Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cop Memoirs, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books, added three police officers who have written their memoirs as cops.

Bernard Loughran joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1947. After riding with senior officers for four months (basic police training) he was assigned to walking beats. After three years of walking alone he was assigned a patrol car and again usually patrolled alone. He volunteered for motorcycle duty in 1954 but an accident in 1955 ended that assignment. He returned to patrolling in a patrol car. In 1960 he became a sergeant and supervised a patrol squad. In 1970 he was assigned to a support unit and in 1983 retired after 36 years of service.

According to the description of Brass Buttons: A Policeman’s Log, “
Bernie Loughran never expected police work would be interesting. He expected long dreary hours confined in a patrol car or repetitive hours on monotonous walking beats. He thought his primary function would be issuing tickets for parking and moving violations but instead every day hummed with excitement. The highlights he wished to remember he noted in a personal diary. These experiences are his but every police officer has similar stories to tell. Brass Buttons revels the job is actually chock-full of excitement and all a person needs to be a good policeman is common sense and self-confidence”

Thomas Grubb, a thirty-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, co-authored an autobiography with his nephew, Allan Cole. According to the book description, “Christmas, 1953: While the rest of Philadelphia sings "Jingle Bells," Tom Grubb gets his first taste of a cop's life. Before he cashes his first paycheck he encounters: A man gutted by a knife-wielding mugger; A fighting-mad mental case intent on destroying a hospital emergency room; The hushed-up shooting death of an undercover cop. That first week is nothing compared to what lies ahead during the next thirty years. A Cop's Life is the remarkable story of a truly remarkable man.”

Recruited from the Central Intelligence Agency,
Duff Lueder began his law enforcement career with the Washington DC Police Department in 1972. Later, he joined the Wexford County Sheriff’s Office (Michigan). In 1982 he became a certified Police K-9 handler and six months later became a certified Handler/Trainer and opened his new Dog Obedience Training Center. He is a graduate and certified Handler/Trainer from; Rudy Drexler’s School for Dogs (Elkhart, Indiana). Duff Lueder’s certification as a Handler/Trainer includes: K-9 Obedience, Man-Tracking, Narcotics Detection, Image training, Building Search, Crowd Control and Explosives Detection.

Since his retirement in 1992, he has continued to train dogs for people of all walks of life and further develop the Kinepal Training and Behavior Modification Program. He has a BA in Sociology and an MS in Animal Sciences. He is the author of Canine Reflections: Memoirs of a Police K-9 Handler/Behaviorist Trainer and the co-author of Dusty, Here.

According to the book description of Canine Reflections, “this book is a personal, candid journey with the author that begins with a dog he briefly knew in his youth that belonged to an Uncle; to when he became a new
Police K-9 Handler having never had a dog of his own before; through his evolution to becoming a Behaviorist Dog Trainer and “Dog Whisperer” that today helps dog owners learn.” also separately lists civilian police employees, as well as federal and international police officers who have authored books. The most recent civilian addition is
Anthony J. Rzucidlo, an Eagle Scout and former member of the Dearborn Heights Police Explorer Post. After graduating high school, he worked for the Dearborn Heights Police Department as a clerk and dispatcher, for 13 months. Currently, he is employed by the Ford Motor Company as a supervisor in their corporate security/fire department. His book is Emergency Management - Mobile Command & Response Vehicles: A photographic review of emergency units. now hosts 432 police officers (representing 190 police departments) and their 912 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written

Friday, March 30, 2007

NIJ Funding Opportunities

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has recently issued the following solicitations. Please be aware that you must submit your application electronically using Instructions for the registration process are available at:

NIJ FY08 Enhanced Tools for Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Vehicle Borne IED Defeat Funding Opportunity Number: 2007-NIJ-1441

Deadline: April 30, 2007, 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

NIJ is seeking applications for funding to enhance the ability of
law enforcement personnel to deal with the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs). NIJ is especially interested in proposals for the development and demonstration of new tools in the following areas of urgent concern:

Vehicle bomb confirmation.
Diagnostic tools for bomb disposal.
Enhanced reconnaissance capability for bomb squad robots.
Proposals addressing other areas of response to the suspected presence of explosive devices also will be considered.

Download entire solicitation:

NIJ FY08 Research and Development in Forensic Toxicology Grant Funding Opportunity Number: 2007-NIJ-1467

Deadline: April 30, 2007, 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for research and development to enhance the analytical tools, technologies, and techniques used by crime laboratories to conduct forensic toxicological analyses. This solicitation focuses on:

Advancing research on alternative drug testing matrices and the pharmacokinetic relationship between these alternative matrices and controlled substances.
Improving the specificity and sensitivity of analytical tools and technologies used in forensic toxicological analyses.
Developing new analytical techniques.
Developing nondestructive techniques.
Download entire solicitation:

NIJ FY08 Institutional Corrections
Technology Funding Opportunity Number: 2007-NIJ-1442

Deadline: April 30, 2007, 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

NIJ is seeking applications for funding
technology research, development, testing, and technical evaluation projects that address the technology needs of State and local corrections agencies and other criminal justice agencies that collaborate with them. Concepts may address new technologies that support the operations of a correctional facility. Additionally, NIJ may consider the application of new technologies not developed specifically for corrections but which have corrections application. Specific areas of interest include:

Contraband detection.
Data analysis, integration, and sharing.
Duress alarm systems.
Identification and tracking.
Surveillance and monitoring.
Multi-threat biohazard protective apparel for corrections officers.
Download entire solicitation:

Article sponsored by
criminal justice online leadership as well as police and military personnel who have authored books.

Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology

NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary
Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Boston's Police Patrols Gaining Bird's-Eye View"
Boston Globe (03/23/07); McGrory, Brian

Boston police will start using a helicopter regularly to support police on patrol. The program, which will begin in April, will have a helicopter with state troopers fly several evenings a week, working side by side with police officers on the ground. Boston police are already working on a campaign to notify citizens about the helicopter patrols so they do not become concerned about the presence of the helicopter and will hopefully be understanding about the noise. Police officials cited studies in other cities that indicated there was a 30 percent drop in street crime in areas regularly monitored from aircraft. The helicopters will be tuned to the Boston police radio frequency to allow them to respond to crime, including the city's new acoustic gunshot detection technology. The State Police helicopters that will be used for the patrols are equipped with night vision technology and video downlink capabilities, and will be used for surveillance, pursuits, and scene illumination. The duration of the program was not specified, but Detective Lieutenant William Powers with the State Police said he expects it to continue through the summer.

"Cost Hinders Jail Security Plan"
Oregonian (03/23/07) P. C3; Sulzberger, Arthur Gregg

Multnomah County, Ore., Sheriff Bernie Giusto is proposing equipping prisoners and guards at the downtown prison with special sensors that will monitor their movements and possibly lower the number of assaults. The county board, though, is reluctant to sign off on the $350,000 price tag. The Radio Frequency Identification System, which has been implemented in prisons in California, Florida, and Virginia, would upgrade surveillance. Security at county jails received criticism following a prisoner murder, a male prisoner infiltrating a female cell for sex, and the arrest of a pair of prison guards for inappropriate relationships with female prisoners. The
technology would permit guards at the Multnomah County Detention Center to follow and record the movement of prisoners sporting the tamper-resistant electronic bracelets, allowing head counts and automatically initiating alarms when male and female prisoners or members of rival gangs encounter each other. The proposal also calls for having hundreds of guards wear sensors, following them during their shifts. The board of commissioners, however, says the system's $350,000 price is a lot for the county to bear, and points out that the county is already encountering significant budget reductions. The board voted on March 22 to wait to decide on whether to approve the grant application.

"New Public Safety Building Dedicated in Roanoke County"
Roanoke Times (VA) (03/23/07); Lowe, Cody

The new 83,000-square-foot public safety center in Roanoke County, Va., was officially dedicated on March 22, and praised for being "on time and on budget." The $27 million public safety building will be the headquarters for police, fire, and rescue services for the county, as well as hold a
technology hub for the new state-of-the-art emergency 911 dispatch center, the county's information technology team, and the county's planned police academy. The new high-tech equipment center is well out of any flood plain and is part of a regional communication system that allows police, fire, and rescue personnel to communicate with one another at all times. The public safety center is the first non-education building in the state built under the Public-Private Educational Facilities and Infrastructure Act, which allows private developers to present proposals to government officials to fill needs in the community without having to wait to bid on a project initiated by the government.

Police Record Calls Using Audio, Video"
State (SC) (03/25/07)

The Bluffton
Police Department and Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina have been using digital audio and video recording to capture on-the-scene evidence. Recording eyewitnesses and victim statements at the scene is one way to ensure stories do not change when a trial comes to court. Furthermore South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster notes that police do not have to inform suspects that they are being recorded. In some cases South Carolina police are using small microphones attached to their lapels or collars to record audio from on-the-scene interviews. Audio information can also be stored on a laptop's hard drive affixed in the patrol car, which means that audio recording devices will have copious room for recording. The Bluffton Police Department plans to spend about $18,000 on a central server to archive and track their audio recordings, according to Chief David McAllister.

"City Surveillance Cameras Will Also Transmit High-Speed Internet Access"
Buffalo News (03/22/07) P. B1; Meyer, Brian

The city of Buffalo plans to start a $4.4 million pilot project this spring involving five surveillance cameras placed in high-crime areas. The cameras will also be able to transmit broadband Internet connectivity at no cost citywide. Later in 2007, the initiative will broaden to 32 cameras installed near schools, in business districts, and near border crossings. Dorothy A. Johnson, executive director of the state control board, which endorsed the city's plan on March 22, is confident the surveillance effort will help the city dispatch its
police officers more effectively. "This is a way that they can make the smartest use of their personnel," she said. The initiative is just one part of a $10 million bundle of projects advocated by Mayor Byron W. Brown and approved by the control board. Other approved projects include a 311 calling system for non-emergency problems and pay-and-display parking meters. Brown now hopes to secure $1 million in federal funds to enlarge the surveillance program to include up to 45 cameras.

"Running New Tests on Old Evidence Could Help Solve Woman's Murder"
Arizona Republic (03/23/07) P. 8; Ferraresi, Michael

Scottsdale, Ariz.,
police are opening some unsolved homicide cases from two decades ago in order to obtain DNA evidence and find suspected murderers. Scottsdale lead investigator of cold cases Lt. Craig Chrzanowski says the department is using new technology to harvest fingerprint and DNA evidence from a 1978 murder case. The case involves the stabbing death of Patty Kerger, then 30 years old. Police suspected it was a crime of passion, but never could solve it.

"High-Tech Help in Tracking Predators"
San Gabriel Valley Tribune (CA) (03/22/07); Ortega, Fred

Municipal leaders in West Covina, Calif., may start monitoring convicted sexual predators living in the city by implementing global positioning system (GPS)
technology. On March 20, the city council unanimously agreed to Mayor Mike Touhey's request to let staff members study the issue. "We don't want to be waiting on the state for funding while our people are at risk," said Touhey. "We don't want to be at the whim of the governor or the Legislature." Brian Brown of the state Legislative Analyst's Office notes that to fully deploy Jessica's Law--which was approved by voters last November--the state would need to obtain funds to finance the lifetime monitoring of tens of thousands of sex offenders after they are paroled. Brown said there are still unresolved questions about the law's retroactivity and whether state or local agencies should be responsible for adhering to the law. Pro Tech Monitoring CEO Steve Chapin says it costs roughly $4 to $8 per day to track a person, about $1,500 to $2,900 annually, based on the degree of oversight. Law enforcement agencies would be able to track offenders in real time using online maps, with danger zones such as children's facilities highlighted on the map. Alerts are delivered automatically to pagers, mobile phones, and email by the provider's computer system.

"Chatham Jail Is Outdated and All But Outgrown"
Raleigh News & Observer (NC) (03/22/07) P. B1; Friedman, Leah

Chatham County, N.C.'s prison is outdated and overcrowded. The region's population is expected to increase from the about 60,000 now to 150,000 in 2035. The facility only has 51 beds, meaning that adult prisoners cannot be separated from juvenile prisoners, and those waiting for trial from those already convicted. As such, Sheriff Richard Webster informed the Chatham County Board of Commissioners recently that widening the facility needs to be considered. A study by Solutions 4 Local Government on the possibility of a regional prison with Chatham, Lee, and Moore counties determined it would be more cost-effective for Chatham to build a new one. Jail operations manager Capt. Michael Roberson pointed out that even when the prison is 85 percent full, overseeing the prisoners is challenging, as there are a larger number of fights, more food to get ready, and more prisoner medical problems. In addition, he said the facility's outdated technology means that cameras just monitor the hallway connected to the four cell blocks. If an officer goes into a cell block, the control room officer cannot view him in the monitor.

"Computers Sought for Patrol Cars"
Fort Collins Coloradoan (03/21/07); Duggan, Kevin

Although Colorado's Larimer County is the one of the largest in the state, their
police department is also the only county without computers in sheriff patrol cars. Representatives from the Sheriff's Office are seeking to change this, but with a potential $239,000 to $500,000 bill, funding is uncertain. Sgt. Joe Shellhammer reports that 15 percent to 20 percent of deputy shifts are spent filling out paperwork, so installing computers in patrol cars would make this process more efficient by enabling reports to be completed in the field instead of expending time traveling back to the office. Also, previous suspect reports and photos would be readily accessible via portable computers. Last year's budget carried over $2 million, but additional requests from other departments total $4 million plus. Commissioner Karen Wagner said that although the department's proposition is understandable, covering costs of Larimer's law enforcement system is a mounting dilemma.

"Touting Cameras' Effectiveness"
Newsday (03/21/07) P. A14; Endo, Emi

A police video surveillance camera network that was recently installed in New York City has enabled
police to locate suspects in a homicide and additional shooting incidents, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stated on March 20. The police department has implemented 122 of the 505 cameras to be erected in public areas throughout New York City. Kelly said that on March 4 a private building security camera captured a photo of an individual mugging an elderly woman in Queens. Civil activists, though, have raised concerns about the cameras harming the right to privacy. The New York Civil Liberties Union has asked the city to offer public notice to inhabitants in neighborhoods where cameras will be put up and establish regulations on how the images will be stored and dispensed. Kelly explained that police want to look at video feeds from private corporate buildings in lower Manhattan. He stated the police would set up "license plate recognition readers" or scanners at bridge and tunnel entrances in that region, and in police cars and helicopters.

"Police Going High-Tech"
Lowell Sun (MA) (03/21/07); Myers, Jennifer Amy

The Billerica, Mass.,
police department recently transferred to a live-scan fingerprinting system, produced by Identix, which enables officers to fingerprint a suspect just by putting his finger on a glass screen. In addition to doing away with the possibility of capturing fingerprints incorrectly, the system allows the instant electronic transfer of fingerprints to state and federal databases. Criminal records and identification can be sent back from the FBI in around 10 minutes, a procedure that "sometimes took months" with the former ink cards that had to be mailed to external law enforcement groups, noted Billerica Police Chief Dan Rosa. The new system cost $2,200 to buy and implement, and was paid for by grant money. Billerica's police department has made numerous other technological improvements. It is now able to digitally retain and gather photo evidence that can be given to the court on an evidence-grade CD. In addition, mobile technology implemented in the computer systems of police cruisers now permits safe access to in-house computer resources, email, and Intranet, and enables officers to directly access the Registry of Motor Vehicles from their cars.

"Taser Use Under Scrutiny"
Baltimore Sun (03/20/07) P. 1B; Shields, Nick; Mitchell, Josh

The safety of Taser stun guns has come into question in Baltimore County, Md., where a 40-year-old mentally ill man wielding a baseball bat died recently after police subdued him with a Taser. The incident has prompted Baltimore County Councilman Vincent Gardina (D) to ask that a review of the procedures governing the use of Tasers be held. Gardina, a former
police officer, explains that he has several concerns, including that officers "may not be restraining themselves as necessary," that the number of Tasers are proliferating, and that the weapons are being used inappropriately. The ACLU has also weighed in, claiming that Tasers can be dangerous. The death of Ryan Lee Meyers is apparently the first in the Baltimore region in which a Taser and police are involved. Meyers' death came after police arrived at his family's home to investigate a domestic violence call; Meyers allegedly struck his father in the face with the bat, then refused police officers' order to drop the weapon, prompting the use of the Taser. Meyers' family members claim that police shocked Meyers more than once.

"Downtown Companies Join Security Plan"
El Paso Times (03/21/07); Kolenc, Vic

Private security firms and
law enforcement and public safety agencies are collaborating on a new technology project that will allow businesses, school districts, and colleges in El Paso, Texas, to receive instant emergency alerts from the local police and fire departments. In addition, businesses will be able to use the new Internet-based system to share information about security issues. "It will give us the ability at a moment's notice to send out an emergency notice from the Police Department or Fire Department," explained Michael Breitinger, executive director of the Central Business Association and Downtown Management District. More than 70 businesses have signed up to participate thus far. Once fully implemented, the system will be used across the city, and participants will be able to receive alerts or share information via email, cell phones, fax, Blackberries, or any other text-enabled gadget. The applications for the system include alerting businesses and other recipients to nearby robberies, impending disasters, criminals on the loose, or finding lost children. The El Paso-based Law Enforcement and Private Security (LEAPS) group is helping to implement the system, and police officials say that police officers will be able to use the system to disseminate video, photos, and other data.

"'Eye in Sky' Cameras See All, But Record Nothing"
Chattanooga Times Free Press (03/18/07) P. A1; Davis, Michael

The Tennessee Department of Transportation's (TDOT) new highway cameras are only intended to handle traffic congestion and do not record real-time images. The department erected 61 traffic cameras to watch local highways, and dispatchers get numerous calls each day from residents and attorneys who desire footage recordings. The cameras are set up over Interstates 24 and 75, state Highway 153, and U.S. Highway 27. TDOT Web sites show still images snapped from highways, which enable online users to look at traffic flow. In addition, streaming footage is broadcast inside TDOT facilities, permitting authorities to track traffic and take care of accidents. The public, however, is not allowed to access such images. "A lot of folks think Big Brother or local law enforcement agencies might be using [the cameras] to issues speeding tickets," noted TDOT's Lacy Word. "Our cameras are not for that."

"Justice Pursues Flexible Identity Management"
Government Computer News (03/19/07) Vol. 26, No. 6,; Jackson, Joab

The Justice Department is running a pilot program of the
Law Enforcement Information Sharing Program, which is designed to allow federal agency employees, as well as state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, access to multiple applications being run across various federal agencies. Many of the programs require multiple forms of user identification, so credentialing each employee for every application is not a practical approach; instead, a central repository for identification will be established. When a user requests access to an application outside of their primary agency, the application will access the repository to verify credentials. Credentialing is a multi-step process that involves positive identification of the individual, a list of the systems that person is allowed access to, and the distribution of passwords, smart cards, or other identification keys. Boris Shur, the Justice Department's manager for the pilot program, said the DOJ is working with the FBI on new systems that could potentially be used by hundreds of thousands of state law enforcement workers, and federal identity management seems like the only solution.

Terrorists With Click of a Mouse"
Baltimore Sun (03/26/07) P. 1A; Gorman, Siobhan

The Defense Department's Cyber Crime Center in Linthicum, Md., has helped recover hidden digital evidence from criminals' computers for use in
law enforcement investigations, including terrorism cases. The process of extracting this evidence is known as "digital forensics," an evolving science that will eventually have the same type of revolutionary impact on law enforcement investigations as DNA did, says Steven Shirley, executive director of the center. Terrorists are increasingly using technology devices like cell phones, laptops, and Palm Pilots, and the digital evidence that is left on these devices can provide investigators with a trove of useful information, including evidence of plots, intentions, and activities, says Shirley. Digital forensics featured prominently during Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's recent hearing in Guantanamo Bay, as much of the evidence that was produced during the hearing came from a computer hard drive in Mohammed's possession. This evidence included letters from Osama bin Laden, communications with a Sept. 11 hijacker, and records of the pilot license fees incurred by the lead operative of the Sept.11 attacks, Mohamed Atta. Similar evidence was obtained from the laptop of slain Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leading to the capture of his top lieutenants. Digital forensics experts note that terrorists are more likely to use encryption than regular criminals, and there are also crack-resistant technologies available that can effectively lock a hard drive.

"Can They Count on IP?"
American City & County (02/07) Vol. 122, No. 2, P. 22; May, Paul

Increasingly, public safety communications are involving Internet Protocol (IP) packet-switched networks, which frees up space on conventional radio channels, broadens coverage and roaming capabilities, and provides encryption for messages; data transfer through IP-based systems is about equivalent to that of voice messages. Although IP networks can be complicated and require special know-how, upkeep for the
technology can be comparatively inexpensive because the gear needed is similar to that used in LAN applications. In October 2006, the U.S. Army-National Capital Region launched a trunked voice and data communications network featuring an entirely IP-based backbone. The network encrypts communications for military installations across the region using nonproprietary open architecture that can be modified to accept newer technologies. Meanwhile, New York state recently signed a 20-year, multi-billion-dollar contract for an IP-based network intended to be used by all public safety and public service agencies statewide, in addition to up to 65,000 state and local government users. The state eventually plans to create a shared communications platform for public safety and public services agencies. The New York Office for Technology concluded that a digital radio network able to serve agencies statewide would be more cost effective than trying to maintain the older, weakening system. The updated network will cover 95 percent of New York, including 97 percent of the state's thoroughfares.

Article sponsored by
criminal justice online leadership as well as police and military personnel who have authored books.

Long-Term Iraqi Stability Requires Rule of Law, Officials Say

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2007 – Security progress in Baghdad requires more than
military success; it also requires advances in Iraq's institutions, including its criminal justice system, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman said today. "We can and will win every battle, but we cannot win the peace alone," Navy Adm. Mark Fox said during a media roundtable in Baghdad. "Even-handed justice is an essential part of every democratic society."

After decades under Saddam Hussein's repressive regime, "the Iraqi government is creating an independent judicial system to ensure that the rule of law applies to everyone," he said.

James Santelle, Justice attache at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, joined Fox in sharing perceptions after a visit yesterday to the Central
Criminal Court of Iraq and speaking about steps under way to continue advances being made.

"Rule of law is a critically important part of the united Iraqi-coalition force effort to preserve the peace and to ensure the safety and security for all Iraqis," Santelle said.

Rule of law requires confidence in the institutions of government, provincial and city governments, elected officials and
police. That is a tall order, Santelle acknowledged, because Saddam's brutal police force left widespread, lingering fear and distrust.

As they look toward the future, the Iraqi government and coalition are focusing on what Santelle called the three touchstones of a good rule of law operation: courts, prisons and police.

He said his visit to the Central
Criminal Court gave him optimism that it's possible to break beyond past wrongs.

"If there is any illustration of rule of law in operation here today in Iraq, it is just that," he said, citing the CCCI's operations and its combined staff of police, law enforcement agents and officers, judicial officers, and corrections officers. All are working together in Baghdad and other Iraqi providences to ensure rule of law is promoted, he said.

Santelle cited the facts that crimes are being investigated fairly and that courageous judges are hearing evidence of crimes as examples of positive strides.

"That is a reflection of a civilized society," he said. "That is a reflection of a rule-of-law operation that does, in fact, work."

training programs are ensuring that the principles of rule of law go to all levels of the criminal justice system, and new courthouses and other facilities are being built or renovated to support this system, he said.

As these efforts take shape, Santelle said he's been impressed by the many courageous Iraqi leaders -- judges, prison officials, police officers, non-governmental organizations and entities among them --pursuing rule-of-law principles while operating in the midst of violence.

"That is a sign of tremendous promise and future for this country ... (that) speaks well, not only for the present generation, but also those to come," he said.

Article sponsored by
Criminal Justice online leadership; and, police and military personnel who have written books.

Angles on Corrections, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books, added three writers who give different perspectives on the corrections system; one is a cop who is an expert in conducting investigations in prisons; one is a cop who went to prison; and, the third wrote a thriller were the offenders skip the prison experience.

William Bell comes from a family whose involvement with law enforcement dates back to the Civil War. His own education and career spans more than thirty years. Greatly influenced by his father, a retired Police Inspector, he began with the Dearborn Police Department (Michigan) where his responsibilities included work in road patrol, SWAT, undercover narcotics, and pattern crime. For nearly twenty years the author has been employed by the Colorado Department of Corrections, where he ultimately gained his expertise with the Criminal Investigation Division. He is noted for taking the investigation of prison crime into the streets. He reflects is practical as well as academic excellence in his book, Practical Criminal Investigations in Correctional Facilities.

Lines Crossed is the true story of
Alex Richardson, a Lake County Sheriff’s Department (Indiana) a narcotics detective who was ultimately sentenced to federal prison for taking a bribe from a drug dealer. His book, Lines Crossed: the True Story of an Undercover Cop, describes the activities of the County drug task force; and, “he also reveals his gambling habit, and the corruption that takes place while working narcotics.”

Alex Richardson grew up in Gary, Indiana. He left at the age of 18, joining the Army where he was a military policeman. He graduated Airborne School becoming a paratrooper, then finished his enlistment by serving in a special operations unit at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. After his military duties he served as a patrolman on the Lake County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Department before serving over two years as an undercover detective on the Lake County Drug Task Force.

Mark Osterman, a Detroit Police Department police officer wrote two crime thrillers: Happiness is a Green Light and Justifiable Homicide. According to the book description from Justifiable Homicide, “In this sad aftermath, Jack began his secret war on crime. He joined the Detroit Police Department and rose through the ranks to become a detective. However, Jack's after-hours activities included a different method for reducing crime statistics. This one-man crusade served as judge, jury and executioner. now hosts 429 police officers (representing 189 police departments) and their 908 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Midwest Crime, Drugs and Fiction, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books, added three cop writers from the Midwest: Baird Davis, Greg Ferency and Mel McNairy.

Baird Davis retired from the Muncie Police Department (Indiana) at the rank of Captain. His book, The Middletown Myth: Based on True Events, is tale of corruption and conspiracy in Muncie, Indiana. According to one reader/reviewer, “The story involves Davis' search to discover who planted the bomb that nearly killed his police officer father. His quest takes him on a journey through a small-time world of corrupt politicians, corrupt labor unions, bad cops and greedy businessmen. Add an assortment of prostitutes, hit men and petty thieves and you'll see why Muncie has been nicknamed "Little Chicago."

Greg Ferency has been a police officer for the Terre Haute Police Department (Indiana). His assignments have included a county-wide Drug Task Force. He has extensive experience in drug related crimes as both an investigator and undercover officer. Greg Ferency has specialized police training and experience in methamphetamine related investigations. He has certifications from the DEA Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team in the area of Basic, Site Safety and Tactical Operations. Greg has been at the scene of over 550 methamphetamine lab scenes as both lead investigator and site safety officer since 1999. He is a court certified expert in methamphetamine and its associated clandestine labs. Greg has trained law enforcement, civilian groups, educational system employees, medical staff and correctional personnel in methamphetamine and other drug related topics. Greg Ferency is the author of Narc Ops: A Look Inside Drug Enforcement.

Mel McNairy joined the Indianapolis Police Department 1980. In addition to being a field training officer for the Indianapolis Police Department, he has been a air traffic control in the military, martial arts instructor and a student of creative writing, commercial art and Japanese. His book, Art of Vengeance, is billed as a “fast-paced novel crafted by an 18 year veteran of the Indianapolis Police Department. now hosts 426 police officers (representing 187
police departments) and their 904 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written books.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Over 900 Cop Books, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books, surpassed a listing of 900 books written by police officers. According to the website’s editor, Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA, “It’s quite a milestone, but there are over 250 police officers whose works are yet to be included!”

The 901st listed book was written by
Robert R. Surgenor, a retired detective from the Berea Police Department (Ohio). In 1987, he was one of the first police officers to mount a video camera in his police vehicle; and, in 1988 that camera captured one of the world’s first police chases. In 1995, Robert Surgenor was assigned to the detective bureau and was placed in charge of the juvenile crime unit. His extensive studies on juvenile crime, gangs, parental authority and discipline led to the writing of his book No Fear: A Police Officer’s Perspective.

He has made numerous television appearances supporting his position that “spanking is a necessary part of child rearing.” As an example, he has appeared on MS-NBC, Fox News and other talk shows. According to his website, “he continues to educate parents, police officers, prosecutors, and judges, about Ohio's Child Abuse laws and parental rights in raising children.”

Ovid John McLaughlin, known as O.J., is a 34 year veteran of the Toledo Police Department (Ohio). O.J. attended the now closed DeVilbiss High School in Toledo where he was All-City in both Football and Wrestling.

He attended the University of Toledo, where he played football for one year before playing two years of semi-professional football in Toledo. He joined the
Toledo Police Department and during his career has worked in Communications, Traffic Section, Records Section and Street Patrol; and, had a number of commendations during his career

His book, Tales from the Bat Cave, is a look at policing during the 1960s and 1970s. According to the book description, “The “kick ass and take names” days are gone. Police work nowadays is more the “touchy-feely” way. During this era of police work the Officers carried .38 revolvers, did not have portable radios, copy machines, computers and bulletproof vests were the exception rather than the norm. The vests that were worn by officers in this era were the old-fashioned flak vests that weighed about thirty-five pounds.”

Joseph Niehaus is a lieutenant with the Kettering Police Department (Ohio). He has authored five books. Two of Lieutenant Joseph Niehaus’ books concern hypnosis; and, one, Investigative Forensic Hypnosis, looks at the use of hypnosis in law enforcement. He is also the author two novels, Beware the Whale’s Wake and Fade Out. now hosts 423 police officers (representing 185
police departments) and their 901 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written books.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ohio Police Writers, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books, added three police writers from departments in the state of Ohio.

Drafted into the
United States Army at age 19, and the height of the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam, Joseph Reass found himself suddenly transformed from a na├»ve teenager into a rifleman in the 25th Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment. Arriving in Vietnam as a Private First Class, he survived a year of combat with the famed “Manchu” Regiment and returned to the United States with the rank of Sergeant. Back at home, he readjusted to civilian life by continuing his education. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Capital University and a master’s degree from Ohio University in Political Science, Joe put the war behind him and reentered the world.

After a 25 year career with
Columbus Police Department (Ohio), including 13 years as a criminal investigator, he retired in 1997. Returning to Ohio University as a member of the faculty, he currently teaches in the Bachelor of Criminal Justice Program and is the director of the Southern Ohio Police Training Institute.

Joseph Reass’ first novel is Dragon Men. According to the book description, “In it he depicts real events pulled from long clouded memories of his combat experiences in Vietnam. Pieced together and told by a fictitious protagonist, David Reno, the story brings into perspective, true events, honest, tragic and even humorous that young men of Charlie Company, 4th Brigade, 9th Regiment, faced in the unconventional combat of the Vietnam War.

Along with graphic descriptions of combat and death, there are insights into men who served and how they coped with difficult situations of surviving not only the fighting, but the arduous life in the boonies. Live with young soldiers who deal with extreme situations of war, weather and military life.

It is an honest story that will interest anyone who served in combat, who want an unglorified glimpse of combat life or anyone who likes personal adventures told by real characters.”

David Swords is a retired Police Lieutenant, having served thirty years with the Springfield Police Department (Ohio). Nearly half of his police career was spent as an investigator, working on cases ranging from simple vandalisms to armed robberies and murders. His varied experience has given him a unique understanding of human nature; an understanding that brings the characters of “Shadows on the Soul” to life in the mind of the reader.

David Swords’ book his proposes the questions what would have happened in the Nazis had won and the United States was occupied territory. According to his book description, “the story takes you with John as he tries his best to live a normal life as a government official in the 1960’s America that might have been - Nazi occupied America. John’s normal life is disrupted as he reluctantly helps a prisoner who has escaped from a labor camp; a man imprisoned for no crime, except the color of his skin.”

Edward A. Stein, Sr., a 35 year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department published an autobiography entitled My Badge is My Intergity. now hosts 420 police officers (representing 183
police departments) and their 894 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written books.

Law Enforcement Jobs

So, you’re seriously considering a job in law enforcement. But, you have questions – What’s the job really like? How do I apply? Where can I find openings? What is the process like? How can I score the highest possible?

These are important questions. Indeed, anyone who has gone through the application process for a
law enforcement job knows it is critical to score as high as possible. It’s your score that gets you in the door. Remember – the highest scores are passed on to the next phase of the application process for a law enforcement job and they are the ones who ultimately become the cop on the beat, the homicide detective, SWAT or tactical officer; or, even a future chief of police.

But, those dreams never happen if you don’t score as well as possible. Every cop gets asked these questions and two of them have taken the time to write down the answers. First, the Police Officer Exam, 3rd Edition, was edited by Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA. Many of the questions were updated to reflect current testing. More importantly, entire passages were re-written or developed to give you practical, down-to-earth advice on the process. Detective Lieutenant Barry Baker, Baltimore Police Department (ret.), has written “Becoming a Police Officer: An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Law Enforcement.” Lieutenant Baker’s book not only helps you with the process, but helps to visualize your career and to make that career happen.

Lieutenants Foster and Baker give you a coast-to-coast perspective on a career in
law enforcement and the one-two punch you need to score high, get the job and begin your career. You need both books to be successful. Order both books today!

Click here for more information on the books now hosts 420 police officers (representing 183 police departments) and their 894 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written books.

Crime fiction and other police procedurals, a website dedicated to listing state and local police officers who have authored books, added three writers of crime fiction.

Robert Ruble quit high school to join the United States Marine Corps (USMC), where he was hoping for Korea, but instead was selected to be a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego. Later he changed his specialty to Tank Crewman. He left the Marine Corps and joined the Tampa Police Department. After a few years as a police officer he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and served a 20 year career, including two tours in Vietnam.

After retirement from the USMC, he worked for a variety of law enforcement agencies culminating his law enforcement career as the Chief of Police of the
Kennesaw Police Department (Georgia). He was their chief from 1980 through 1986. He has written two thrillers - Have No Mercy and Black Rosebud: Have No Mercy II

George Galjan was born in 1942 in Berlin, Germany. In 1956, he immigrated to the United States with his family. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy. He served two tours in Vietnam and later transferred to the Navy Reserves. He retired from the Reserves with the rank of senior chief. In 1969, George Galjan joined the Cleveland Police Department. He retired in 1998, at the rank of lieutenant.

George Galjan’s book, Cops, Donuts and Murder, is a mystery set in the City of Cleveland. As one reviewer/reader remarked, “This is the best mystery book I've read for quite sometime. It is filled with twists and interesting characters. The ending was a total surprise. The book is written using dialog and it is so true-to-life that I couldn't put it down.”

Earl Kratzer is a retired Detective Sergeant from the Cleveland Police Department. During his career he worked on a number of interesting cases and is the recipient of the Rotary Valor Award for Heroism Beyond the Call of Duty. His book, My Baby, My Baby, is a classic police procedural that follows “a fictional account of a child abduction that is set in Cleveland, Ohio. The twists and turns that develop while the detectives are investigating this case, show the reader what actually occurs while following leads a criminal investigation.” now hosts 417 police officers (representing 182
police departments) and their 891 books in six categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written books.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Look at Women Police Writers

March is Women’s History Month. Nearly 600 state and local police officers in the Untied States have written books. And, twenty-one of those police officers are women. Like their male counterparts, they have written fiction, autobiographies, academic texts and even poetry. Interestingly enough, the most successful writer of romantic fiction is a retired male motorcop. Put the motorcop aside for the moment and let’s take a brief tour of the history of women police officers as writers.

Women in Policing

There is some disagreement about who should be thought of as the first women police officer in the United States. In 1910, Alice Stebbin Wells joined the Los Angeles Police Department and was the first woman to be called a “Policewoman.” However, in 1905, Lola Baldwin was hired by Portland Police Department (Oregon), given somewhat limited police powers and put in charge of group of social workers.
It has been said that Baldwin was the first woman to have sworn authority. Still earlier, in 1893, Mary Owens was given the rank of Policeman in the Chicago Police Department. While Owens worked in the department 30 years, she had been given this title and job as the widow of a slain officer. At that time in our history, lacking today’s survivor benefits, some organizations took care of the police family by providing widows with jobs within the department.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Law Enforcement/Corrections Technology News Summary

NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary
Thursday, March 22, 2007

"A.J. Police Going More High-Tech"
East Valley Tribune (AZ) (03/18/07); Redhage, Jill

A pair of new devices became operational on March 2 that will enable Apache Junction, Ariz., patrol officers to perform their jobs better. LiveScan allows electronic finger- and handprinting to be done, while Mug Shot Interface permits police to obtain, retain, and get mug shots, fingerprints, pictures of scars and tattoos, and additional information. The databases' information can be accessed by
police officers and the court system. Police representative Jay Swart lauded Chief Glenn Walp's "great leadership" and technology focus in obtaining the new devices; in addition, Swart stated that Walp is responsible for the department's employment of CompStat, a computer information program installed a couple of months ago that handles statistics so police can locate trends and figure out crimes. The acquisition of LiveScan and Mug Shot Interface was paid for by a grant to Apache Junction from the Gild River Indian Community State-Shared Revenue Program. The technologies will assist police in keeping the correct suspects in custody, while the central databases will help police connect suspects to other crimes they have done. Since the technologies heighten accuracy in finding suspects, fewer innocent individuals will be kept in custody or sent to prison. Police added that the new technologies will reduce paperwork, meaning officers will have additional time to patrol the streets.

"Cameras Help Keep an Eye on Watts Complex"
Los Angeles Times (03/17/07) P. B4; Helfand, Duke

On March 16, city leaders in Los Angeles praised the implementation of seven surveillance cameras at the Jordan Downs housing project, noting the state-of-the-art equipment had already played a part in making the Watts complex more secure. The cameras, erected on utility polls, send images to three
police stations in the region, permitting officers to keep continuous tabs on activity and respond more rapidly to events, according to police. Numerous other cameras will be set up on adjacent 103rd Street. Police stated the cameras were partly the reason for a decline in crime since the start of the year, although community leaders credited the drop to additional arrests and the creation of a citizens gang task force that has adopted a strong position against crime. The cameras have received varied reactions since they started appearing during the past year, with certain activists claiming the equipment breaches their privacy and others wondering whether the cameras prevent outsiders from carrying out crimes. Financing for the Jordan Downs crime-combating initiative comes from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Motorola.

"Ohio Hoping to Link All Courts on One Web Site"
Cleveland Plain Dealer (03/18/07); Fields, Reginald

Supporters of the Ohio Courts Network project hope to create a Web site that would contain documents from all 385 courts in the state, including city courts. This would let judges and attorneys know about the offenses of every criminal in the state regardless of whether the criminal moves to another county, says Chris Davey, representative for Chief
Justice Thomas Moyer. The Ohio Supreme Court hopes to launch such a site within two years, but many issues would need to be resolved, such as the financial cost to communities, privacy, and what data must be supplied to the network. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has allocated $10.5 million for the project in his proposed state budget, but that figure might change in the wake of future legislative decisions. The network would ideally allow courts to find information effortlessly on every criminal and civil case from all 88 counties in Ohio, and the public might have limited access as well. Robert Stuart, the Ohio Supreme Court's director of information technology, says the Supreme Court would use its funds to appoint a vendor that would assist it in establishing the Web site within three months. After that, pilot projects would be deployed involving approximately 15 to 20 courts from across Ohio as well as other agencies such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. "I think it makes perfect sense to do it, but I think there will be a lot of issues to figure out because every one of us has a different case management system," says chief deputy of the Cuyahoga County clerk of courts Keith Hurley.

"Nothing But Net"
Monterey County Herald (03/16/07); Katsnelson, Alla

police department in Greenfield, Calif., recently acquired two Super Talon NetGuns. The Talons shoot a 16-foot nylon net over 25 to 30 feet to entangle and immobilize a person. The net guns cost $678 each and require little training, according to police Chief Joe Grebmeier. Grebmeier said the Talons will not replace Tasers, which are carried by all Greenfield police, or other "less-lethal" weapons, but are part of an effort to adapt new technology to make officers safer and more productive. Grebmeier said the net guns will be carried by Greenfield's two sergeants in their cars, and will most likely be used when a perpetrator is running away.

"Pretty Soon, Prison Web Site Will Help You Locate Prisoners"
Charleston Daily Mail (WV) (03/16/07) P. 1A; Anderson, Justin D.

The West Virginia Division of Corrections has given the Dream Catcher computer company, based in Charleston, W.Va., a contract to overhaul the Web sites for the state's prisons. The new Web sites will look better and be easier to use, as well as allow users to access information on inmates, including mug shots, times and statuses of incarcerations, where the inmate is held, and the nature of the
criminal charges. Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said he believes the state should post more information than inmate location and crime, and that officials are also asking various corrections departments what they would like to see improve on the site. Rubenstein said the project will cost between $50,000 and $75,000, but for what he wants to see on the site the final bill will probably be closer to $75,000. Dream Catcher will charge the state $75 an hour to work on the Web site, which should be completed by May 31.

"State Attorney General Touts Online Sex Offender Updates"
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (03/16/07) P. C1; Slutsky, Abby

Allen County, Ind., currently has 520 sex offenders, and many citizens know they can go online to check offenders' residences. But citizens can also get email updates sent to them to inform them if a sex offender has moved nearby. The state's attorney general's office launched the Criminal Alert Network nearly a year ago, and since then, the Web site has sent out more than more than 100,000 email notifications to more than 5,000 subscribers, according to Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter. The network can also alert residents to whether a sex offender is employed nearby, he said recently at the City-County Building in Fort Wayne. To get the email notifications, a person needs to register their data at, said Carter. The state pays $12,000 annually to run the Web site, which Carter said is money well spent if even one crime is prevented by the site. Users of the system can also view a map of a particular area, including markers that indicate the residence or workplace of an offender. By placing a mouse pointer on the indicators, users can see a list of offenders at a particular address. The alerts are important because offenders' addresses change on a daily basis, said Cpl. Jeff Shimkus at the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

"Paterson Will Add 30 Street Cameras"
Herald News (Passaic County, NJ) (03/15/07) P. C12; Feeney, Michael J.

An $875,110 request for surveillance cameras by Paterson, N.J.'s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Authority has been approved by the state. The money will be spent on buying and setting up the cameras, which "are going to be strategically placed within the Urban Enterprise Zone boundaries," UEZ director Jay Northrop said. Currently, 32 percent of the city has been identified as a zone, which indicates an area or business district that is under economic distress. Paterson already has 12 wireless outdoor cameras in areas with high crime that are within a mile of
police headquarters. Law enforcement leaders forecast the cameras will help reduce crime as well as wrongful dumping. "We have dumping problems, and now we're going to have the evidence," says Lt. Anthony Traina with the Paterson Police Department. Officials expect the cameras will be functioning as early as Memorial Day weekend.

"A View of Ripon Surveillance"
Merced Sun-Star (CA) (03/14/07) P. 1; Jason, Scott

Livingston, Calif.,
Police Chief Bill Eldridge, along with the city's mayor, Gurpal Samra and Councilman Rodrigo Espinoza, visited nearby Ripon, Calif., on March 9 to learn about that city's wireless surveillance system. The system includes egg-size digital cameras and microphones mounted on Ripon's library, on street corners, above Highway 99, and in businesses that purchase the technology and connect with the police department. Ripon Police Department Chief Richard Bull has partially credited the system to holding crime steady in the 11,000-person city. Eldridge is hoping that a similar system will do the same in Livingston. Officials in Livingston are waiting on a proposal to install the system, which will likely be brought before the City Council for a vote within the next two months. If the Livingston City Council approves the installation of the wireless surveillance system, it will likely draw the criticism of the ACLU, which has said the cameras are an invasion of privacy and ineffective in reducing crime.

"Geospatial Data Sharing Comes of Age on Web"
Government Computer News (03/05/07); Wait, Patience

Geospatial data sets need baseline standards to guarantee interoperability, and such standards were publicly issued by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in February. Director of the NGA's National Center for Geospatial Intelligence Standards (NCGIS) Mark DeMulder explained that standards for the entry, processing, and transmission of data, along with management of architectural issues, are necessitated by the many diverse interests embodied in the geospatial community, whose members include state and county government agencies that aggregate geospatial information, the 16 federal intelligence agencies, and law enforcement entities. NCGIS' role in developing the new standards is supplemented by compliance testing to ensure the reality of interoperability. The release of the standards was an affirmation of society's establishment of order on the physical world in terms of data via the formal intersection of global positioning systems, geographic information systems, remote sensing devices, and the Internet. The majority of the new standards address Web-enabled data, although DeMulder noted that they have yet to define the geospatial information domain. "The baseline connotation [means] this is the minimum we need for our service-oriented architecture," he explained. "There is one in the wings, a family of standards related to the portrayal of symbology, map symbols ... We're standardizing on graphic representations so that someone from DHS and someone from NGA and a state emergency response person, if they're looking at the same information, they can instantly recognize it."

"With Police Camera, It's Smile and Say 'Fees'"
Cleveland Plain Dealer (03/13/07) P. B1; Albrecht, Brian

In an effort to recover more parking-ticket fines and penalties, the Cleveland
Police Department has begun using a system that scans license plates and checks them against a database of unpaid parking tickets. The system, called AutoVu Mobile, is being used to target drivers who owe more than $250 in unpaid fines and penalties and who had been notified twice about the debt. The use of the system has resulted in 57 cars being towed and $29,000 in penalties collected from October through February, according to George Yarborough of Cleveland Municipal Court. Other cities have also been using AutoVu to increase collection of parking fines. Sacramento, Calif.'s collection rate of parking tickets went from between 77 percent and 78 percent before AutoVu was used to "well over 80 percent" now, said Howard Chan, the city's parking services manager. In addition, the system has aided in the recovery of 50 stolen vehicles, he said.

"Cameras Monitor Streets for Paterson Police"
Herald News (Passaic County, NJ) (03/13/07) P. B03; Feeney, Michael J.

Police Director Michael Walker said Paterson, N.J., may soon be adding more surveillance cameras to supplement the 12 wireless outdoor cameras that already operate in high-crime areas within a mile of the Police Department. Police officials recently met with the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, which works to revitalize urban areas, and officials are expecting to receive nearly $1 million to install 30 new cameras to expand the surveillance program. The original 12 cameras were installed in June 2006 and January 2007, and have already helped in several investigations, including a homicide arrest. The cameras can easily be moved to different locations, and are watched around the clock by an officer. Each camera pans on a timed sequence, produces high-quality video, and allows police to zoom in on a street fight or a license plate. Walker likens the system to having one officer walking 12 beats. The cameras can view several blocks, and can be moved to a new location within two hours.

"Last Seen"
Saint Paul Pioneer Press (03/13/07) P. 1A; Rosario, Ruben

There are at least 100,000 sex offenders in the United States who are required to notify law enforcement when they change their address but have failed to do so. Until recently, it has been difficult for law enforcement agencies--many of which have 10 or fewer officers--to find these sex offenders, due to the fact that conducting manhunts drains their resources and manpower. But thanks to a law passed by Congress last year, there is now a federal agency comprised of data mining analysts that tracks fugitive sex offenders at the national level. The sex offenders tracking unit has access to a number of resources that many small
law enforcement agencies do not have, such as analysts who sophisticatedly surf the Internet, public database searches, and other techniques that may be used while criminal investigators simultaneously track credit card use, utility bill payments, or driver's license registrations. Those tools have proven to be successful in tracking down missing sex offenders. Within days of asking for help from the federal sex offenders tracking unit, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's Predatory Offender Registration and Tracking Program received packets containing information that led to the location and the arrests of Michael Hiltwein and Zachery Hielscher, two sex offenders who had been missing for at least two years.

"Coming Soon to Video: Suspects in Northampton; County Tests System Enabling Judges to Arraign People From Home"
Allentown Morning Call (03/10/07) P. B1; Suarez, Kelly-Anne

District judges in Northampton County, Pa., gathered on March 9, to test a new webcam system that will be placed into the homes and offices of 15 judges. The webcams are part of a $140,000 initiative to make the county more technologically savvy, and will allow the judges to conduct late night court business from home, rather than having to drive in as they currently do. In Monroe County, Pa., four district judges have had their homes outfitted with videoconferencing systems, and Lehigh County officials are in the process of setting up videoconferencing for arraignments and a central booking station, that should be ready by late spring or early summer. Being able to conduct necessary, off-hours court business not only saves judges the hassle of having to drive in late at night, sometimes as many as 10 times an evening, but it also settles safety concerns for judges who live significant distances from work.

"Police May Get New Computer System"
Hartford Courant (03/01/07) P. B5; Kovner, Josh

The Hartford, Conn.,
police department today manually files police reports using typewriters, pens, paper forms, and an archaic computer system, but the local government is expected to approve a purchase of a new computer system in March 2007. The city plans to purchase a new system from Hunt Computer Design for $400,000, and the city most likely will sell bonds in March 2008 to cover the cost. Police Chief Lynn Baldoni and others have championed this change for a few years, and Baldoni hopes installation will begin this summer. The new system will enable police officers to file reports from computers in their vehicles, rather than go to booking with each suspect and fill out paperwork manually. The new system will fill out duplicate information across forms automatically, and enable police dispatchers to transmit information to squad car computers at the same time as they announce a dispatch call. Baldoni describes her department's current system as "basically pathetic."

"Pin the Tail on the Speeder"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (02/23/07); Kravitz, Derek

Missouri state legislators propose bills that would make new "tack-and-track" technology less expensive for police departments. The technology aims to corral fleeing suspects without putting nearby drivers in danger by using a GPS-tracked projectile dart to attach to and then keep tabs on the criminal's car. In Missouri, 32 of the 54 people who died in criminal-pursuit-related crashes between 2000 and 2005 were unconnected with the chase. Critics of the legislation, which now proceeds to public committee hearings, argue that the device is expensive and ineffective. With a price tag of over $1,200 per police vehicle, the St. Louis
police force would pay $360,000 to outfit their fleet; Kansas city, $421,000. Eric Winebrenner, a Kansas City police captain, doubts the department pursues enough criminals for the technology to be "of good use," and other officers wonder how helpful the device becomes if a suspect leaves the car behind. Dr. Geoff Alpert, a University of South Carolina criminologist, believes the device is best suited for chases in high-density areas or highways. Recent departmental changes to policy pursuit policy include restrictions prohibiting chases unless there is little risk, or unless the crime in question is a felony; spike strips are also used to puncture car tires.

"Legal Implications for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Offenders in Corrections: Risks and Opportunities"
Sheriff (02/07) Vol. 59, No. 1, P. 11; Baker, Eileen D.

Communicating with a deaf or hard-of-hearing offender can be difficult for security officers and law enforcement officials, but current litigation establishes some best practices to ensure effective communication. A qualified interpreter, closed captioning for television and videos, inmate orientation videos with sign language, and captioning and TTY/TTD devices must be readily available. Equal access to TTY/TTD use for the offender and deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors must be provided, and extended visitation and call time must be provided for the Relay System, a national toll free service which helps people with hearing or speech difficulties place and receive calls. For offender requests to access programs, services, activities, and in case of medical emergencies a list of interpreter referral agencies should be available, along with an understanding of agency policies and fees. Housing, custody staff, and the court needs to be notified of the communication style used by the deaf or hard-of-hearing offender. Staff should be trained on the topic of deaf and hard-of-hearing Offenders in Corrections, with all staff focusing on sensitivity to the disability, developing policies and procedures, and telecommunication devices (TTY/TTD) as mandated by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, an ADA coordinator may be appointed to handle all inmate concerns specific to compliance.

"What's New in Specialty Police Vehicles?"
Police and Security News (02/07) Vol. 23, No. 1, P. 23; Siuru, Bill

There are a number of new specialized vehicles available to
law enforcement for use in "non-traditional applications" such as community policing or patrolling remote and rugged areas. One of those new vehicles is the Segway Personal Transporter i2 and x2 series. Both feature a technology called LeanSteer, which allows the rider to turn the vehicle by pivoting the whole assembly or "frame" in the direction they want to turn. The LeanSteer frame and handlebar tilt left and right as the body leans in the direction of desired travel. Although both series share common features such as LeanSteer, there are some differences. For instance, the i2 Police vehicle is designed specifically for the needs of police officers and security personnel, with features such as an accessory bar for mounting lights, sirens, a GPS unit, and other accessories. The x2 Police offers those features as well as low pressure tires which cushion the ride on bumpy surfaces and a continuous center rib to provide a smooth ride on paved surfaces. Another new vehicle is the T3 series, which is particularly well-suited for patrolling campuses, parking lots, airports, malls, parks, beaches, city streets, and historical sites. The vehicle features an integrated LED lighting system for the headlights, brake lights, and running lights; sirens; a lockable glove box for storage; and an optional GPS tracking system. Finally, Rhino Off-Road Industries has begun offering the "Search and Rescue" RTV for law enforcement agencies who need a vehicle for use in very rugged, off-road environments. Accessories such as equipment racks, work trailers, winches, GPS systems, emergency lights, radios, and canvas tops can be added to the vehicle for police and search work.

"Autonomous Robotics for Law Enforcement"
Law Enforcement Technology (02/07) Vol. 34, No. 2, P. 66; Weiss, Joseph

Aside from potentially armed criminals, meth labs can present officers with a multitude of dangerous situations, particularly if the lab is in a dangerous cooking mode with cyanide gas present. Automated robots, that can be given and execute and assigned task without needed to be directly controlled by an officer, may soon provide an excellent, safe way for officers to enter a suspected meth lab. Using sensors robots would be able to detect if there are any people in the lab and if they are armed or agitated, as well as test the air in the lab for the presence of hazardous materials, all autonomously, allowing the officers to maintain situational awareness. Automated robots could also be used to continuously monitor a site or even potentially protect a injured officer. A number of questions remain as to how the robot will distinguish between friendly civilians and hostile suspects, or if the robot should be equipped with any type of weaponry. Some suggest that automated robots would be used in a similar manner as a K-9, acting as an assistant to the officer but more than a remote controlled tool.