Public Safety

  • Supreme Court to hear GPS tracking case

    The 220-year old Fourth Amendment to the Constitution offers protection against unreasonable searches; the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving the police secretly attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s car to monitor his movement; the question before the Court: does the secret placement of a GPS device on a suspect’s car in order to keep tabs on him for an extended period of time require a search warrant

  • Battle over gun microstamping bill heats up in New York

    New York is locked in a fierce political battle over proposed legislation that would require all guns sold and manufactured in the state to use “microstamping” technology; law enforcement officials favor the bill as it would provide investigators with valuable leads; Pro-gun advocates have staunchly opposed microstamping stating that the technology is flawed, threatens the rights of gun owners, and is expensive

  • Oh my, the trouble with evacuating lions, tigers, and bears

    Rescuing and housing the many exotic animals at Minot, North Dakota’s Roosevelt Park Zoo from record floods presented zoo workers with a unique challenge; it was no small feat finding vehicles large enough for giraffes or getting dangerous animals like bears and wolves to cooperate; currently more than 100 animals are housed in an old furniture warehouse; makeshift pens hold deer, emu, warthogs, bobcats, monkeys and chickens, while workers struggle to keep the animals comfortable

  • House introduces new biological weapons legislation

    Last Thursday lawmakers from the House Homeland Security Committee unveiled new legislation designed to help bolster federal efforts to prevent bioterror attacks and the use of other weapons of mass destruction.; under the proposed bill, a new special assistant to the president for biodefense would be created; the bill is called the “WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011” and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) says he plans to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the Senate soon

  • Arizona police network latest LulzSec cyber victim

    In the latest string of attacks on government computer networks by LulzSec, an international hacker network, the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computer network was broken into and the group is publicly releasing hundreds of law enforcement documents

  • Israeli first responders hold mass missile attack drills

    On Wednesday Israeli government officials, the military, emergency responders, local governments, and millions of civilians across the nation took part in a simulation of a simultaneous mass missile strike; the exercise has been held every year for the past five years but is unique in that it was the first time the entire population was asked to participate by seeking cover; in the simulation 7,000 missiles have rained down across the country and hundreds have been killed and thousands wounded; emergency responders practiced treating large numbers of casualties while school children practiced entering bomb shelters

  • Marine reservist arrested outside Pentagon, suspicious vehicle found

    Authorities apprehended Lance Corporal Yonathan Melaku early Friday morning after he was found at Arlington National Cemetery while it was still closed; authorities discovered that the suspect was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases “al Qaeda,” “Taliban rules,” and “Mujahid defeated croatian forces”; law enforcement officials say that despite the evidence found, Melaku is not believed to be involved in a terrorist plot

  • Ceramic armor receives development prize

    New ceramic armor has many advantages: currently the ceramic composite offers a 30 percent weight saving compared with an armor plate of the same size made of alumina ceramics and is 15 percent lighter than another widely used ceramic armor, silicon carbide; it also requires a much lower furnace temperature meaning less energy is used and less CO2 is produced in manufacture, making it an environmentally-friendly product

  • Pinellas County, Florida simulates anthrax attack

    Last Wednesday a local health department in Florida staged an elaborate disaster exercise replete with angry mobs, fainting citizens, and shouting matches; the exercise, dubbed Operation MedStock, gave officials from the Pinellas County Health Department an opportunity to respond to a simulated anthrax attack

  • ShotSpotter raises $10.5 million

    On Thursday, ShotSpotter, Inc., the manufacturers of gunshot location and detection technology, announced that it had raised $7 million in equity and expanded its credit facility by $3.5 million; with the additional funds, ShotSpotter will expand its flagship product the ShotSpotter GunSpotter Location System in international markets

  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi receives $13,000 DHS grant

    Hattiesburg, Mississippi recently received a DHS grant for $13,789 to purchase search and rescue equipment; the grant was awarded by the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security and comes as part of a $200 million DHS grant program designed to bolster emergency management and preparedness capabilities at the state, local, and community level

  • New smartphone app reduces information overload

    Researchers have developed a new smartphone application to avoid information overload by processing large quantities of data in real time and presenting it in user friendly clusters; the software is the first to allow a user to make real time adjustments to how information is displayed on a phone as it is acutely “aware” of how cluttered the screen is; the new application can be used in a wide array of instances including natural disasters, monitoring multiple hospital patient’s heart levels, and mapping the locations of first responders deployed during an emergency

  • N.Y. Dems push for gun microstamping legislation

    New York legislators are pushing for new gun technology that could help law enforcement officials fight crime; microstamping is a new technique that stamps a code on shell casings ejected when a gun is fired; the code can provide valuable information like the dealer who sold it and the buyer who purchased it; this week marks the end New York’s current legislative session and Democratic lawmakers are pushing to get the Republican controlled Senate to take up a bill that would require guns in New York to be microstamped

  • Technology helps law enforcement predict threats -- and prepare for them

    3i-MIND is the LEIM 2011 event to show its technology — a family of configurable solutions which help law enforcement agencies gather and analyze open-source and other intelligence in order to predict and prepare for threats; the technology uses deep-Web tools to access leads found only in social networks, chat rooms, and online forums