Monday, September 29, 2008

Domestic Violence Training for School Officials.

On October 2, 2008, Senator Gloria Romero and Assemblymember Mike Eng will host a free training for school officials for October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Alhambra, CA – October 2, 2008 – Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero and Assemblymember Mike Eng join forces with the Asian and Pacific Islander Domestic Violence (API DV) Task Force to present a free training to San Gabriel Valley school counselors on the effects of
domestic violence on youth for October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sponsored by Soroptimist International of Monterey Park/Rosemead, the training will be held at the Alhambra office of the Asian Pacific Women’s Center on October 2nd, from 10 am to 12:30 pm.

The training highlights the devastating effects of
domestic violence on immigrant youth who grow up observing the domestic violence between their parents. The trainers, Dr. Michi Fu from the Asian Pacific Family Center, Carrey Wong, Esq. from the Neighborhood Legal Services, and Chun-Yen Chen, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Women’s Center will address the cultural and legal issues that affect immigrant youth survivors, particularly those with Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds.

School officials are often in the position to first identify youth who are dealing with
domestic violence at home. Failing grades, depression, and involvement in gang activity can indicate that the troubles at home may stem from domestic violence. The training will help school officials understand the causes and effects of domestic violence in immigrant youth and provide resources for schools to assist the youth and their families.

By focusing on the youth, the API DV Task Force is trying to break the cycle of
domestic violence. “Studies clearly show that kids who grow up with domestic violence in their homes often become victims or perpetrators of domestic violence when they are adults so the goal of this training is to help school officials identify youth who may be struggling with this issue to provide help,” says API DV Task Force Co-Chair Grayce Wey Liu. Her Co-Chair, Maria Foster adds: “Domestic violence is a preventable social problem that requires collective action to address. We appreciate Senator Romero and Assemblymember Eng’s contribution to raise the awareness of this problem, which affects community members of all ages.

To RSVP for the training, call (213) 250-2977. The Asian Pacific Women Center’s Alhambra office is located at 405 N. Stoneman Ave., Alhambra, CA 91801. Complimentary breakfast is provided. CEU’s are available to health care professionals.

The API DV Task Force was formed by a group of
domestic violence program social service agencies and community members in November 2004. Its mission is to eliminate domestic violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles County by providing outreach, education, and advocacy. The members include shelters, legal services, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, family services, advocates, and community members at large. For more information, go to

Contact: Maria Foster, Co-Chair
API DV Task Force (951) 313-7531

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Public Safety Technology in the News

Tennessee Meth Task Force Adopts Mobile Narcotics Detection Solution
Government Technology, (08/28/2008)

Tennessee Meth Task Force (TMTF) agents now have a tool at their disposal that can provide near-instant detection and identification of narcotics and explosives in the field. The three MobileTrace units are capable of providing agents with reports in seconds that can then be submitted as evidence in court for drug-related prosecutions. The TMTF's previous tool for this type of work was a desktop device that limited mobility that was not capable of field detection. The unit's dual-mode ability detects narcotics and a wide array of explosives, and longer battery life provides agents with a tool that is effective, efficient, and ensures their safety.

TGen Find Promises Big Leap in Forensics
The Arizona Republic, (08/29/2008), Ken Alltucker

An "accidental discovery" by a team of researchers from Translational Genomics Research Institute and UCLA found that a technique used to identify disease triggers in a patient can also be used to identify individuals based on DNA samples from a busy crime scene. Using mixtures of DNA, the scientists were able to analyze the samples using microarrays, a high-powered automated technology to isolate an individual's DNA. The scientists concluded that the technology could isolate an individual's DNA even if the sample included 200 other DNA samples. This ability to isolate DNA samples from mixtures that large could help
law enforcement with investigations of crime scenes such as a busy convenience store or a bank, where the samples often go unused because of the amount of DNA samples involved.

police Using GPS. Units as Evidence in Crimes
The New York Times, (08/31/2008), Associated Press

The popularity of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is helping authorities investigate crimes. Originally developed for use by military, GPS began showing up in the 1990s in consumer cars and trucks. Costs have dropped and the units have become more portable, which has made them more accessible. GPS has become a useful tool for the public, but now prosecutors and
police are beginning to learn the full potential of these units for use as evidence. In 2005, a family was murdered in Chicago, and the suspect was convicted and sentenced to death this year based on data that was retrieved from the GPS unit in his SUV. The use of GPS can establish a defendant's whereabouts.

Deputies' Cars to Get Digital Upgrade
The Arizona Republic, (09/04/2008), Yvonne Wingett and JJ Hensley

Maricopa County will be purchasing an upgraded communications system to speed sheriff's deputies' response to emergency calls. The new system will replace standard radios in patrol cars and provide deputies instant access to multiple databases prior to engaging suspects or responding to calls. It allows deputies to check for warrants and other information without radioing and waiting for dispatch to respond. Computerized equipment, similar to laptops, will initially cost the county about $2 million, with an annual maintenance cost of $850,000. At this point, it is unclear how this system will impact the department's self-imposed response time of 5 minutes or less on priority one calls, but the agency hopes is it will help the agency maintain that goal or come in under it.

City Uses Technology to Track Speeders
NBC4, (09/04/2008), Denise Yost

Columbus city officials will be deploying 10 smart speed trailers throughout the city to capture data relating to when and where speeding is occurring. City officials will then turn the data over to the city
police to evaluate and use to decide where to deploy officers. Also, the city plans to implement a rotating schedule for placing the trailers, using information from the community through requests received on the city's 311 information line.

New 911 Technology is Call of the Future
The Telegraph, (09/06/2008), Cynthia M. Ellis

At the National Emergency Numbers Association conference, Madison County 911 coordinator Bill Gamblin stated, "There is a generation of people who doesn't leave home with out their [cell] phone." This is the premise and driving force behind the creation and development of the Next Generation 911, or NG991, that is an updated 911 system that can use and be accessed in a wireless society. It would allow witnesses to a catastrophic or HAZMAT event to use their cell phones to provide video footage of the event, still images, or allow text messages describing the scene. It would also interact with automated vehicle systems that would alert the 911 center in response to an airbag deploy and provide 911 with the car driver's medical records. For the first responders, this system would then provide the chance for dispatchers to forward the footage and images to allow the responders a chance to understand and prepare for the scene prior to arrival.

DNA Testing Expands to Lesser Crimes
The Washington Post, (09/08/2008), Dan Morse

Advances in the processing of DNA samples from
crime scenes have made it a tool not only to be used for crimes like rape and murder, but also for the less violent crimes like burglary, robbery, and drug dealing. An example of that is a 2002 Starbucks robbery case in Montgomery County, Maryland, where the suspect left behind a half-empty cup of coffee. No arrests were made in the case.. Then in 2007 the DNA sample was run against the state's database of felons and a there was a match. The suspect is on trial. Prosecutors hope the introduction of DNA sampling into these less violent crimes will speed the criminal justice process by leading to more guilty pleas. The director of Montgomery County's crime lab hopes that by spring his lab will be using robots to extract DNA samples. The robots and a new gene sequencing technology are hoped to increase DNA analysis by 30 percent and make it a more efficient tool for the less violent crimes.

A Way to Find Hidden Fingerprints
Technology Review, (09/04/2008), Brittany Sauser

Physical evidence is needed by investigators to tie a
criminal to a crime and that physical evidence can be as small as a fingerprint. But sometimes that evidence can't be seen because it has been washed away or because of the violent nature of the crime. In an explosion or in the case of arson, the print can be removed. Now with the discovery by Forensic Scientist John Bond, those invisible prints can be found. The findings are that when metals such as copper or brass come into contact with the oils and chemicals that make up a fingerprint, the metals corrode slightly. The corroded spots can only be removed with abrasive cleaning. In order for this invisible print to become visible, investigators have to apply voltage to the metal and apply a metallic powder that adheres to the areas that have corroded. This technique can be used for things like shell casings or metal shrapnel from a bomb, but because of the small nature of these pieces of evidence, getting a reliable fi! ngerprint becomes an issue.

New York City Enhances Technology for Crime Fighting
InformationWeek, (09/10/2008), K.C. Jones

New York City will now have the ability to accept photos or videos from citizens regarding quality of life complaints and reports of
criminal activity. This comes after the New York Police Department last month announced it's ability to accept tips via text messages. The implementation of this sort of technology is a fulfillment of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's State of the City promise. Callers can either contact 911 to report criminal activity or 311 for quality of life complaints. For criminal reports, detectives will follow up the original 911 call and explain how to provide the video or photographs to police. For quality of life complaints callers inform the dispatcher that they have photos or video to provide and receive instructions from the dispatcher or they are directed to the New York City homepage to upload their information. Bloomberg feels the new technology will bring the city up a level regarding fighting crime and making city government accountable for condit! ions in the city.

police Probe Cell Phones to Thwart Criminals
San Francisco Chronicle, (09/08/2008), Tom Abate

Wireless technology available to would-be criminals dictates that the
law enforcement community look in new places for evidence. For the San Francisco police that means adoption of new technology that extracts evidence from cell phones. San Francisco has acquired technology from multiple vendors that allows police to extract data such as text messages, contact lists, or images that the user may have thought were deleted from the phone's memory. The commercial version of these devices allows consumers to transfer data from one phone to the other in the event of a phone upgrade or change in service provider. For law enforcement, however, the technology allows extraction of data to help prevent corruption of evidence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Murders Do Not Come By Accident

Lieutenant Edward Cook’s 2007 mystery, Murders Do Not Come by Accident, is available via According to the book description, “In the city of Marquette, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, four students are killed by accident. Or is it murder? It is up to Detective John Cook to solve this mystery and apprehend the suspect. From Marquette to Neebish Island, Michigan, John Cook will not stop until these cases are solved and the suspect is behind bars!”

About the Author
Edward Cook graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1980 and is a Police lieutenant and Firearms Instructor with the Northwestern University Police Department in Evanston (Illinois). Edward Cook has served with the law enforcement community for more than 30 years, both in Illinois and Michigan. As an author, Edward Cook is a member of the Military Writers Society of America and the American Authors Association. Edward cook is the author of Guiding The Way From Middle Neebish; Stars & Shields: Cop Stories; Murders Do Not Come by Accident; and, The History of the 104th Combat Engineers: Pacific Campaign: 1942-1945.

More Information

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Public Safety Technology in the News

LAw Enforcement Agencies Introduce Information Network, (08/21/2008), Francine Sawyer

Using an award of $365,000 from the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security, 14 agencies in eastern North Carolina are now linked via an information network that will allow them to share information. Officials implemented the network, dubbed the Eastern Regional Information Center, to allow the agencies to collaborate on issues that may have ties to terrorism, or to other criminal or security activity. Information shared with the center will then be disseminated to state agencies as well.

Red Light Cameras Give $381 Tickets for Rolling Right Turns in
Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times, (08/16/2008), Rich Connell

After legal review by
Los Angeles city officials, the practice of "California stops," which are rolling right-hand turns against a red light, will now result in a $381 fine. Red-light cameras in the past have handled this activity as a vehicle code violation. To bring Los Angeles more in line with other California jurisdictions, the city will handle it as a red light violation, which more than doubles the present fine of $159.,0,733533.story

License Plate Readers To Be Used in D.C. Area
Washington Post, (08/17/2008), Mary Beth Sheridan

Officials in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia announced plans to install 200 automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) on
police cruisers and at roadside points to deter potential terrorist attacks. The announcement comes on the heels of last week's announcement by New York City officials to implement a plan to scan vehicles coming into Manhattan. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the D.C. region a total of $59.8 million as part of the Urban Areas Safety Initiative (UASI) project. The ALPR project is one of roughly a dozen projects slated for the Washington region under the UASI funding. Officials also plan to spend $4 million for personal radiation detectors for officers, $5.6 million for equipment and training for bomb squads, and $18 million for assistance to local hospitals and medical personnel for equipment, planning, and training in dealing with disasters.

Growth Forces
Law Enforcement Agencies to Get Bigger
Opelika-Auburn News, (08/21/2008), Vasha Hunt

Communities in Alabama are being forced to examine the potential for population growth as it relates to a nearby Kia manufacturing plant in Georgia, base realignment and closure of Ft. Knox, and subsequent expansion of Ft. Benning, Georgia. The city of Valley, located in eastern Alabama, will likely see a population increase as a result of the Ft. Benning expansion, and the city
police chief wants to examine all options on coping with the potential for more Crime. The implementation of more Technology to help officers is certainly plausible. Traffic in the area is already increasing, and the chief wants to create a traffic enforcement unit and implement cameras and lights to help with the situation. Other regional departments, like Chambers and Lee County, as well as Auburn and Opelika city, are going to add officers to their forces.

Tools of
Technology, (08/17/2008), Stacia Glenn

Since the
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office created the Hi-Tech Crime Detail in 1999, the workload has doubled. The detail was created as part of the Specialized Investigations Unit to work on cases such as theft, fraud, or child exploitation. Last year alone, the unit handled 438 cases, and in the first 6 months of this year it has taken on 321 cases. This increase is tied to officers' understanding of evidence that may be on seized computers or cell phones. Today the list of crimes handled by the unit includes identity theft and DVD or music pirating. This jump in the amount of cases handled has allowed the group to request and receive $190,000 for equipment upgrades to help it try to stay ahead of the criminals.

New Camera
Technology Could Boost School Funds, (08/19/2008), Matt Bower

The school system in Warwick,
Rhode Island, may get some financial help through tickets issued to drivers who illegally pass school buses. The city's school committee, with the help of SmartBus Live, may obtain some much needed revenue from tickets issued to drivers who pass buses that are stopped and have their red lights flashing. The SmartBus system operates in two phases. Phase one is an external system that generates live digital feeds of all bus stops. This is accomplished using eight external cameras on the buses' left side that can capture up to six lanes of traffic. The second phase involves those feeds being sent to a central monitoring facility, where staff monitor images and footage of vehicles observed passing a stopped bus. The images are time and date stamped and the footage is verified before staff send it to police for processing. The system allows bus drivers to concentrate on the children's safety rather than have their attention divided by trying to ca! pture violators' license plate information. SmartBus will install and set up the system; costs will come out of a portion of the revenue generated by the tickets.

Fuel Prices Cause
Law Enforcement To Examine Many Options
Stereo AM 610 KCSR, (08/21/2008), Chris Frankhauser

Rollercoaster fuel costs are causing
Law Enforcement agencies to re-examine budgets and explore alternatives to reduce costs. The Dawes County Sheriff's office in Nebraska uses vehicles for all essential functions, so that only leaves cutting funding for non-job-related training for officers. The Nebraska State police use roughly 660,000 gallons of fuel, averaging about 10 million miles per year, and is on a current pace to spend about $800,000 more on fuel this year than was budgeted. The agency is exploring Technology and teleconferencing options for officer training and meetings, and considering schedule changes to help reduce trooper travel. The Chadron City police Department is exploring the expanded use of equipment it currently has to reduce fuel costs. The department has motorcycles, but it will have to pay to equip the motorcycles for training purposes. Also, there are only two certified officers in the department, so additional officers will need to be trained. ! Departments are faced with many considerations when attempting to deal with the price of gas as it relates to budgeting and operations.