park. NS Microwave provided the cameras to the festival for free in exchange for being allowed to provide a demonstration of its technology.
"Grant to Fund Fight Against Digital Crime"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (09/17/06); Crompton, Janice
The U.S. Justice Department wants to develop a national standard for investigating and preventing electronic and digital crime, and has awarded a $500,000 grant to Waynesburg College to take a leading role in this effort. Waynesburg will be called on to review current training practices, which are uneven and sometimes nonexistent at military agencies and police departments across the country, develop national standards, and create training modules that work with computers, the Internet, PDAs, and other forms of digital media. The training program would focus on collecting and preserving digital evidence, and provide techniques for managing digital equipment and data sources. Waynesburg will also use the money to buy equipment and software for a computer forensics lab, and with data collection from government databases likely to begin in January officials hope to complete the project in a year and a half. "We're going to teach [investigators] how to handle evidence and investigations in digital form," says Richard Leipold, a professor of computer science who chairs the mathematics and computer science department. In a statement, U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), added, "these same techniques can be helpful in detecting and tracking terrorist activity."
"Auglaize County Aims for Video Arraignments by Year's End"
Lima News (OH) (09/15/06); Blake, Bob
A videoconferencing system that allows remotely located inmates to interact with judges during quick courtroom hearings will be put to use in Auglaize County, Ohio, by December. The system will utilize video cameras that will be deployed at the county's law enforcement center and in all of the county's courts. The deployment of the videoconferencing system means that inmates can interact with the courts while still in detention. The implementation of the system will not only increase courthouse security, it will free up the time of local sheriff's deputies who would normally need to physically escort the inmates to court. "What it's really for is security and manpower," explains Joe Lenhart, the county's administrator. Similar systems are in use in larger cities and counties across the nation
"Dear Criminal: Smile for My Camera"
St. Petersburg Times (FL) (09/16/06) P. 1A; Lee, Demorris A.
Home video surveillance can provide evidence that can help law enforcement officials solve crimes. In Pinellas County, Fla., deputies from the Sheriff's Office watched tape before arresting the individual who they believe fired shots into a Clearwater home, and video also helped police in Largo arrest someone who they believe stole prescription pain pills from an apartment. "It's really very compelling when you go to trial to actually see the guy committing the crime, " says Larry McKinnon with the Tampa police. Homeowners are increasingly turning to video surveillance, which is outpacing all other segments of the electronic security market in growth, according to Joe Freeman, president and founder of the national security consultant firm J.P. Freeman. Freeman expects the video surveillance market to grow to $21 billion over the next five years, while Dallas-based digital technology researcher Park Associates projects that the number of homes with security systems will grow by almost 30 percent by 2009. Home surveillance cameras can cost anywhere from $25 to $1,000, and they are easy to use. "They have become so inexpensive that you can pick one up for 100 bucks, and the quality of the camera has been astounding," adds Sgt. Charles Degenhardt, who supervises Pinellas' burglary unit. http://sptimes.com/2006
"LAPD Adds 10 Cameras to Curb Skid Row Crime"
Los Angeles Times (09/15/06) P. B5; Winton, Richard
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is stepping up street patrols with a new network of surveillance cameras. With the system, the LAPD's Central Station can monitor a larger swath of the city. "We can prevent crime from occurring or we can respond directly to where crime is occurring based on what a single officer can see on monitors at the police station", says LAPD Capt. Andy Smith. The network consists of 36 cameras, with 16 in LA's core neighborhood and 10 in the fashion district. Estela Lopez, executive director of Central City East Association, says the cameras offer additional support for law enforcement. "We are finally bringing high technology to the most entrenched criminal culture in L.A. the drug supermarket that preys on our most vulnerable citizens and poses a threat to everyone in skid row, sheltered and unsheltered," Lopez says.
"Drug Detection Takes a Close-Up"
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) (09/13/06) P. B1; Ring, Kim
Police in Worcester, Mass., can now use high-powered, gyro-stabilized binoculars with night-vision capabilities to help in drug cases thanks to a grant from the Office of National Drug Policy Counter-Drug Technology Assessment Center, which funded training in use of the new equipment last month at a one-day "train the trainer" workshop on Orlando. The $7,500 device can also record images. The center last year provided the police department with funding to purchase a thermal imager. "That's the whole idea of that grant is that we can get things we wouldn't be able to afford," says Chief David Darrin, who attended the training seminar. http://www.telegram.com
"S.J. Considers Expanding Emergency Notification Systems"
Stockton Record (CA) (09/14/06); Kane, Greg
The San Joaquin County, Calif., Sheriff's Office employs a computer-run dialing system that warns inhabitants in the region of emergency evacuations, missing individuals, and additional crises via prerecorded phone messages. The system can dial and leave brief messages with up to 128 houses in 60 seconds, enough time to tell a substantial number of people of a coming flood, levee breach, or other hazardous situation, notes Les Garcia with the Sheriff's Office. Now, however, county authorities are investigating how to utilize this system as part of its area disaster planning. The county is especially vulnerable to emergencies because of its reliance on earthen levees and dams, says Supervisor Jack Sieglock. County Administrator Manuel Lopez and Emergency Services Director Ron Baldwin announced recently that the county is thinking about purchasing a newer version of its current system, usually referred to as Reverse 911. The plans are in the preliminary phase, and it is not known what the system will cost. Although Emergency Services has access to the Sheriff's Office's present system, Baldwin points out that its scope is restricted since it dials under 40 numbers at a time. Newer systems being launched by private firms, including Reverse 911, permit thousands of houses to be dialed within minutes, he adds.
"System Addresses Communication Gap"
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (09/15/06); Okada, Bryon
Texas Director of Homeland Security Steve McCraw, along with other state and local officials, say a new system that enables law enforcement and government first responders to communicate through voice, video, and data during an emergency will address the communication gap issue among emergency response personnel. The system is located at Dallas Love Field and was purchased with a $979,100 grant from the Department of Homeland Security. It covers Dallas County and some areas in Collin County. The system features hand-held devices that let city and airport officials communicate. Emergency responders will also be able to communicate during major disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. "If you've got a firefighter in Corpus Christi and he comes up to Dallas, he ought to be able to talk to a Dallas firefighter using his own equipment," says McCraw. State officials are hoping for a statewide system by Jan. 7.
"Mesa Set for Taser Upgrade"
Arizona Republic (09/14/06) P. 6; Cronin, Mike
The Mesa, Ariz., Police Department plans to equip all of the city's 543 patrol officers with the X26, a more up-to-date model of the Taser stun gun. Authorities have earmarked $514,000 to buy the guns, although the City Council must sign off on the proposal, which may occur on Sept. 18. Police Chief George Gascon states that fatalities connected to Tasers have involved an existing condition, either medical or drug-related, and could not be directly blamed on the stun gun. Gascon is revamping the department's utilization-of-force protocol to make certain police officers circumvent these kinds of situations. In 2005, Mesa paid $2.4 million to an individual whom an officer shot twice with a Taser and became a quadriplegic. Sgt. Lee White notes that each study performed on Taser safety reveals a substantial reduction in injuries to both suspects and police officials, and he stresses that the new X26 model is safer for suspects than the version currently employed by Mesa police.
"Westboro Ramps Up New Alert Systems"
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) (09/14/06) P. B1; Kalkie, Rushmie
Residents in Worcester, Mass., will soon be able to receive email- and telephone-based emergency alerts from the local police department. The CitizenObserver email system, which is already used by 300 law enforcement agencies across 30 states, will go live in Worcester within the next two to three weeks. The phone-based alert system, known as Reverse 911, will be available in Worcester within three to six months. The email and telephone alerts are automatically sent to citizens in the event of an emergency situation, which could include terrorist attacks, hazardous materials spills, volatile weather, evacuations, crimes, and the presence of sex offenders. The email system will also allow citizens to send tips to police via email. A homeland security grant is helping to pay for the Reverse 911 system.
"Sex Offender Tracking Ramps Up"
Asheville Citizen-Times (NC) (09/14/06) P. 1A; Bolton, Kerra L.
Law enforcement officials in North Carolina will start receiving electronic updates on the whereabouts of repeat sex offenders in January. The state is rolling out a GPS monitoring system that is designed to alert law enforcement officials every time the registered sex offender approaches a playground, day care center, or some other area that is off limits. Sex offenders will wear an ankle bracelet that will wirelessly communicate to a central data center, which will be overseen by the state Department of Corrections, and each county will have its own system and will devote an officer to tracking the information. The state can program the satellite monitoring technology to focus on forbidden areas of its choice, such as schools, and certain systems are able to provide an immediate alert if a sex offender has entered a restricted area. Wireless technology is a key reason why electronic monitoring systems have improved over the years, says Steve Chapin, CEO of Pro-Tech, a vendor in Florida. "The battery life has improved, partly because of the improvements to the battery and wireless technology," adds Chapin. However, some observers are expressing concern that parents may let their guard down and that law enforcement may become lax in their investigations of crimes. "Because offenders may be identified by GPS as being near a crime scene, it is likely that law enforcement will have tunnel vision and will focus their investigation solely on a former offender even if that person did not commit the crime," says a briefing statement provided by the state chapter of the ACLU to state lawmakers.
"Gadget Helps Police Identify Stolen Cars"
East Valley Tribune (Mesa, AZ) (09/13/06); McDevitt, Katie
The City of Tempe, Ariz., bought two mobile license-plate scanning devices to automatically locate stolen cars and license plates. "The license plate reader program has to be able to differentiate that the cactus on the Arizona plates or a wheelchair isn't a number," says Tempe Sgt. Joe Brosius. "They have to program all these things into the computer to make sure the computer understands how to read a plate in Arizona." The gadgets can scan 8,000 to 10,000 vehicles per shift and identify plates from as far away as four traffic lanes. Each device costs $26,000 and they were purchased by a grant from the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority and money from the state. Every device features a camera that sits on top of a patrol car and a computer that goes inside the car. Brosius insists the devices will only be used to search for stolen vehicles, not locate individuals with warrants or suspended licenses. The system is expected to be in place by the end of the month.
"GPS Ankle Bracelets Cut Costs, Jail Crowding In Hillsborough"
Tampa Tribune (09/13/06) P. 1; McCartney, Anthony
In Hillsborough County, Fla., suspects ordered by courts to wear GPS ankle bracelets are less likely to try to escape compared to those who are arrested and post bail, according to prison officials. More than 900 people in the county this year have been wearing the bracelets, of whom only 28 have attempted to flee the system, with just five now at-large. Sheriff's Col. David Parrish says the ankle bracelets have reduced jail congestion and allow those who cannot afford the bail to return home. He noted that during the month of August, 10 percent of almost 7,000 people out on bail failed to attend court appearances, compared to just 3 percent of those wearing GPS bracelets. The county rents the bracelets for roughly $8 daily, which is much lower than the more than $65 per day it costs to accommodate an inmate at one of the county's two jails. Prison officials are permitted to release offenders with ankle bracelets if they have not posted bail within 48 hours and their bails are set at $5,000 or less; judges more commonly order GPS monitoring for inmates and set strict conditions. However, although officials know the whereabouts of offenders equipped with the bracelets, the GPS technology does not prevent them from committing additional crimes. Re-offenders under GPS monitoring must remain in jail without bail.
"NYC Orders $500 Million Emergency Data Network"
Reuters (09/12/06); Parsons, Claudia
In the latest example of the entrance of big defense contractors into the lucrative civilian security market, Northrop Grumman has been awarded a five-year, $500 million contract by New York City to build and maintain a high-speed wireless data network for emergency service, a direct result of the lessons of 9/11. The network is expected to be operable in Lower Manhattan by the start of the next year and across the city by early 2008. Last August, Lockheed Martin signed a $212 million contract with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop an electronic security system composed of video cameras and motion detectors for city bridges, tunnels, and subway stations. New York is also considering the use of subway ticket machines made by GE and Cubic Corp. for the detection of traces of explosives.
"Jail Security Plans Put on Fast Track"
Toledo Blade (OH) (09/13/06) P. B1; Blake, Erica
In the wake of an escape by an inmate, officials in Lucas County, Ohio, are accelerating an initiative to set up a new camera security system at the county jail. County commissioners have allowed the sheriff's office to discuss a contract with an architectural firm to draw up plans. A proposal from consulting engineering firm DLZ is expected to be submitted to the county in approximately 10 days, costing between $500,000 and $750,000. The inmate escaped Aug. 21 by using a set of keys left unattended by corrections officers. "Even though we had human error, we'd have another line of defense with a better [camera] system in place," said Jail Administrator Jim O'Neal. Additional improvements to the jail include a $190,000 video visitation system that was installed in August that eliminates the need for visitors to access jail cell floors, making it more difficult to pass smuggled goods to inmates, said O'Neal. For the future, he hopes to expand arraignments via video, acquire control booths, and redesign jail entrances to improve screening of all those entering the jail
"Perception vs. Reality: What Are the Issues?"
Sheriff (08/06) Vol. 58, No. 4, P. 47; Ogden, David A.; Ford, Dan
Sensational news reports, special-interest groups' rhetoric, and mistaken information can create an unrealistically negative public perception of the use of electronic control weapons (ECW) such as the Taser, write Orange County, Fla., Sheriff's Office Capt. David A. Ogden and Division Chief Dan Ford. Law enforcement agencies must respond with immediate attention, education, and communication in order to prevent the public-relations problem from escalating. Among the questions to address are what is the appropriate level of force, whether the standard of resistance should be "passive" or "active," and whether the agency has a policy in place and is training according to it. The people to involve in ECW education efforts can include city and county councils, political leaders, religious and other community leaders, the media, the general public, and--most importantly--the agency's law enforcement officers. Policies should be carefully written to fit the community, and the agencies should use internal and external training as well as meetings with the media and the community. Explanations of how ECWs work, how officers are trained, and the statistical data on ECWs' reduction of injuries and deadly force are among the matters to be communicated. The Orange County Sheriff's Office addressed the ECW public perception problem by creating a 12-member Taser Task Force Committee consisting of agency leaders as well as community representatives, with the community representatives making up the majority of the task force. The task force's recommendations for communicating with the community and improving policies and training have helped boost community understanding and support for the use of ECWs.
"Podcasting for Police Departments"
Police and Security News (08/06) Vol. 22, No. 4, P. 41; Kanable, Rebecca
The Franklin, Mass. Police Department has joined the NYPD in using podcasts to communicate with the communities they serve. Franklin PD's podcasts are hosted by Patrolman Brian Johnson, a 14-year veteran of law enforcement who thought the medium would provide a low-cost way for the department to show people that it does more than write tickets. The six episodes of the podcasts, which is entitled "Franklin's Finest," have highlighted the department's canine program, the tactical team, community service programs, and more. "They don't necessarily always see it, but our agency is more," Johnson said. "We have to highlight ourselves; we have to speak for ourselves. Towns aren't just saying, 'Here's more money.' We have to justify ourselves which is kind of new to agencies." In addition, podcasts can give the department another way to communicate directly with the public in the event of an emergency, though the department has not had an emergency warranting a podcast since it began using the medium last December. So far, each of the Franklin PD's podcasts have been downloaded several hundred times on average, although the department has no ways of knowing how many people are actually listening to the programs. However, feedback has been very good, and citizens have e-mailed the department asking for more and suggesting topics. "We'd love to increase the frequency, and we'd love to get more feedback from people as to what they'd like to hear," Johnson said.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Michael D. Lyman, Ph.D., began his career as a special agent and criminal investigator for the Kansas Bureau of investigation. He then moved to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as a senior agent and criminal investigator. While with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs he was assigned to the Street Enforcement and Intelligence Division. During his 11 year law enforcement career Michael has made over 600 felony arrest. For the last 18 years he has been professor of Criminal Justice at the Columbia College of Missouri.
Michael D. Lyman, Ph.D., has authored seven books about the enforcement function in criminal justice. His books include: “The Police: An Introduction,” “Criminal Investigation: The Art and science,” Practical Drug Enforcement” and “Organized Crime.”
Daniel J. Shanahan’s book “Badges, Bullets and Bars” tells the story of his career on the Baltimore Police Department. The book is billed as a “first hand account of police loyalty and disloyalty.” Moreover, according to Shanahan he wrote the book, “for all the excellent Law Enforcement officers who shortened their careers by crossing the thin blue line and venturing into the wrong territory; sometimes into criminal territory. Therefore permanently tarnishing their badge, reputation, family, and all the good that badge stands for. This book is for the police officers that could not find their way back, wanted to make a difference, and unfortunately, could have.”
Mike Disanza's biography, “A Cop for Christ,” tells of growing up in the 1950s and seeing the New York Police Department as a way of leaving his poverty stricken neighborhood. The reader is taken on a journey that examines Mike’s 22 years on the job and the circumstances that led to his Christian Ministry. Currently, Mike is the president of International Cops for Christ, an organization which has been serving the needs of police officers world-wide for 25 years.
Keith Bettinger is a retired police officer who served with the Suffolk County Police Department in Yaphank, New York from 1972-1994. His book, “Fighting Crime With "Some" Day and Lenny: Or What Happens When Dragnet Meets Car 54 Where Are You?” follows the adventures of the fictional characters Detective Lenny Birnbaum and his boss, Sergeant Robert “Some” Day, as they fight the evil-doers in that hotbed of crime, Staten Island, New York.
Police-Writers.com lists 130 police officers turned writers and their 400 books in six categories.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Tallahassee Democrat (FL) (09/11/06); Velazquez, Daniela
The Tallahassee Police Department is using a variety of technologies to fight crime and prepare for potential emergencies. Many of the purchases, including biohazard suits for all law-enforcement personnel in Florida, were made possible through close to $974 million in federal homeland-security funds received following Sept. 11. The state has formed seven domestic-security task forces that cover seven geographic locations. Committees created in the state after the terrorist attacks also focus on security-related issues. The influx of funding has resulted in increased collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the sharing of some equipment, such as robots used when packages pose a potential bomb risk. Tallahassee Fire Department Chief John Gatlin added that the city's fire department has benefited from the fund allocation. The Tallahassee Police Department has used $75,000 to acquire six infrared scopes for attachment to sniper rifles, plus enough night-vision goggles to outfit fifteen police officers. The department's other uses of the funds include the purchase of two truck and trailer sets designed for emergency scenarios involving use of weapons of mass destruction.
"NY Police Study Terror Threat by Secretly Detonating Own Truck Bomb"
Associated Press (09/13/06); Hays, Tom
The New York Police Department's head of counterterrorism, Richard Falkenrath, discussed before Senate lawmakers this week a project undertaken by the police department to create a bomb from chemicals provided by city-based suppliers. Police investigators were able to create a 2,400 pound truck bomb by purchasing chemicals from suppliers. The bomb cost $7,000 to make. The investigators used 1,000 pounds of fertilizer purchased from several agricultural supply locations, including one in Pennsylvania, to make the bomb. However, the New York seller did notify police about the purchase because of doubts about the buyers' intentions. The investigators pretended to be apple growers during the transactions. Falkenrath said the project illustrated that more regulations are needed to control chemical purchases in the country. He particularly noted that lawmakers should pass tight regulations to control the sale of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which was used for making the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. Falkenrath expressed frustration that tighter regulations have not been passed to control the sale of ammonium nitrate, despite the Oklahoma City bombing occurring more than a decade ago.
"Tracking Crime Gun By Tracking Ammo"
Monterey County Herald (CA) (09/11/06); Sanchez, George B.
California legislators want to use microstamping technology to track handguns, despite opposition from critics who argue that the technology is expensive and not effective. Last February, Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) proposed a bill that would have required every handgun in California to have microstamping technology installed by 2009, but that bill did not pass. The technology would have etched the gun's serial number on the firing pin, which would enable law enforcement to track the serial number to the owner of the gun. Pacific Grove Police Chief Carl Miller, who supported the bill along with more than 40 California police chiefs, says the technology is needed because it is easier to trace cars than guns. Handgun sales are somewhat lax since there are no specific guidelines other than conducting a background check to prevent convicted felons from making a purchase. Opponents of the bill argued that the company that created the microstamping technology would unfairly benefit from the copyrighted technology, but the company shot back by saying they would give the technology out for free. Supporters say the technology was designed to track illegal firearms and would greatly benefit law enforcement. "Analyze it intellectually, we're not talking about criminal masterminds, and you're not going to stop the random, instantaneous act of crime, but you can track and stop the flow of firearms to those people," says Todd Lizotte, one of the microstamping inventors.
"Center Talk of Town"
Aberdeen American News (SD) (09/08/06); Waltman, Scott
Brown County Deputy Director of Communications John McQuillen says the county's new computer-enabled dispatch center helps sheriff's department deputies, police officers, and firefighters share and transmit information about calls by using maps and screens rather than relying on the radio. The Brown County Communications Center has a feature called Automatic Vehicle Locator, which can track vehicles on computer screens. The communications center was previously an independent agency, but that changed when McQuillen took over and it became a part of the sheriff's department. McQuillen has been praised by Brown County Commission Chairwoman Deb Knecht for his communication skills and for spending time at the police, sheriff's, and fire department to properly learn how to use the dispatch equipment. Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Chief Bill Winter says such tracking capabilities are also beneficial to firefighters who may have to follow an ambulance in the middle of a winter storm. The dispatch center currently has 13 full-time and one part-time dispatchers. McQuillen says he plans to improve the tracking of Internet-based phone calls from companies such as Vonage.
"Anti-Crime Proposals Add Police, Cameras"
Birmingham News (AL) (09/06/06) Vol. 119, No. 177, P. 1A; Bryant, Joseph D.
Birmingham, Ala., Mayor Bernard Kincaid and police Chief Annette Nunn have called for improving security in the city by installing surveillance cameras in high-crime areas, transferring 12 officers from schools to the communities, and boosting recruitment with a $2,000 signing bonus. The City Council president and the police union have both criticized the 18-point plan, respectively complaining that it lacks substance and comes as too little, too late. "I thought it would be more in-depth because we had been asking for substance for months now," said council President Carole Smitherman. "But with the overall package, it seems to be financially weighty. I support the concept of what Police Chief Nunn is advancing, but I need to know the bottom-line numbers." The cameras would aid as a deterrent to prostitution and other crimes, Nunn claimed, while adding a second officer to some patrols would give supervisors more flexibility in beefing up police presence in high-crime areas. After the presentation, the council voted in favor of adding Tasers with audio and video capabilities, redirecting federal money to fund the equipment and associated training expenses. Nunn realizes that the installation of surveillance cameras is a sensitive issue that for some raises troubling privacy concerns, but she believes the beneficial effect on crime would be worth it.
"Feds Working to Connect Fingerprint Databases"
Associated Press (09/07/06); Caterinicchia, Dan
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed a number of modifications to the fingerprints databases it relies on to search for suspect matches. The improvements will allow the systems to store 10 fingerprints, compared to two currently. The first phase of improvements focuses on providing state and local law enforcement officials access to immigration history via inputting just one biometric submission into the system. The system will send an automatic alert when a match is made with a immigration violator. The system will provide State Department consular officers and DHS agents with more information related to FBI warrants. The second part of the project focuses on expanding information sharing between the DHS and the Department of Justice.
"Communication Breakdown: Radio Mismatches Make Talking Tough Between Police Officers"
Burlington Times-News (NC) (09/10/06)
When a fugitive being chased by sheriff's deputies from Alamance County, N.C., fled into another county, Alamance County deputies had to call in surrounding law enforcement for help. Though they did catch the suspect who had fired an AK-47 at sheriff's deputies, they also learned that regional country radio systems used different frequencies, making communication difficult. Some N.C. regional police departments use older radio technology, while others use high-band frequencies such as 800-MHz frequency. The 9/11 Commission Report found that "the inability to communicate" was a critical element of the law enforcement experience on Sept. 11, 2001, involving first responders from the World Trade Center to Pennsylvania to the Pentagon. Upgrading to 800-MHz frequency will cost the town of Elon, N.C., $140,000 over a five-year period. Burlington, N.C., in 2004 switched its police and fire departments to 800-MHz at the cost of $4 million. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has grants to help local agencies upgrade communications. If one locality or town begins to upgrade, while nearby localities do not, this too can create breakage points in regional law enforcement communication.
"Up to Speed, and Then Some"
Washington Post (09/07/06) P. T1; Miroff, Nick
Sgt. Greg Breeden of Haymarket, Va., recently began patrolling in a muscle car: A 2006 Dodge Charger with 18-inch wheels, a 340-horsepower engine, and a zero-to-60 speed of 5.9 seconds. Breeden notes that mechanical bronco on four wheels is "to keep up with the hot rods out there." The idea is part of a trend in Virginia where the State Police have 15 Dodge Chargers already and plan to purchase 20 more. Virginia police have used Crown Victorias by Ford in the past, but officials say the 2006 Dodger Charger costs $1,000 less and so is more attractive, plus it has a robust 5.7-liter Hemi engine. Dumfries, Va. Police Chief Calvin Johnson says his department purchased it because of the cost savings alone, not the horsepower. Sgt. Breeden of Haymarket says his team spends more time on speeding tickets than crime because of the low crime in the area.
"County to Participate in Alert System"
State Journal-Register (IL) (09/06/06) P. 11; Bolinski, Jayette
The Sangamon County, Il., Sheriff's Office could begin sending recorded alerts to local residents regarding people reported missing. The system will employ mapping technology and automated phone messages to inform residents about missing children. However, the "A Child is Missing" program will also be used to tell residents about missing adults, such as people with Alzheimer's. The system can provide police with a critical tool for quickly locating missing children, given that 75 percent of youngsters found dead are killed within three hours of their abduction. The system allows police officers to send alerts to people within the vicinity of the disappearance by calling the hotline used by the program. Government grants and private donations pay the cost of the program.
"Machines Are Hard to Fool: Scanners Can Spot Fake ID"
Omaha World-Herald (NE) (09/07/06) P. B1; Winter, Abe
Nebraska is testing an ID verification system that one day could help merchants screen IDs for alcohol and cigarettes by verifying an ID's watermark. Tampering with a state ID destroys its watermark. Anderson Food Shops President Ray Anderson oversees 14 BP gas stations in Omaha, Neb., and says merchants want an easy-to-use verification system and would be willing to pay for it. They would help "defuse the issues our industry has experienced when encountering compliance checks by law enforcement," says Anderson. The machines will need to wait until Nebraska law is revised before being sold, because current Nebraska law only allows state law enforcement and Dept. of Motor Vehicle officials to scan information from a driver's license. In fact, some State Patrols in Nebraska are using the system to scan in driver's license information when issuing citations, which cuts down on data entry by officers and clerks. The state is interested in rolling the scanners out, yet wants to minimize the amount of personal information exposed in the process. Hence, the state is focusing on scans of watermarks.
"Konop Backs Use of Hybrid Vehicles"
Toledo Blade (OH) (09/06/06) P. B1; Blake, Erica
Ben Konop, who is campaigning to become the next commissioner of Ohio's Lucas County, has proposed transitioning the county's fleet of vehicles to include hybrids within 2010. Under the proposal, hybrids will account for one-third of fleet vehicles. The plan will not effect some county-owned vehicles, such as sheriff's cruisers. Konop cited the county's annual fuel cost, which exceeds $1 million, as one reason for the change. He estimates that including hybrids among the county's fleet of vehicles could lower annual fuel costs by several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Konop added that the county could recoup its investment in just three years, if gas prices exceed $3 per gallon.
"BART Wants to Hire Anti-Terrorism Chief"
San Francisco Chronicle (09/11/06) P. B2; Bulwa, Demian
The San Francisco Bay Area's BART transit system is seeking to hire an anti-terrorism chief for coordinating its strategy for heading off terrorist attacks and to secure grants from the state and federal governments. In a question-and-answer session at a briefing about the agency's plans for the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, BART Director James Fang described the position as being in charge of coordinating the BART system's effort to prevent terrorist events and to respond if such an attack does take place. The terrorism chief would also develop relationships with the FBI and other counterterrorism agencies, as well as overseeing the agency's applications for grants from the federal Department of Homeland Security and other entities. In August, $2.9 million worth of homeland security funds were released by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for Transbay Tube security improvements, but BART officials believe they have not been given a fair share of these sorts of grants overall. They argue that the rail system is vital to the Bay Area and that terrorists have targeted mass transit already.
"Despite Millions Spent, Boston Is Vulnerable"
Boston Globe (09/11/06) P. A1; Kurkjian, Stephen; Cullen, Kevin; Farragher, Thomas
Five years after the 9/11 attacks and despite millions of dollars already spent, Boston remains vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Security experts have long been emphasizing the attractiveness of seaports as terrorist targets, but Boston Harbor's sensitive areas are still clearly vulnerable, as officials are still working to secure the money needed to buy a 7,000-foot-long movable barrier that could seal off parts of the harbor in an emergency. Boston officials have also not yet completed a seamless emergency communication network for responders to a potential mass-transit attack, and Logan Airport, where hijacked flights on 9/11 originated, still has vulnerabilities in areas such as air cargo. Law enforcement officials generally say they now have a better ability to gather and analyze raw terrorist-related intelligence and that police agencies have become forced to cooperate. However, they are much less confident that they would be able to detect in time the kind of threat they see as most likely. This would be an assault to the "soft" targets easily available in open societies, such as schools and hotels and shopping malls, as well as Plymouth's nuclear power plant, where the pool for spent fuel rods has not been fortified against potential attacks. Though a test of Boston's evacuation abilities went well, this was undercut by the fact that the other eight communities in the Boston evacuation plan were not included in the test. In addition, spending the $230 million in federal antiterrorism funds that Massachusetts has received has been held up by squabbles among cities and towns, as well as problems with major purchases such as more than 1,000 Motorola emergency phones.
"When a Stranger Calls, Beware of the Pretext"
Washington Post (09/09/06) P. D1; Ahrens, Frank
Hewlett-Packard's (HP) recent internal investigation of company leaks to the media involved the hiring of a private contractor who misrepresented himself to HP officials and their personal phone companies in search of information as well as phone-logs of their calling activity. Dubbed "pretexting" by the media, the HP-hired private investigator claimed to individual HP board members that he was another board member in order to get the information, and also may have impersonated these members to U.S. phone companies to obtain their phone-calling records. Pretexting also is being used by data companies to amass and sell information on consumers, and could be used by criminals seeking financial and password information, such as asking someone for their bank's name, and the name of their pet. The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act makes it illegal to use pretexting to obtain financial information from American citizens. However, pretexting for non-financial information is a legal gray area today. Recently, a phone log of 100 cell phone calls made by General Wesley Clark was sold online for $89.95. This incident caught the attention of Congress, which is drafting additional legislation on pretexting.
"Creating the Super "Detective""
Law Enforcement Technology (08/06) Vol. 33, No. 8, P. 50; Heinecke, Jeannine
The New York City Police Department's (NYPD) Real Time Crime Center, launched in July 2005, allows criminal investigations to be conducted faster. To this end, it was necessary to harmonize isolated blocks of data so information could be electronically accessible and easy to use. A crime data warehouse was created by IBM Global Services based on incorporating common format data from complaints, arrests, 911, and other systems. The current crime center can now access millions of files from city and state criminal databases, 911 call records, parole and probation files, and public records and national crime records. The NYPD has also equipped eight vans with secure wireless access to the crime center's portal and other communication devices so detectives can access needed data; the vans are used by seven homicide squads and one major case squad. Investigators can access historical location data to determine, for example, if there has been a high number of drug arrests in a particular area, if a sexual predator lives in a certain area, and the location of a frequent 911 caller. One of the most important aspects of crime pattern assessments is Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, which allows detectives to look at data from a certain geographic viewpoint, such as crimes near schools or train lines. The center is also enhancing cross-jurisdictional searches by being able to conduct more detailed searches using small bits of data such as outstanding telephone bills.
"Less-Lethal Options for Off-Duty Carry"
Police (08/06) Vol. 30, No. 8, P. 80; Kasanof, Adam
Adam Kasanof, a retired New York Police Department lieutenant, explores the different types of less-lethal weapons that police officers can carry when off-duty and the issues concerning their use. He notes that agency rules and local laws vary on the use of lethal force by officers and the carrying of less-lethal options. However, he emphasizes that officers will not be punished for using lethal force even while carrying less-lethal tools, if their actions are acceptable under agency rules. Kasanof writes that oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray can provide officers with an opportunity to get distance from an assailant, but notes that the substance is harmful to pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and those with asthma or other breathing problems. Flashlights can provide officers with both illumination of dark areas and a defensive weapon that can be used for applying Kubotan-type techniques, including wristlocks. Kasanof recommends that police officers consider carrying two variants of flashlights: A very small light with strong illumination and one a little larger that can be stored in a hip pocket. Kasanof also recommends the Kubotan and similar products based on the same design, but adds that officers should become familiar with its use through training. Heavier options include carrying expandable batons, but Kasanof warns against striking the assailant's head because of the potential of lethal injury, unless required. A portable radio is also a valuable tool for calling for medical help or backup when police officers face an emergency, but officers need to ensure that the radio can work with the communications systems employed by their agency.