• Minnesota counties police make big money from drug seizures

    In 2011, law enforcement in southern Minnesota made a significant profit off crime busts. State Auditor Rebecca Otto released the Criminal Forfeitures Report last month, which offers information on the amount of cash and property seized by Minnesota law enforcement agencies.

  • Police officers in Louisiana do not have to look for a ride home

    Tighter budgets have had an effect on police departments everywhere. In Indianapolis, Indiana, and many other cities, police departments now charge officers a fee to take home their squad cars. Police departments in central Louisiana resist this trend. “This [taking home a squad car] is not a privilege,” says the director of the National Fraternal Order of Police. “It really is about maximizing response times and the ability of officers to be where they need to be.”

  • Obama unveils comprehensive proposal to curb gun violence

    President Obama earlier today proposed the most comprehensive gun-control policies in a generation. He also initiated twenty-three separate executive actions aiming to curb what he called “the epidemic of gun violence in this country.” In addition to executive measures, the president called on Congress to pass legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for civilian use, and to require universal background checks for all gun buyers.

  • New York State votes for strict gun law

    New York governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday signed into law a sweeping gun-control bill. The bill expands a ban on assault weapons, limits the size of magazines, includes measures to keep guns away from the mentally ill, and make penalties stiffer for using a gun in the commission of a crime. Cuomo signed the bill shortly after the State Assembly approved it by a 104-43 vote on the second day of the 2013 legislative session.

  • Police depts. reviews policy on retaining data from license plate readers

    License plate readers (LPRs) have been used more and more by law enforcement agencies across the United States, but as they gain popularity in law enforcement, they have become the subject of debate, and concern, in many local governments.

  • Obama on Wednesday will outline executive action to curb gun violence

    President Obama on Wednesday will outline steps the administration can take without congressional approval to curb gun violence in the United States. Vice President Joe Biden told congressional leaders that there are nineteen separate actions the administration can take by using executive power. The president will emphasize that these executive measures are not an alternative to legislative action, and he will also announce his plan to push through Congress the most comprehensive reform of gun laws in two decades.

  • Military systems hibernate on the sea floor, then woken up remotely

    Almost half of the world’s oceans are more than four kilometers deep. This provides considerable opportunity for cheap stealth, but the vastness and depth make retrieval costs prohibitive. DARPA wants to developing deployable, unmanned, distributed systems which hibernate on the deep-ocean floor in special containers for years at a time. These deep-sea nodes would then be woken up remotely when needed and recalled to the surface

  • DARPA’s first FANG Challenge begun yesterday

    More than 700 participants, organized in 150 teams, yesterday begun collaboration to design the mobility and drivetrain systems of a next-generation, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle. The goal of the competition is to compress the design-to-production time of a complex defense system by up to a factor of five.

  • New York to make state’s strict gun laws even stricter

    New York State is nearing an agreement on a proposal to put some of the toughest gun-control laws into effect. The laws include expanding the definition of banned assault weapons, limiting magazines to seven rounds, and requiring background checks on people who buy ammunition

  • Neutralizing the effects of lethal chemical agents

    Organophosphorus agents (OPs) are used both in farm pesticides, and by terrorists and rogue states. About 200,000 people die each year across the world from organophosphorus agents (OP) poisoning, through occupational exposure, unintentional use, and misuse, mostly in developing countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and through deliberate terrorist activities. OPs include compounds like Tabun, which was developed in 1936 by German scientists during the Second World War, Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin, VX, and VR. Researchers develop an enzyme treatment which could neutralize the effects of OPs.

  • Teacher talks a California high-school shooter into putting down his gun

    A 16-year old Taft, California high school student brought a shot gun to school yesterday, carrying enough ammunition with him to kill many people; after shooting and injuring one student in a science class, he shot the teacher, but the bullet only grazed the teacher’s head; the teacher and another staff member then engaged the gunman in conversation, allowing teachers in other classrooms time to lead their students out of the building; the two men persuaded the gunman to put his gun down, and he was arrested by the police

  • Powerful stun guns popular in U.K.

    Possessing a stun gun in the United Kingdom can carry a jail sentence of ten years, but the police keep seizing hundreds of stun guns every year; U.K. law enforcement agencies have investigated more than 200 crimes in the last three years involving stun guns, and that in those three years almost 500 stun guns have been seized by police

  • Biden hints at executive action on gun violence

    Vice President Biden on Wednesday said the White House could use executive orders to advance gun control measures. Biden held a series of meetings Wednesday in the White Housed on the topic of gun violence and the ways to reduce it; in a meeting with gun-safety and victims groups, Biden said: “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken,” adding: “we haven’t decided what that is yet”

  • Instant DNA analysis worries privacy advocates

    In the past, it took weeks to analyze a person’s DNA, but with new technology it can take less than a day, and in most cases less than two hours; Rapid DNA analyzers can process a DN sample in less than ninety minutes; these machines, the size of a household printer, are now being marketed to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies around the country; privacy advocates worry

  • Laser weapon tracks, destroys drones, mortar rounds in mid-flight

    See video

    A 50kW high energy laser (HEL) weapon technology demonstrator successfully passed demanding tests in Switzerland; in the first test, a massive, 15mm-thick steel girder was cut through from a distance of 1,000 meters; even more impressively, the HEL shot down several nose-diving target drones at a range of two kilometers; the drones were flying at speeds over 50 meters a second, but the system’s radar had no trouble picking up the incoming unmanned aerial vehicles at a distance of three kilometers, before they were destroyed by the laser beam at a 2-km range; the HEL also tracked and destroyed a steel ball measuring 82 mm in diameter and travelling at approximately 50 m/sec – replicating a mortar round – in mid-air