Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Online Police Technology/Science Presentation

Eyewitness Identification: Unfinished Discussion and Directions for Future Research

February 20, 2007, 2-4 p.m. (EST)

Online event; registration required

Eyewitness evidence plays a critical role in the criminal investigation process. A recent study on photo array and lineup procedures conducted within the
Chicago Police Department suggests, contrary to expectations, that sequential presentation is not superior to simultaneous presentation.

Subsequent conferences at Loyola and at the
Police Executive Research Forum resulted in heated debates on methodology and policy implications, as well as calls for more research.

In this 2-hour online event, sponsored by the National Institute of
Justice and the Government Innovators Network, our panel of experts will push this conversation forward and offer diverse perspectives on eyewitness identification procedures, with a special focus on research activity that has occurred since the conferences at Loyola and PERF. After opening comments, this forum will be opened to Q&A from our audience.
The panel aims to conduct a thoughtful and balanced discussion on how researchers and practitioners can collaborate most effectively when developing and implementing research studies on field procedures.

The discussion will be moderated by Philip J. Cline, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

The panel includes:
Roy S. Malpass, Ph.D - Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso
Nancy Steblay, Ph.D - Professor of Psychology, Augsburg College
James Doyle - Center for Modern Forensic Practice, John Jay College of
Criminal Justice

This event is free, and will be recorded and archived on our website, accessible at your convenience.
Click here for more information

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Police Writers fly past 700, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books exceed 700 books by 286 police officers with the addition of Rick Stone, Bill Hubbard and Kim Wozencraft.

Rick Stone joined the Dallas Police Department in July 1973. He served as a police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and division commander. In 1988, he was one of nine national finalists for the job of Chief of Police. In 1989, he became the chief of police of Wichita, Kansas. In 1996, he became the chief of police of the Hollywood Police Department (Florida).

Rick Stone’s fiction novel, “Behind the Gold Star,” explores “Seven days in the life of a
Police Chief struggling against bureaucratic stupidity, personal conflicts, and his department’s collection of screw-ups, nut cases, and weird happenings. Reflective of his big city experience, the Chief tries desperately to balance competing forces in the professional and political arena of a smaller agency. Full of surprising twists and turns, with enough sex and violence to be reflective of the front page of today’s newspaper, Behind the Gold Star will keep you hanging on every page and in the end, the characters give real meaning to the phrase, “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”

In 1991, Sergeant
Bill Hubbard was a member of the Lubbock Police Department, assigned to the identification section. What begins as a routine task sends Hubbard on a collision course with a corrupt forensic pathologist and “power-hungry district attorney.” As one reader said, “Well written, quick paced and quite a ride. It's easy to get lost in this book, until it sends a shiver down your spine when you remember this is a true story.”

Kim Wozencraft is a former undercover narcotics agent. She and her partner's exploits while employed by the Tyler Police Department are the inspiration behind her book, "Rush". Both Kim and her partner were eventually convicted of Federal civil rights crimes for making false drug cases against a number of people in Tyler. Both spent time in federal prison. Prior to going to prison in 1982, she and her partner (Craig Matthews) were married.

Additionally, police writer
James O. Born announced the February release of his latest novel, “Fields of Fire.” In Fields of Fire, ATF agent Alex Duarte returns to use all his skills to locate and stop a serial bomber. According to author Michael Connelly, "With Field of Fire James O. Born certainly comes into his own. This book is chock full of insider knowledge and experience but there is so much more than that. There is a story and a character that should put this book at the top of any reader's stack. Alex Duarte is my kind of cop. I hope he sticks around for a long, long time." now hosts 286
police officers (representing 118 police departments) and their 703 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Friday, January 26, 2007

NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Old Crimes Still Within Reach of Cold Case Unit"
Contra Costa Times (CA) (01/22/07) P. F4; Alfonso, Alejandro

The Alameda County Sheriff's Cold Case Unit seeks to identify murderers and rapists in cases that have gone unsolved for years. Sgt. Scott Dudek notes that older cases present more daunting challenges for investigators, but adds that sometimes a long passage of time can work to their advantage. For example, people who originally were not helpful in the investigation may offer important information years later. In addition, investigators now have access to new crime-solving techniques, such as
DNA analysis. The Justice Department provided the grant that was needed to launch the unit, which employs two detectives and a technician, in June 2005. The Cold Case Unit is currently handling 53 cases, with 18 under active investigation.

"Upgrade of HPD Radios May Wait 5 Years"
Houston Chronicle (01/21/07) P. B1; Ruiz, Rosanna

The Sept. 11
terrorist attacks illustrate the important role that integrated communications between law enforcement and emergency responders can have at a critical time. The Department of Homeland Security has expressed concerns that Houston's communication system does not offer effective information sharing. Nevertheless, city officials say that it could take five years before the communications technology is upgraded. Mayor Bill White insists that the current radio system is good enough to provide the city with an effective response in the event of a disaster. Harris County currently uses 800 MHz frequencies, while Houston relies on 400 MHz. City officials project that developing an integrated communications system will cost roughly $150 million.

"Crime Camera Bid Pending"
New Orleans Times-Picayune (01/20/07) P. 1; Maggi, Laura

New Orleans is experiencing skyrocketing crime, and in response New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has asked for federal assistance in purchasing and installing 500 new video cameras around the city. Nagin seeks about $6 million in federal assistance for this camera project, and his office will be installing 200 additional cameras with city funds throughout New Orleans piece by piece throughout the year. To date the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has only been able to support Nagin's effort with funds to support cameras at public housing facilities. In fact,
New Orleans Police Department's headquarters has yet to reopen due to Hurricane Katrina damage and flooding. U.S. authorities hope repairs will be finished by May 2007.

"Device to Detect Drugs, Explosives Moves Closer to Market"
Associated Press (01/17/07)

Police departments may soon have access to a handheld tool that can identify airborne substances ranging from drugs to bombs, according to David Salva, president of United States Semiconductor Corp (U.S. Semi). The company has licensed the technology and will be making it commercially available. But distributing the palm-sized tool to police officers and others could cost up to $5 million, Salva estimated, and might require nine months to 18 months or maybe a little longer. Salva's efforts are being aided by a $100,000 grant from NASA, and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) recently announced a $1.05 million grant. The device involves "Quantum Fingerprint" technology that has been in development over the past 10 years at the Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute (NSEI) at the University of Missouri-Columbia. A computer chip covered with a layer of diamond film draws molecules from the air when a current is applied, according to Mark Prelas, NSEI's director of research. Different types of molecules carry their own individual energy or quantum "fingerprint" that is compared to samples in a database. Prelas estimated that Quantum Fingerprint technology is approximately 1,000 times more sensitive than that existing models. Salva said each handheld unit would likely sell for about $400 to $500 and would be linked wirelessly to a central computer.

"Plan Will Allow 911 and 311 Lines to Accept Digital Images"
New York Times (01/18/07) P. B6; Rivera, Ray

Residents of New York City who call emergency 911 call centers also would be able to send digital videos and photos under a proposal announced Jan. 17 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mayor, who touted the plan as a "revolutionary innovation in crime fighting," said that the same technology will be extended to the city's 311 service line, which allows residents to report quality-of-life problems. "If you see a crime in progress or a dangerous building condition, you'll be able to transmit images to 911, or online to," said Bloomberg. Bloomberg spokesman John Feinblatt noted that although the plan represents a new concept for
law enforcement, the technology for the plan already exists, meaning it will not be expensive to implement. "It's just time to bring 911 and 311 into cyberspace," Feinblatt said. Law enforcement and anti-terrorism experts applauded the mayor's plan, explaining that it will increase the flow of information and possibly lead to crimes being resolved faster. "Imagine someone caught in a hostage situation transmitting pictures or video," said anti-terrorism consultant Jerome Hauer.

"Dozens of New
Police Cameras to Watch Over Stockton"
The Record (01/17/07); Siders, David

The Stockton, Calif.,
Police Department is undertaking a major surveillance project that will see the installation of as many as 44 surveillance cameras in and around the city. With approval from the city council, the county police department will expand its surveillance program, mounting more cameras with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities at intersections and in parks. Mayor Ed Chavez's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative will underwrite the surveillance program's $1.6 million expansion. Retired police officers will monitor the cameras from a room in downtown's Stewart/Eberhardt Building at prescribed times. Any crimes caught on tape can be used in court to prosecute perpetrators.

"New County Emergency System Ends Dead Spots"
Florida Times-Union (01/17/07) P. P1; Turner, Kevin

Nassau County emergency officials are lauding the arrival of a new $7.2 million emergency radio system. According to Fire-Rescue Chief Chuck Cooper, the old system had poor reception and suffered from signal pollution that made it impossible for deputies and emergency personnel to stay connected in rural areas. The new system ensures connectivity in the densest locations, increasing the safety of firefighters and deputies. "This is a major improvement, without a doubt", Cooper says. "This will add safety and probably save someone's life. You can put a price on a radio system, but you can't put a price on someone's father, mother, son or daughter." The system is modeled after the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International's "Project 25" digital standard and is located in new, prefabricated portable buildings in Yulee. Project managers expect to have the system up and running around Jan. 22.

Police Recruits in Taser Study"
Hartford Courant (01/19/07) P. B3; Munoz, Hilda

Twelve aspiring
police officers attending the New Britain Police Academy are participating in a new Taser study. Researchers monitored the vital signs of the trainees when they were shocked with the device. Tasers send a 50,000-volt of electricity through a human. Two suspects died after being struck by Tasers operated by New Britain police. However, autopsies did not cite the device as the cause of death.

"Scottsdale Asks State to Operate Cameras"
Arizona Republic (01/17/07); Ferraresi, Michael; Coomes, Jessica

The City Council in Scottsdale, Ariz., asked the state to take over a highway photo radar enforcement project the city was testing on Loop 101. The study continued to monitor traffic patterns after the cameras were turned off and showed that without the cameras there was an almost 850 percent spike in speeding. With the cameras on the average speed of drivers was reduced to 64 mph, a decrease of nearly 10 mph, while accidents were reduced by 23 percent to 70 percent, depending on variables, compared to a similar stretch of highway. There were also fewer injuries from rear-end collisions and sideswipes that could potentially save $10 million a year in reduced medical and insurance bills. The state collected over $2.3 million in tickets issued from the photo-enforcement study, with the city of Scottsdale collecting over $782,000 after expenses. If the state decides not to turn the system back on, the city will ask permission to take control of the operation. Critics of the system say there needs to be a way for it to detect the difference between a regular speeder and an on-duty officer in pursuit of a suspect or en route to an emergency, and some believe that the city should not be able to make a profit off of such a system.

"Safety Chief Backs High-Tech Crime Fight"
Des Moines Register (IA) (01/17/07); Petroski, William

Iowa's newly appointed Public Safety Commissioner, Eugene Meyer, pledged Jan. 16 to use advanced technology to fight crime. He spoke before the Iowa House Public Safety Committee during a familiarization session. Steve Bogle, director of the state's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), told lawmakers his agency seeks to broaden its cybercrimes unit, which has helped prevent the victimization of more than 40 children from online sexual predators. Bogle added that law enforcement leaders are expanding a database of DNA samples to help solve crimes. He further said the agency wants to create a "cold case" division to focused on solving older crimes. Col. Robert Garrison, chief of the Iowa State Patrol, noted that the department's new Dodge Charger patrol cars were more difficult to equip with police gear compared to the old Ford Crown Victoria vehicles. But now that the problems have been resolved, the cars are serving successfully as police cruisers, he said.

Police Panel to Decide If Cameras Fight Crime"
San Francisco Chronicle (01/17/07) P. B4; Bulwa, Demian

San Francisco police have mounted 33 cameras in 14 locations in the city and routinely monitor video footage from them only twice per month, according to police records. However, Deputy
Police Chief Morris Tabak says cameras help deter crime by placing a watchful eye in criminal areas. San Francisco's camera rules-of-engagement are unique in that city law requires police to have reason to believe a crime has occurred before they can watch video footage. In most places, police can watch live video feeds. To date footage from these cameras has been used only once to identify a suspect in one-and-a-half years of being on the streets. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing to spend over $275,000 for 25 more cameras, and his office is studying their effectiveness with an academic partner in order to release a report soon. Some are criticizing the new cameras as a band-aid solution that lacks a real crime-prevention component, such as addiction treatment funding, better street lighting, or programs for at-risk youth.

Dallas Police Developing Intelligence Hub: Center to Analyze Info with Quick Access to Many Databases"

Dallas Morning News (01/16/07); Eiserer, Tanya

Dallas is in the process of creating an intelligence command center that will allow officers to search through all 28 of Dallas' police databases, ranging from narcotics and homicide to traffic tickets, in one easy to use system. The Metro Operations Support and Analytical Intelligence Center, also know as the Fusion Center, will unify police information for the entire city and will help
police identify the biggest threats and most dangerous criminals. This type of information unification is part of a new type of policing called "intelligence-led policing" that was first developed in Great Britain and has been used with great success. Similar systems are in use in New York, Los Angeles, and New Jersey, where last summer the system identified four gang members from different cities on a routine traffic stop, that normally might have gone unnoticed, helping analysis determine that the Nine Tre gang was more wide spread and sophisticated then previously thought. This information helped lead to the arrest of 90 gang members, including the entire leadership of the gang.

"No Easy Fix for State Lab Backlog"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (01/21/07); Forster, Stacy

The crime lab for testing
DNA samples in Madison, Wis., has a backlog of about 1,775 cases, and officials are working to find solutions to reduce the backlog while maintaining the integrity of the lab. Newly-elected Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who has backed off his campaign promise to quickly eliminate the backlog, says it would take 20 months to clear the backlog if any new evidence wasn't submitted. Many states limit the number of DNA samples tested for each case, but this can allow the defense to say that the samples that were not submitted might be exonerating. Gov. Jim Doyle has committed to adding 15 new analysts to the lab, bring the total to 44, but he says that will not solve the problem and results will never be as fast as they are on TV.

"GPS Units Track Back to Crack Thefts"
Newsday (01/19/07); Bain, Brandon

Police in Babylon, N.Y., recently were able to recover a stolen GPS (global positioning system) device that was mistaken for a cell phone. The device was being used inside the offenders' home in Lindenhurst, N.Y., enabling police to use Babylon's own GPS system to identify the location, say law enforcement officials. A total of 14 GPS devices were stolen from vehicles in the Department of Public Works' storage yard on Sunrise Highway. In January 2006, the city equipped 300 vehicles, including snowplows, dump trucks, and street sweepers, with GPS devices. Law enforcement agencies across the country are reporting an increase in thefts of GPS devices from vehicles over the past two years. Police officials say the other 13 devices might have been discarded in the Great South Bay.

"City Hall Pushed to Buy $1.5 Million System to Track Gunshots"
Boston Globe (01/06/07); Smalley, Suzanne

Boston City Hall is being pressured by Boston city councilors, law enforcement officials, and community leaders to find the $1.5 million to install a gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter. The system, produced by ShotSpotter Incorporated of Santa Clara, Calif., uses a network of audio sensors, about the size of a coffee can, to triangulate the position of a gunshot, and is believed to be intended to cover parts of Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and the South End. The system is so sophisticated that it can determine the location of a shot from as far as 1.5 miles away within seconds, can isolate gunshots from other sounds, and even distinguish between shots fired from different types of weapons. Last year Boston had 74 homicides, 54 from gunshot wounds, almost identical to 2005 which had a 10-year high of 75 homicides, with 51 from gunshots. The number of shootings in 2006 increased from 2005 to 377 shootings, an rise of more than 10 percent. Similar gunshot detection-systems are being used in Chicago, Ill., Minneapolis, Minn., Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., Gary, Ind., Charleston, S.C., and Rochester, N.Y. Last October in D.C. the system led police to a suspect only minutes after the shooting and Minneapolis has several success stories including an officer-involved shooting, the recovery of a discarded gun, the arrest of a convicted felon with a gun, and an arrest for a shooting that was never reported to the police.

"Expanded Program to Get DNA Could Cast a Wide Net"
Arizona Republic (01/19/07); House, Billy; Wagner, Dennis

Justice Department may require another year before its plan to include the DNA samples of illegal immigrants in the federal DNA collection program can be implemented. Details of the initiative must still be presented to agencies affected by the changes. The final rule could be much more expansive than currently planned and provide law enforcement with an important tool. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio expressed support for the plan because it can provide suspect information not currently known. However, critics expressed concern about the expanded DNA collection that would also allow officers to collect samples from material witnesses to a crime.

Terrorism Hoaxes Still Plaguing Law Agencies"
USA Today (01/19/07) P. 3A; Hall, Mimi

homeland security and law enforcement agencies' ability to prevent another terrorist attack is being jeopardized by numerous terrorism-related hoaxes that occur on a near-daily basis. These hoaxes force agencies to divert crucial resources, money, and manpower when responding to the hoaxes, distracting agencies from pursuing real terrorism leads. These false tips and hoaxes include the infamous October 2006 "dirty bomb" threat against seven NFL stadiums, which "caused a massive mobilization of every resource you can think of" and resulted in an untold dollar-amount-loss in terms of manpower and resources, said one law enforcement official. Many officials believed that the football stadium threat was an absurd hoax, but law enforcement takes no chances when these threats arise, and has no choice but to respond. "We're on the front lines of keeping this country safe, and when you're distracted by these false threats, it goes right to the heart of our ability to protect the country," says Dan Dzwilewski, chief of the San Diego FBI office. Law enforcement officials are calling for more stringent penalties for the perpetrators of these hoaxes.

First Constable’s Office Added, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books listed the first police officer from an American Constable’s Office. The Harris County Constables Office (Texas) becomes the 116th state or local police agency to have a police author listed. Additionally, two other police writers were added to the growing list of police officers turned writers.

Ron Hickman began his law enforcement career with the Houston Police Department in June of 1971. He served in a variety of assignments and obtained a broad range of law enforcement experience. He joined the Harris County Constable's Office in 1983. In 2001, Ron Hickman was elected chief constable. He holds a Master Peace Officer certification and is a 1995 graduate of and instructor for the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute. In his fictional novel, “To Dance with Death,” A female serial killer is on the loose in Hudson County, and preying on officers from the Precinct 9 Constable's Office.”

Steve Gaenzle has over 25 years of distinguished service as a peace officer. He has been decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal as well as Meritorious Services to his community. Steve began his career with the El Paso County Sheriff ’s Office in El Paso, Texas, his hometown.

The demand of knowing the Spanish language was paramount in this border town. He instructed in the West-Texas Regional Training Academy in El Paso, Texas and then continued his career in Colorado. He has been a field supervisor, Field Training Officer, undercover detective assigned to the FBI Federal Fugitive Task Force, and a lead homicide detective in a major crimes unit. In addition to being a Spanish language instructor, Steve has instructed Interview and Interrogation, Crime Scene Search and Protection and Colorado Law. Steve has been instrumental in creating new Spanish training programs for dispatchers, Patrol, Jail personnel and created Spanish training programs Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Steve is recognized as an expert in the field of the Spanish language. Steve is the lead Spanish instructor for the Rocky Mountain High Intesity Drug Trafficking Area.

Steve, who has a degree in sociology/criminology from the University of Southern Colorado, co-authored a book with Jorge Charry on “Spanish Language Concepts for Law Enforcement.”

Bill Hamner, served as a Texas law enforcement official for 32 years. He was a criminal investigator and supervisor for several police agencies, including the Dallas Police Department (1967 to 1974), Gilmer Police Department, and the sheriff’s departments of Kaufman, Johnson, and Bowie Counties.

His first novel, “Night Eyes,” is introduces the character Jack Stone, of the Dallas Police Department and his chase of a serial killer. In the follow-up novel, “Last Musketeer,” Stone returns and “uncovers a high-level conspiracy within his own department to wrestle control from two major crime families that control illegal activities in Dallas. He becomes the target of assassination by those who will stop at nothing to silence him forever. Jack Stone finds himself in a deadly game, fighting for his very existence, pitted against a powerful man chosen to be the next Dallas police chief.” now hosts 283
police officers (representing 116 police departments) and their 696 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gangs, Cops and the Supernatural

Bringing the total number of books listed to 692, the newly added police writers include a gang member who became a cop, a fictional private investigator whose murder cases have a supernatural twist, southern grace meeting urban reality and an excellent academic piece on retail theft prevention.

In 1989,
Mona Ruiz joined the Santa Ana Police Department (California). She has worked patrol, gangs and narcotics. A native of Santa Ana, she became a police officer after overcoming her youthful involvement with gangs and an abusive marriage. According to Arte Publico Press, “This engrossing memoir charts Ruiz’s journey toward self-identity, tracing the tortuous path of her life—a life in which Ruiz assumed contradictory roles: gang chola, high school drop-out, disowned daughter, battered wife, welfare mother, student, and policewoman. At each step in the journey, Ruiz faced violence, ridicule, and skepticism. She nevertheless prevailed in exchanging her badge of social defiance for one of protecting her community.”

Richard Abshire was a captain in charge of the Dallas Police Department's Tactical Section from January 1975 to December 1977. He left the department in 1979 and is a reporter in The Dallas Morning News' Garland bureau. Richard is most notable for the fictional character Jack Kyle, “an ex-cop, turned Dallas gumshoe, your typical hard-boiled operative: middle-aged, divorced, broke and -- surprise, surprise -- more than a little cynical. Still, while not breaking any new ground, the series did get compliments for its plotting and characterization.” Moreover, he co-authored several books in the “gant” series with former Dallas police officer William Clair. The “Gant” books feature an ex-homicide detective who investigates cases with a super-natural twist.

Laurie Drummond began her
police career as a dispatcher in Ithaca, New York. She moved to Louisiana where she first took an assignment as a plainclothes officer in the crime prevention division of Louisiana State University. Ultimately, she joined the Baton Rouge Police Department and began working uniformed patrol. A serious car accident ended Drummond’s police career, but open the door to her writing career.

Her first book is “Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You: Stories.” According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Combining Southern grace and urban brutality, ex-cop Drummond debuts with 10 short stories grouped into five blistering fictional portraits of Baton Rouge policewomen. Each lady is tough even without her bulletproof vest, and all are plagued by death and corruption as they undertake the bracing, dehumanizing enforcement of justice.”

Over one third of the people who are dedicated to the domestic protection of America are civilian employees of
police departments. While focuses on sworn state and local police officers, civilian employees are honored and listed under a separate category (However, their books are not included in the total count). Liz Martinez is an adjunct professor at Interboro Institute, a two-year college in New York City that offers a Security Management degree program. After a career during which she honed her retail security skills, she switched gears from a management position into writing, editing and teaching. She holds a New York State security certification and is a member of ASIS International's New York City Chapter's Diversity Council and the Police Writers Association.

She graduated from John Jay College of
Criminal Justice with a B.A. in criminal justice. Moreover, Liz was as New York Police Department Auxiliary police officer for five years. Her book, “The Retail Manager's Guide to Crime and Loss Prevention: Protecting Your Business from Theft, Fraud and Violence,” draws on her practical and academic experience in the retail security field. According to one reviewer, “This book is easy to understand, and it has everything in it that a retail person needs to know in order to reduce thefts and other kinds of losses in a store. I've looked at other books, but they're too complicated. This one lays the topics out in a logical way, and the writer doesn't try to impress you with big words--just the facts!” now hosts 280
police officers (representing 114 police departments) and their 692 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Private Investigations – How to?

As a university professor I am often sent complimentary copies of books to review for possible course adoption. As you can imagine, some make it and some don’t. Moreover, most of the books, especially at the undergraduate level, tend to concentrate on theory, as opposed to practice. Recently, I was sent a book on investigations. Frank Ritter’s “Successful Personal Injury Investigations” is unusual in that it’s aimed straight at the practitioner. Both the private investigator and the police detective would greatly benefit from having Ritter’s book as a reference tool for the field. His 1200 page tome begins with a practical discussion on ethics and proceeds to cover issues like case management, video/photography and conducting actual investigations (from vehicles to product liability)”

There is a link to more information about Frank’s Book at:

School Safety Technology Workshop

NLECTC-Southeast School Safety Technology Workshop
Date: March 13-15, 2007Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Application Deadline: February 9, 2007

The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center- Southeast, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education, is sponsoring a School Safety Technology Workshop to be held in Norfolk, Virginia from March 13 to March 15, 2007. This workshop is designed to provide School Resource Officers, law enforcement officers, school administrators, and teachers with knowledge of new technologies for school safety and strategies for obtaining them for their agencies.

During the Workshop, attendees will be exposed to various emerging technologies and will have the opportunity for input into their design and application. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with the presenters, other attendees, and NLECTC-Southeast staff to foster better access to emerging school safety technology issues.

Attendance is limited to the School Resource Police Officer, local law enforcement, school administrative level, or teacher. Preference will be given to those individuals with direct responsibility for school safety. Each agency may submit only one application for consideration. The application must be submitted prior to the cut off date of February 9, 2007. All travel, lodging, and meal expenses for participants will be paid by NLECTC-Southeast. All applicants will be notified regarding acceptance.

Application Form (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
For additional information contact NLECTC-Southeast Project Manager Rob Donlin at 800-292-4385 or by email at

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Police Procedurals Writer’s Group Meeting

Meet other writers of police procedurals, crime fiction, true crime, detective fiction and thrillers. The purpose of the ongoing meetings is to network with other authors who are writing law enforcement related material. It is an excellent opportunity to explore new ideas, further plot development and gain first hand knowledge of police procedure from other law enforcement practitioners and writers.

Tanisha, a screenwriter, said of the meetings, “I like the smallness of the group and getting my questions answered. Also, I appreciated hearing all the stories.” Kris, a novelist from Great Britain who is working on his third book, obtained new ideas for character development and story arc. And, Betty, an aspiring
writer gained insight from three published authors on the business of writing; as well as obtaining ideas on her own project.

The group leader, Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster,
LAPD (ret.), MPA is a 24 year veteran of law enforcement. He retired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2004. In addition to being the author “Police Technology” and “Leadership: Texas Hold em Style,” Raymond is a university professor and accomplished entrepreneur. Both the experienced and novice writer, as well as any law enforcement professional, are invited to attend. Bring your “war stories” from both policing and publishing.

There is space for 20 people at each meeting. The next meeting is on February 5, 2007 at 7PM, Coffee Bazaar, 661 W. Arrow Highway, San Dimas, CA. For more information or to RSVP, go to

Inspiration, controversy and corruption

The police experience is as varied as that of all of humanity. Bringing readers stories of inspiration in recovery, controversy in justice and true-to-life tales of corruption, police officers not only show readers their world, but reflect on the world. Recently added to the ranks of police officer turned authors are: Tom Docherty, Joanna Purl, Michael Varnado and Lieutenant Joe “Bill” Bradley.

Houston Police Department Officer Tom Docherty was hit head-on by a drunk driver on a Houston interstate. No one expected him to live, but his family prayed, and he held fast to the hope of recovery and once again returning to the police force that he had given his life to. His book, “Down, but not out” describes his inspiring journey of recovery.

Police Officer Joanna Purl survived the training in the Police Academy and at the time her book was written (1997) worked the night shift in gang control. According to her publisher, “Joanna Purl has a talent for describing a scene in a manner that puts the reader IN HER SHOES. She writes in a light-hearted way about a very serious subject. Other times she is just purely funny. Like the description of the difficulty of going to the "ladies room" in full police officer uniform, with gunbelt, baton, flashlight, and all the rest. This book is for enjoyment, education, and general interest in the subject of law enforcement as a police officer. Any person, male or female, considering such a career will find this a fascinating portrayal of life behind the badge.”

Michael Varnado began his 30 year career as a
law enforcement officer while still a student at Southeastern Louisiana University. He joined Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office; ultimately becoming a detective. He is the detective famous for solving the murder case on which the movie “Dead Man Walking” is based. His first book, “Victims of Dead Men Walking” is a response to the movie (and the book from which it is taken). Detective Varnado presents a very different picture of the killer and justice. His second book, “Soft Targets: A Women’s Guide to Survival,” uses actual case histories as a means to advice women on how avoid becoming the victim of a crime.

Lieutenant Joe “Bill” Bradley retired from the
Houston Police Department after 30 years of service. His first novel, “Twelve Judges” “is a series of stories detailing the work of a police lieutenant and his rogue detectives. They use every means available to them to successfully apprehend criminals including illegal wiretaps and other questionable methods. Their goal is to make ironclad cases that will withstand the dubious scrutiny of shady defense attorneys. Their cases take them from Houston to Mexico and from the ship channel to the roof of the Astrodome. In the end their honor and their careers are called into jeopardy and they must decide whether to trust their own criminal defense attorney.” now hosts 276
police officers (representing 112 police departments) and their 685 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Outside the Crescent City

The Crescent City is not the only birthplace of Louisiana police officers who have authored books. Indeed, added four officers from surrounding Parishes who have penned gripping tales of murder, corruption and the dark side of humanity. Added to the list are Chester Pritchett, Karl Kretser, Gary Lee Bordelon and James S. Prine.

Chester Pritchett has served for more than twenty years with the
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, which is in south Louisiana near New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He is a life long bachelor and devoted public. Since 1994, Chester has finished four manuscripts and continues to write. “Exit 28: The Case of The Hooded Shooter” is his first book and is based on the events that unfolded in Oklahoma, Mississippi and Louisiana in 1995. The case proved controversial from Los Angeles to New York because it involved high-profile names like Edmondson and Oliver Stone.

Retired Lieutenant Karl Kretser,
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, is the Lieutenant of Detectives who writes true crime novels based on the cases he investigated. As an example, “Danced to Death” focuses on the 1985 discovery of a badly decomposed body of a nude woman. That woman turned out to be 25-year-old Teresa Moore, who disappeared days before from a convenience store. The suspect’s sketch hit the papers and then the case went cold. After many years, Karl Kretser took over the case and the hunt for a serial rapist in the state of Louisiana.

Shades of Grey is the autobiography of Gary Lee Bordelon who was a Louisiana State Trooper and a Louisiana State Narcotic Agent. His book depicts the corruption Gary Bordelon witnessed by other city and state Louisiana
police officers; until his dismissal as a state Louisiana police officer and state narcotic agent in April, 1979. His personal tale of corruption details drug dealing, lying and stealing done by fellow officers. It breaks down dates and times of several shake downs and meetings that resulted in many arrests.

James S. Prine, a veteran of the
New Orleans Police Department has written “Real Police: Stories from the Crescent City.” The book is a compilation of stories about police work from a police officer’s point of view. The term “Crescent City” is one of the nicknames given to New Orleans and refers to the course of the Mississippi River around the city. According to a review from the New Orleans Gambit, “I wouldn't suggest it to the squeamish, the politically correct or anyone who prefers not to know too much about their neighbors or our protectors. It is suggested reading, however, for those with morbid curiosities, those who empathize with our police force and anyone planning a career in law enforcement.” James’ second work is a collection of short stories brought together under the title “Tales from the Id.” now hosts 271
police officers (representing 110 police departments) and their 679 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Murder, sinners and souls

January 20, 2007 (San Dimas, CA) New Orleans increased their representation of police authors with the addition of four police officers who continued the New Orleans’ themes of murder, intrigue and thrills in the big easy. Added to the list are Wade Schindler, Sylvester Armand St. Cyr, Frederick Morton and Lawrence Green.

Wade Schindler began his law enforcement career in 1967 when he joined the New Orleans Police Department. In New Orleans he worked various assignments such as patrol and homicide. In 1974 he became the chief of police for the Oberlin Police Department. He has a Doctorate in Criminal Justice from Southwest University in Arizona and is the author of several novels including “Help! Murder! Police!” According to his website, “Help! Murder! Police!” Is a cop's cop novel. It zeroes in on the day-to-day mission of an average patrolman on the streets of one of America's most intriguing cities at a critical moment in the history of the American psyche.”

Wade Schindler “developed the idea of a guidebook for the foreign traveler to the United States-a guidebook that would go beyond the ordinary travel guide to give visitors to this country insight into ways of protecting themselves from the all too common criminal attacks in the United States. The book, “Freeze! A Guide to Safe Travel in the United States,” discusses every aspect of safety from living arrangements to travel by automobiles, planes and trains, as well as how to sightsee and shop safely.” He is also the director of the Orleans Regional Security Institute.

According to Ron Schott, of,
Sylvester Armand St. Cyr was “A paratrooper in the US ARMY in the early 1950's, he was also a two-time boxing champion and coach of the championship team while on duty in Korea. Following his stint in the military he became an undercover narcotics officer for the New Orleans Police Department. As a New Orleans patrolman, he was the victim of kidnapping and attempted murder. He escaped by defying the perpetrator's orders to run a police road block with his cruiser and instead aimed it at a tree and jumped just prior to the vehicle's impact. His adventures in undercover work and the characters he met provided the background material for his book, The Saint and Sinners.”

Frederick (Eric) C. Morton grew up in a middle class neighborhood in New Orleans with a good family background and virtues. His father raised him with a very stern hand, but taught him always to help others, never turn anyone away who needed the help, never let your guard down, and to always put your family above all. His mother raised him to be a caring person dedicated to family values and God. All during his childhood, he loved to watch and play police, but never thought he would ever develop into that line of work. After joining the military and a few years of college, he became bored with life until a chance encounter with two New Orleans Police Detectives. Infatuated with the idea, they talked him into joining the police department. He is married with three wonderful children, and since his inception in the police department, Eric has held many positions and has attempted to make an impact wherever he went.

Lawrence (Larry) E. Green was born in Natchez, Mississippi, and was raised as a child in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is married and is the father of two children. After graduating high school, he worked as a mechanic for ten years and decided to fulfill his life long dream of being a New Orleans Police Officer. Now he has over ten years of Law Enforcement experience, where the latter part he has held the position of a Homicide Investigator for the New Orleans Police Department.

Both the authors began working together when they headed up an international investigation involving the theft of cemetery artifacts. This investigation led them into a world of supernatural occurrences that changed their life forever. Although their novel, Lost Souls in the City of the Dead,” is completely fictional, it was inspired by this true to life investigation. now hosts 267
police officers (representing 107 police departments) and their 671 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Murder in the big easy

January 19, 2007 (San Dimas, CA) New Orleans swept onto the scene of with the addition of four new police officers. New Orleans area police officers added are John Dillmann, James Hurley, Brian Perry and James Colbert.

John Dillmann was a highly-decorated, veteran Homicide Detective for the
New Orleans Police Department has written several true crime books. As an example, in “Deadly Weekend,” John tells the story of his investigation into the disappearance of Mark Sheppard, a 50-year-old M.D. from St. Petersburg, Florida. According to one reviewer, “With the discovery of the doctor's nude body, the case took a new and grisly turn which led down the treacherous streets of the Big Easy and into the darkest secrets of a respected physician described as 'a murder waiting to happen.”

Brian D. Perry Sr., was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He joined the
New Orleans Police Department, obtained a Bachelor's Degree, and upon graduation with a Juris Doctor Degree, the Mayor of New Orleans selected him as the New Orleans Police Attorney. Activated during Desert Storm, he served as the Commandant of a large logistics command. Before redeploying back to the United States he was offered a position by a major oil company in Saudi Arabia to head their investigations unit. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve and was the Executive Officer for a Joint Command in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The American Community elected him to the School Board. After seven years in the Middle East, he returned to New Orleans to practice law.

His first novel is “Algiers Point.” According to the book description, “Nick Charbonnet is an honest cop with a beautiful wife and a seductive partner. He struggles with law school and his adulterous feelings. Then his world is shattered by a single phone call. The meeting that follows is the beginning of his involvement in a world he knows nothing about. Nick must make choices. Life changing choices. Good and evil live side by side and nowhere is it more apparent than in the Big Easy.”

Born and raised in Connecticut, James Hurley is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and a 10-year veteran narcotics agent of the
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. After moving to Florida, he worked in the financial industry for ten years as a stockbroker for 3 major wire houses. He currently lives in Cape Coral, Florida, where he spends most of his free time writing or on the golf course. In his 2004 book title “Gone,” “Former narcotics agent Sean Flynn must find Marcus Lowell, a professional money launderer and drug dealer under U.S. government protection. While making final preparations for one last drug deal, Lowell and his associates brutally murder a close friend of Flynn's on a remote Bahamian island and set into motion a number of events that will change Flynn's life forever. Flynn must return to the underworld of drug dealers and killers he left behind years ago. Its familiar territory, only this time the stakes are higher. His life is on the line-and he is no longer a cop.”

James Colbert served in the
United States Marine Corps from 1970 to 1971. After his honorable discharge (E4), he would ultimately find his way to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office where he would serve as a Deputy Sheriff from 1976 to 1978. He has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas, and a BA from Louisiana State University. He is the author of five books. In his novel Skinny Man, Skinny “Skinny is a New Orleans police detective who is on suspension after wrecking yet another police car. While working an interim job as security policeman for his apartment complex, he becomes involved in an arson plot involving his sexy neighbor, unscrupulous real estate developers, and an intriguing woman named Ruth. Skinny is a quirky guy with a sense of humor and a habit of referring to himself in the third person.” Colbert’s other books are “Profit and Sheen,” “No Special Hurry,” “All I Have is Blue” and “God Bless The Child.”

Both Colbert and Perry were also added to, a website that lists current, retired and former military personnel who have written books. now hosts 263 police officers (representing over 70 police departments) and their 667 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors and international police officers who have written books.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Program Director - Criminal Justice

Westwood College - South Bay, a subsidiary of Alta Colleges, and one of the country's fastest growing educational institutions, is seeking a qualified Program Director for its Criminal Justice Department.

The Program Director manages all program-related functions to ensure delivery of curriculum and to promote student success in Criminal Justice. The Program Director serves as the primary contact for students and faculty by maintaining a high level of visibility and actively soliciting input to promote a positive learning environment.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Oversee delivery and assessment of instruction in Criminal Justice.
Ensure that what is being taught conforms to the established Westwood syllabi.
Administer and analyze Faculty Course Evaluations
Observe classroom instruction
Recruit and manage program faculty
Develop program master schedule
Manage all program related equipment
Participate in curriculum development
Program budget management
Resolve all student-teacher issues
Conduct regularly scheduled faculty meetings and maintain minutes
Promote subject area faculty development

Job Qualifications:
At the time of hiring Westwood College faculty and education department managers are required to hold a completed graduate degree from a U.S. regionally or nationally accredited university. In addition, state licensing and national accrediting criteria apply. Faculty with international credentials are required to present an official U.S. degree evaluation by AACRAO or NACES recognized evaluation agency.
Appropriate professional experience in the Criminal Justice field.
Teaching experience preferred
Working knowledge of spreadsheets, databases, and word processing software
Strong oral and written communication skills
Strong attention to detail

Qualified Candidates should submit their resume and salary requirements to:
Peter I Heyer

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Officer's Body Armor Stops Bullet"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (01/15/07); Diedrich, John

A teenage assailant shot a Milwaukee
police officer during an attempted carjacking in the city. The officer's vest prevented the bullet from piercing his chest. The 17-year-old shooter fired at point-blank range at the 36-year-old officer, who was not identified. Police have two 17-year-old suspects in custody--one of which is believed to have fired the shot. In addition, police also arrested an 18-year-old who was driving the suspects in a van and two other people at the scene of where the suspects were hiding. The suspects and the driver took off by foot after the shooting, but police were able to follow their tracks in the snow. Deputy Chief Brian O'Keefe said the two 17-year-olds quickly confronted the officer while he attempted to purchase gas for his Mitsubishi Montero SUV and road salt at a Citgo. The officer was in uniform, but he had on a civilian coat that covered the upper half of his police attire. The assailants ordered the officer at gunpoint to drive to an alley. The assailants reportedly did not give any indication that they were aware that the man they held hostage was a police officer. The officer began to struggle with one of the young men when he attempted to search him after he was ordered out of the vehicle at the alley. The officer was shot during the altercation, but was able to shoot both young men as they fled.

"Mesa Moving Forward With Anti-Crime Project"
Associated Press (01/12/07)

The city of Mesa, Ariz., wants to launch a
technology-based initiative to reduce crimes linked to illegal aliens, according to police officials. They said the project would potentially involve hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire such equipment as portable digital fingerprint scanners, license plate reading cameras, and remote cameras. Additionally, data-mining software would enable cross-searches within several federal, state, and local law enforcement databases. City leaders said federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms would be assigned to work with local police officers to solve crimes, swap data, and enhance communications with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Such a move could help uncover illegal aliens who had been deported or arrested previously. The city is also mulling the creation of red-curb zones to indicate places where parking a vehicle is prohibited.


Police Go High-Tech in Their Cruisers"
Merced Sun-Star (CA) (01/12/07) P. B1; Jason, Scott

The Livingston, Calif.,
police department's 14 officers can now file reports, check license plates, and look into a suspect's background from their police cars. Eight in-car computers were implemented in the cruisers at the end of last month, and an additional half-dozen computers will be installed in the unmarked administration and detective vehicles by this month's end. The $242,690 for the system was approved in August by the City Council in an attempt to improve the department's technology. Although the touch-screen computers utilize the same systems the officers use at their desks, they also have GPS that can help officers study Livingston's layout. The department is still awaiting California's approval to access the state Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, which houses driver's license, firearms, and warrant databases. In addition, the system links with other states, providing officers with more search choices. The system means "we will be able to quickly identify criminals, make more arrests and ultimately have a larger number of convictions," notes city manager Richard Warne. Besides helping police dispatchers, Councilman Rodrigo Espinoza says he believes the additional time police are in public can lessen the level of crime.

"Speedy Traffic Tickets Urged"
Baltimore Sun (01/12/07); Fenton, Justin

The Maryland legislature is considering a program that would allow
law enforcement officials to issue e-citations to traffic violators, getting them back on the road more quickly and minimizing the amount of time officers have to stand in traffic. The electronic citations would let officers swipe driver's licenses and registrations to automatically generate a computerized ticket, which could then be transmitted electronically to the courts. Local police departments would be able to switch to the electronic systems when they were ready; many departments have already developed in-house software that allows them to handle e-citations. The state police says that it is currently ready to make the switch. State police say they would prefer a system which would eliminate the need for drivers to sign the citations, but it is unclear if this preference will make it into the final draft of any legislation. The proposal was discussed in a hearing of the state's Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 11.

"GPS Finds Its Way Into Nassau Patrol Vehicles"
Newsday (01/11/07); Cassese, Sid

The Nassau County, N.Y.,
police department has installed global positioning systems (GPS) in 207 of its squad cars, a move that county officials say will allow officers to respond to incidents more quickly by enabling emergency dispatchers to contact whichever vehicle is closest to the scene of an incident. The system will work in conjunction with the Computer Aided Dispatch System in order to locate and dispatch officers. However, some critics of the systems are concerned that criminals may be able to hack into a GPS and thus track where police officers are at all times. However, a similar system set up in neighboring Suffolk County in 2000 has not yet had any such security problems.

"Taser Unveils Latest Stun Gun"
Arizona Republic (01/09/07) P. 1; Johnson, Andrew

On Jan. 8, Taser International started accepting Internet orders for its new consumer stun gun that the firm hopes will heighten its sales, which are primarily fueled by its devices for
law enforcement officials. The company introduced on Jan. 8 its Taser C2 model at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show, which ran through Jan. 11. Taser selected that venue to demonstrate the gun, which is compact enough to fit inside a purse and is available in black, silver, pink, and blue. The C2 is the follow-up to the X26C model, which was launched in 2004. Taser intends to begin shipping the initial orders of the new gun in April. The company will sell two versions of the gun: The first has a laser function and costs $350, while the other comes without a laser and goes for $300. Analysts claim the new model has numerous features that will expand a Taser's appeal to retail distributors and consumers. Besides costing a lot less than earlier consumer models, the C2 is outfitted with a proprietary technology known as SureCheck, in which the guns are inactive until a consumer submits to a background check either over the Internet or by calling a number.

"Sheriff Gets Grant for Major Upgrading of Radio Systems"
Ashtabula Star-Beacon (01/15/07); Cook, Doris

The Ashtabula County Sheriff's Department has received in excess of $127,000 in grants from the federal Department of
Homeland Security for connecting its radio system with others used by regional law enforcement agencies. The department lacked the funding needed to upgrade radio equipment in cruisers until it received the grants, according to Sheriff William Johnson. The department currently uses different frequencies from other local law enforcement agencies. The grant will also pay for acquisition of Motorola portable radios and mobile charger units in cruisers that are operated by police supervisors.

Law Enforcement Agencies Don't Require Bulletproof Vests"
WESH NewsChannel 2 (Central Florida) (01/16/07)

Police have arrested two suspects believed to be involved in the shooting death of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. The shooting happened when the trooper pulled over a vehicle on U.S. Highway 27. The trooper was not wearing his bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting. The Florida Highway Patrol does not require troopers to wear protective vests, but does urge its troopers to do so. Some
police personnel believe that the trooper have may survived the shooting if he had worn the vest. Most police agencies in the region give their officers the option not to wear a bulletproof vest.

"Squad Car Computers Would Fill Variety of Needs in Dodge Sheriff's Department"
The Reporter Online (01/12/07) P. 7A; Nehls, Todd

Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls wants to acquire portable data computers and make other improvements to the Wisconsin-based Sheriff's Department. Some of Nehls' other goal include establishing substations, consolidating the dispatch system, and restructuring the records system. Nehls also cites the equipping of police cruisers with Mobile Data Computers (MDCs) as an important step. The MDCs can serve as a platform for future technological enhancements and will give officers the ability to search databases. Officers and detectives are currently restricted to making information requests on a suspect using the radio, but they could conduct information searches instantaneously using MDCs.

"City Hall Pushed to Buy $1.5 Million System to Track Gunshots"
Boston Globe (01/06/07); Smalley, Suzanne

Boston City Hall is being pressured by Boston city councilors,
law enforcement officials, and community leaders to find the $1.5 million to install a gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter. The system, produced by ShotSpotter Incorporated of Santa Clara, Calif., uses a network of audio sensors, about the size of a coffee can, to triangulate the position of a gunshot, and is believed to be intended to cover parts of Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and the South End. The system is so sophisticated that it can determine the location of a shot from as far as 1.5 miles away within seconds, can isolate gunshots from other sounds, and even distinguish between shots fired from different types of weapons. Last year Boston had 74 homicides, 54 from gunshot wounds, almost identical to 2005 which had a 10-year high of 75 homicides, with 51 from gunshots. The number of shootings in 2006 increased from 2005 to 377 shootings, an rise of more than 10 percent. Similar gunshot detection-systems are being used in Chicago, Ill., Minneapolis, Minn., Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., Gary, Ind., Charleston, S.C., and Rochester, N.Y. Last October in D.C. the system led police to a suspect only minutes after the shooting and Minneapolis has several success stories including an officer-involved shooting, the recovery of a discarded gun, the arrest of a convicted felon with a gun, and an arrest for a shooting that was never reported to the police.

"New Orleans Mayor Seeks Solutions for Growing Violence on City Streets"
Associated Press (01/09/07); Foster, Mary

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) on Jan. 9 suggested ways the federal government could help reduce crime in New Orleans. This included installing a camera surveillance system in the city and within
police vehicles. Landrieu said the surveillance cameras would help apprehend offenders as well as make sure that officers carry out their duties appropriately. She also wants more agents from the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as an emergency grant similar to the one given to New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has estimated that nationwide, the average period of time it takes for a legally purchased gun to become implicated in a crime is five years, but in New Orleans that period is only six months, according to bureau agent Austin Banks.

"New Model for Computer Forensics: Champlain College and
Law Enforcement Team Up on Digital Investigations in Vermont"
AScribe Newswire (01/10/07)

A ground-breaking new partnership between a college and
law enforcement agencies is helping police process more digital evidence and fight cybercrime in Vermont. The Champlain College Center for Digital Investigation, which received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, is enabling two new Champlain faculty members to work with federal, state and local law enforcement investigators, performing digital investigations and adding capacity to law enforcement agencies in Vermont. Based at the Burlington Police Department, these investigators sift through digital evidence found on computers, cell phones, iPods and other digital devices so that crucial pieces of evidence can be applied to criminal investigations. The professors also share their professional experience as they teach courses in Champlain's Computer & Digital Forensics program. The grant also enables the college to create online training opportunities that will be available to members of law enforcement in Vermont and across the country. "Computer forensics and digital investigations have become an integral part of police work in the new millennium," said Professor Gary C. Kessler, director of the new center. "Computers are now as much a part of the modern law enforcement officer's daily routine as the baton, sidearm, radio and handcuffs."

"It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a...DHS Drone"
Washington Technology (01/09/07) Vol. 1, No. 1,; Lipowicz, Alice

To help patrol the border between the United States and Canada, the Department of
Homeland Security plans to launch test flights of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)--also known as drones--later in 2007. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Jan. 8 it intends to use the drones in a pilot program by Sept. 30. The program would take place in Grand Forks, N.D., because of its proximity to the country's border with Canada. "As unmanned aircraft have proven to be effective on our southern border, this first step in North Dakota will lay the foundation to expand unmanned aerial system operations along the nation's northern border," said Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner for CBP's Office of Air and Marine, in a press release. UAVs feature cameras that can observe and detect motion, and they will complement law enforcement and critical incident responses, the agency said. In addition, CBP plans to restart drone flights over the U.S.-Mexico border using Predator B aircraft in November. That program was halted in April 2006 after the first Predator drone crashed as a result of a navigation error, according to government probes. CBP also announced it will incorporate satellite infrastructure at its Air and Marine Operations Center in Riverside, Calif., in 2007.

"Social Networking Sites in the Cross Hairs?"
TechNewsWorld (01/03/07); LeClaire, Jennifer

As the popularity of social networking sites grows, so do the threats posed to them and the entire Web 2.0 community, but growing public awareness could be the best defense against this trend. The worm and phishing attack against
MySpace in early December 2006 called attention to this new venue for cybercrime. Malicious tactics being employed include changing user settings, viewing account information, and implanting cookies with malicious code, all of which are made possible by exploiting the confidence users have in each other. Face Time Security Labs Chris Boyd says, "Social networking sites are goldmines of information, and a social engineer's dream. You don't even have to go dumpster diving anymore." A study conducted by CA and the National Security Alliance found that 57 percent of social networking site users admitted to being concerned about security threats, but personal information is still being posted, with no signs of slowing down. Boyd says that no matter the approach used by attackers, the goal is financial, "even if they're stealing login data, they're only doing it to spam Web sites that install adware, such as the recent MySpace worm." Attacks like this one leave users no options for defense but to not use the site at all. As social engineering scams gain more attention, so will the danger posed to Web 2.0, because its content is constantly changing, which means Web filtering applications that use URL databases or honeypots are ineffective; URLs would have to be scanned in real time. However, CTG's Ed Moyle thinks social networking sites are relatively safe, having experienced few actual attacks, since they are centralized and feature community enforcement.

"How to Buy Rifle Optics"
Police (01/07) Vol. 31, No. 1, P. 34; Smith, Scott

Rifle optics these days include both telescopic sights used by snipers, and aiming-related devices called compact optics. Combat optics use a red-dot laser to help an officer aim his weapon, and this
technology first caught on with competition shooters. Today every U.S. Army soldier with an M16 or M4 rifle has a combat optic sight as well. Two inexpensive but trustworthy red-dot sights that retail for around $125 are TruGlo Dual Color and Tasco ProPoint. Mil-Spec sights begin at $300 and these are military-tailored. For police officers who wear glasses, they must use holographic sights for best results. Bushnell, EoTech, and C-More specialize in this field, with Bushnell specializing in holographic sights with night-vision. Trijicon ACOG is the leading combat optics company of magnifying red-dot sights that enlarge a target between three and five times its true size. Before any purchase, one should fully understand installation issues unique to each sight and gun model.

"Digital Cameras for Cops"
Police (12/06) Vol. 30, No. 12, P. 28; Spraggs, David

Digital cameras have dropped in price during the last few years, making this upgraded technology a reasonable purchase for many
police departments. Furthermore, digital cameras have produced higher-quality results for police departments than manual cameras, not in the least because digital photographers can view their pictures on the camera screen and therefore reshoot any mishaps. Point-and-shoot digital cameras are great tools for a patrol officer, but forensic photographers shooting fingerprints or footwear impressions need better technology. A serviceable point-and-shoot digital camera should have between four and seven megapixels, have an optical zoom, offer low-light capability, image stabilizations, and macro-setting for close-up photos. At $200, Fujifilm's F20 offers a very serviceable camera that is officer-friendly, with solid after-sale support and service. Nikon is a top-of-the-line brand, and the Nikon L5 digital delivers the whole package, plus an especially long telephoto lens, for $275. Pentax Optio E10 is a solid choice at the bargain price of $150, and Sony's DSC-W70 has great low-light features and a good zoom lens at $275. One should also remember that digital cameras require batteries, and Nickel Metal-Hydride rechargeable batteries are the best at providing a renewable, rechargeable energy source.

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military and police personnel who have become authors; and criminal justice leadership online.