Criminal Justice News

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spring 2009 Rural Law Enforcement Technology Institute

Application Deadline: February 1, 2009

For the seventh year, the National Institute of
Justice (NIJ) is sponsoring a Rural Law Enforcement Technology Institute. This technology institute will be held May 3-7, 2009 in Coronado (San Diego), California and is targeted/designed for the command staff/supervisory personnel of rural and small law enforcement agencies containing less than 50 sworn officers. Law enforcement personnel will learn about and discuss technology initiatives and issues affecting the rural and small law enforcement community. Participants will receive information and assistance on existing and developing technologies, work through problems relating to technology implementation, and exchange technology lessons learned, that are of importance to the rural and small law enforcement community.

As part of the program, participants are required to give a brief (no more than 15 minutes) PowerPoint presentation on a technology issue that their department has encountered or is in the process of implementing (i.e. implementation of a crime mapping program, new communications system, automated booking station, etc.). The presentation can be either an "issues to be dealt with" or a "lessons learned" format, depending on whether the program has been completed, and must be submitted on CD-ROM with the application.

There is no registration cost and all travel, food, and lodging expenses are paid. However, only 35 individuals will be selected to attend. Previous attendees of the NIJ Rural
Law Enforcement Technology Institute or the NIJ Technology Institute for Law Enforcement or Corrections are not eligible to reattend.

The deadline for submitting an application is February 1, 2009 and applications not received by that date and/or applications submitted without a CD-ROM containing the PowerPoint presentation will not be considered. The application and PowerPoint CD-ROM should be mailed to the following address:

Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center
ATTN: Rural LE Tech Institute
101 Bulldog Lane
Hazard, KY 41701

Please contact Scott Barker, Deputy Director-Rural
Law Enforcement Technology Center, at 866-787-2553 or by email at for additional information about the NIJ Rural Law Enforcement Technology Institute.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is a REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) only. The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) System, a program of the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) National Institute of Justice (NIJ), serves as an "honest broker" offering support, research findings, and technological expertise to help State and local Law Enforcement, corrections, and other criminal justice personnel perform their duties more safely and efficiently. NIJ provides objective, independent, evidencebased knowledge and tools to enhance the administration of justice and public safety. NIJ does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this RFI or to otherwise pay for information received in response to this RFI.

This RFI is issued solely to solicit technical input from public safety officials/agencies and Industry for consideration by NIJ as it develops a performance standard for weapon (handgun) retention holsters. No product demonstrations or marketing presentations will be scheduled as a result of this market research/information gathering announcement. Specifically, through this RFI, NIJ seeks to gather test methodologies and operational performance requirements that public safety officials and Industry representatives feel should be included in the standard currently being developed, along with the rationale for these suggestions. These include test methodologies and operational requirements that address, but are not limited to, handgun retention, accessibility/usability of a holstered weapon, holster durability, and conditioning protocols to replicate field use of holsters. If a test method being suggested is currently in use, NIJ is interested in learning why that particular method and applicable parameters were chosen and what information the test results provide.

Responses to this RFI should be submitted no later than November 5, 2008 in order to ensure full consideration. The narrative section of your response (summary of recommendations) should not exceed 7 doublespaced pages. Company information, abstract, table of contents, charts, figures, appendices, and data and information supporting the recommendations, do not count toward the 7page limit for the narrative section. Responses should be sent via overnight express mail and/or email attachment, and include the vendor’s company name, address, point of contact name, email address, and telephone number. Any proprietary or company confidential information provided in the response must be clearly marked on every applicable page of the response provided. Any questions and responses should be sent to:

Jared Keller, PPE Program Manager
Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology Center Rocky Mountain
2050 E Iliff Avenue #228
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 8712726

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The unique CCTV Camera Evaluation Service

For quite some time, it’s become increasingly obvious that vast numbers of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security cameras, are failing to produce any useful Evidential Quality video recordings, when required to assist with criminal investigations.

Time and again, both senior
police officers and industry experts have revealed to the Press, the everyday problems facing investigators trying to recover poor quality images, often obtained from incorrectly installed and maintained surveillance cameras.

Now more than ever, with an increasing awareness of the absolutely vital role for CCTV, particularly in investigations involving serious crimes and terrorism, CCTV Operators really do need to take urgent steps to improve the effectiveness of their systems, to make sure they are truly “fit for purpose”.

October 1st 2008 saw the official launch of a unique new
CCTV service called “VIPER”.

Designed to provide an easy, affordable expert assessment of security camera performance, the “Video Image Performance Evaluation Report” or VIPER, is now available to indicate how well an individual camera is performing as a vital evidential security tool.

UK based CCTV Advisor ‘Doktor Jon’, has introduced what is believed to be the first ever online service, that can actually provide
CCTV Operators with an impartial and independent overview of precisely how their CCTV cameras are performing, and what technical issues may need to be addressed in order for the equipment to be able to provide useful and usable evidential quality images.

The service itself is very simple ... a
CCTV User can forward an image captured from an individual surveillance camera (normally supplied as a JPEG file, sent as an e-mail attachment), and a resulting VIPER assessment will be produced to report on the cameras technical and operational capabilities in 38 key areas.

VIPER reports can be ordered up by CCTV users located anywhere around the globe, and in terms of built in client confidentiality, there is no requirement for either knowing the identity of the operator, or indeed the location of the camera. The evaluation is based purely on what is seen ‘on screen’, and so provides an exceptionally affordable, practical and secure solution, to an extremely common problem ... “how can I find out if my
CCTV cameras are working well?”.

The first VIPER assessment is designed for fixed video surveillance cameras, and a number of additional VIPER evaluations are being developed for other types of
CCTV, for example remote control Pan, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) units.

Jon, the principle CCTV Advisor from the website has said that “Previously, cctv users have only been able to have their cameras performance evaluated independently, by employing the services of a specialist
CCTV Consultant, and that can often prove to be very expensive. Now with the launch of VIPER, anyone can check whether their cameras are working well, and without breaking the bank”; -commenting on the importance of VIPER, he says “Law Enforcement Officers have long been complaining about the very poor quality of many CCTV recordings; from the extremely positive comments received to date, this looks like exactly what’s needed to help raise the performance, suitability and effectiveness of vital Forensic Surveillance evidence”.

More information at
or e-mail to:- viper[at]

Notes for Editors:- Doktor Jon is a UK based specialist CCTV Advisor working in the Industry since 1978. In June 2004, he launched his personal website project at , which has since grown into a unique site with almost 1,600 pages of information and advice on all aspects of “The Use and Application of CCTV”; to date it has attracted nearly two and a half million hits, and visitors from 141 countries.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Geography and Public Safety Bulletin

The third issue of the Geography and Public Safety Bulletin newsletter is now available.
This issue examines how the nationwide home foreclosure crisis has affected
crime, police practice, and public policy. Articles show that geographic information systems can assess how foreclosures influence crime trends and improve city cleanup of graffiti and blight. Additionally, the issue describes the tenets of the broken windows policing theory, and how this theory explains why police and public planners must react quickly, before crime has a chance to escalate.
Access Issue III of the Geography and Public Safety Bulletin:
Volume 1, Issue III - Fall 2008 (pdf, 20 pages).

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Public Safety Technology in the News

Transit Police Look At Text-Messaging
Washington Post, (09/14/2008), Lena H. Sun

Transit Police are considering joining the growing number of Law enforcement agencies that allow citizens to report crimes through text messaging. Text messaging will not replace other ways of reporting problems, such as alerting train operators or calling the Transit Police. But sending a text message from a cell phone or BlackBerry could help passengers who feel intimated or threatened if they openly report criminal activity using the train intercom or phone. Transit Police plan to test the idea using Metro employees who have Blackberrys. The employees will use text messaging to report problems they encounter during their daily routine. Other agencies in the Washington, D.C. area that have text-messaging programs include the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Department.

Missing Boy Found With Radio Device
WCBV-TV Boston, (09/14/2008)

Rescuers in Massachusetts found a 10-year-old autistic boy only 18 minutes after he disappeared thanks to a tracking device the boy was wearing. The boy was with his caregiver near his home in Sherborn when he ran into the woods.
Firefighters found the boy quickly because of a tracking device provided by Project Lifesaver International that is worn on the ankle and emits a tracking signal. Project Lifesaver International said average recovery time for people wearing the device is less than 30 minutes.

Sheltering a Sex Offender in Texas? Check the Database!
technology, (09/12/2008), Corey Mckenna

To aid emergency shelters and protect evacuees during Hurricane Ike, Texas authorities established a 24-hour, toll-free emergency hotline to identify sex offenders. The hotline established by the state Office of the Attorney General allows shelter personnel to call, fax or e-mail inquiries as to whether an evacuee is a registered sex offender.
Law enforcement officials then access and share information through database searches. Shelter managers can then coordinate special housing if necessary. In December 2007 Texas began using a statewide citizen-evacuation management tracking system. In the event of an emergency, evacuees are registered and issued a barcoded RFID wristband as they board an evacuee bus. The buses are equipped with GPS systems, and when they reach their destination, the evacuees information is updated. This allows state employees to respond to inquires from family members and help reunite families separated during a disaster.

Tough Life Approaching for Criminals
WIBV-TV, (09/12/2008)

Crime solving in New York's Erie County just got a little easier. The new $5 million Erie County
Crime Analysis Center links more than 20 Law enforcement agencies by sharing intelligence data. Ten trained analysts man the center. Analysis involves a variety of criminal activity and criminals who may be on the move. The computer also processes information to help identify crime patterns and hotspots.

Security Begins At Home
The Sun Chronicle, (09/11/2008), Rick Foster

Massachusetts is implementing a Statewide Information Sharing System for
Law enforcement. When fully operational, the system, known as SWISS, will collect and store information from Law enforcement agencies in all of the state's 351 cities and towns. SWISS will also connect to databases in all 50 states and the FBI. Data could be accessed in police cruisers using laptop computers. Several jurisdictions in the state already link to each other under their own system that allows officers to share data on criminal investigations and vehicle records. Existing database sharing systems will be able to share information with SWISS.

Caught on the Web
Santa Barbara Independent, (09/14/2008), Chris Meagher

Social networking sites in the Internet are providing
Law enforcement with additional tools to fight crime. Sites such as and can reveal clues to an individual's activities, such as gang membership. MySpace distributes a Law enforcement guide, and has a 24-hour hotline through which investigators can make emergency requests for information. To obtain access to information beyond what is available to the general public, Law enforcement must show a legal reason and obtain authority such as a search warrant or court order. Authorities can seek a subpoena to open an individual's private messages.

False Alarms Common With GPS Monitoring
Connecticut Law Tribune, (09/22/2008), Douglas S. Malan and Paul Sussman

Law enforcement authorities who use global positioning systems (GPS) to monitor parolees are finding that the devices provide a surprising number of false alerts. A report prepared by the Indiana Department of Correction in 2007 found that while GPS is useful for tracking parolees' whereabouts, "loss of coverage and faulty alerts may prevent GPS technology from completing its intended task." The study said GPS could overwhelm police with faulty alerts, but that the number should drop as technology evolves. In Connecticut the GPS units tracking a released serial rapist registered 44 false alerts in 11 months, according to the man's attorney. A 2007 study in Arizona found that during the state's first year of using GPS monitoring, more than 350,000 false alerts were generated by 140 people wearing monitoring devices. Factors that can lead to false alarms include low batteries. About two dozen states use some form of GPS monitoring to track offenders.

technology: eGuardian
Right Side News, (09/19/2008)

A new FBI system will allow local, state, and federal agencies to share and track terrorism information and suspicious activities. The eGuardian system is a spinoff of a classified tool called Guardian, which the FBI has been using internally for the past four years. FBI field offices uses Guardian to report suspicious activity and potential terrorism threats. The reports are analyzed by agents at FBI headquarters. With eGuardian, other agencies will be able to run searches and enter their own reports. eGuardian will be available to more than 18,000 agencies through the FBI's secure
Law enforcement Online portal. Reports will be automatically sent to a central hub for review by FBI analysts, who will either monitor, close or refer the report to an FBI terror task force. eGuardian is being piloted by several agencies before being phased in nationwide later this year.

DNA Helps Solve Two Cold Case Murders
The Southern, (09/18/2008), Blackwell Thomas

A new technique for identifying DNA is helping
police in Illinois solve old murder cases. The technique, known as Mini-STR sampling, enables authorities to use damaged or decayed DNA samples that would have previously been unusable. Police in Carbondale announced in September that they had closed a 1976 murder case using skin samples taken from under the fingernails of the female victim's left hand at the time of the autopsy 32 years ago. Police also closed a 1975 murder case. The identified suspect in both cases died in 1993 while on death row for the murder of a third woman. William Frank, a DNA research coordinator with the Illinois State Police lab, explained that compared to earlier technology, the new technology has increased by a factor of 100 the ability of scientists to identify DNA.

Fake Identification a Thing of the Past?
Naples News, (09/11/2008), Ryan Mills

Two Florida
Law enforcement agencies are testing a program to assist in positive identification of people using a portable electronic fingerprint device. Rapid ID scans two fingerprint images and compares them to a statewide database that contains information on 4 million individuals that have been arrested in Florida or are the subject of arrest warrants. The Collier County Sheriff's Office says the technology can come in handy when confusion exists over someone's identity, such as during a traffic stop. Driver's licenses can be altered or fraudulently copied. If Rapid ID produces a match, the individual's criminal history and warrants will be delivered to the computer in the deputy's car within minutes.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

13th National Workshop on Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders

Date: October 10-14, 2009
Location: Jackson,

Mississippi is your destination for the 13th National Workshop on Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders. The 2009 conference is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) and co-sponsored by Association on Programs for Female Offenders (APFO).

Harmony Beyond Boundaries, Blending new challenges with Emerging Ideas. This theme is especially appropriate as we come together representing our diverse backgrounds and experience to strategize on our common goals: Addressing needs, policy implications, practices, management, and treatment of female offenders in the adult and juvenile systems.

Workshops, guest speakers, exhibits, socials, and personal networking set the stage for our exchange of best practices. What better venue than the state with magnolias, moonlight, and music. On behalf of the conference planning committee, we invite you to attend five days of stimulating and informative presentations related to the management and treatment of this diverse population.

Together, we have made tremendous efforts at the local, state and national level. Blending our efforts brings harmony beyond boundaries. If you have never attended one of the bi-annual conferences, please consider attending in 2009 – we look forward to seeing you in Jackson!

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