Public Safety

  • Emergency communication remains a challenge ten years after 9/11

    Chris Russo, a twenty-five year firefighting veteran, a 9/11 first responder, and the founder of ELERTS Corporation, discusses the challenges first responders face in communicating with each other in major disasters, the lack of progress made to create an inter-operable system for emergency responders, and how technology is changing how authorities communicate and interact with the public during major disasters

  • Immigration offenses make Latinos new majority in prisons

    A new government report found that Latinos now account for more than half of all felony offenders sentenced this year as a result of immigration offenses; the report released on Tuesday by the U.S. Sentencing Commission revealed that Latinos comprised 50.3 percent of all people sentenced in the first nine months of this fiscal year

  • Gait biometrics shows promise

    A new biometric technology may soon join retinal scans, voice recognition, and fingerprints as a means to identify individuals: gait pattern biometrics; a method of identifying individuals by the way they walk, saunter, swagger, or sashay has achieved accuracy of about 90 percent in early trials

  • Law enforcement still unable to communicate ten years after 9/11

    Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, emergency responders from varying agencies still lack the communications tools to effectively communicate with one another; during the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, emergency responders had difficulty communicating and the 9/11 Commission recommended that a nationwide broadband network be created for emergency responders, but ten years later, according to the Commission’s ten year report card, this nationwide network “continues to languish”

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  • BAE Systems shows invisibility cloak-wrapped vehicle

    BAE Systems has tested an invisibility cloak that allows a vehicle to blend into its surroundings; sheets of hexagonal “pixels,” which can change temperature very rapidly, allow vehicles — even moving tanks — to match their surroundings, thus making them invisible

  • Michigan could dodge defense cuts

    With Congress seeking to make potential cuts in defense spending and contractors bracing for reductions across the country, Michigan’s $385 billion defense industrial base remains optimistic as it could get by unscathed; key lawmakers say the types of services that Michigan’s defense industry provides could keep it from becoming the target of the newly formed Joint Selection Committee on Deficit Reduction

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  • Taser-related fatalities raise safety concerns

    As police across the United States increasingly turn to Taser guns as a non-lethal weapon, the device’s safety has come under scrutiny following several recent deaths involving Tasers; last week the Fayetteville police department in North Carolina recalled all of its Taser M26 units following the death of a fifty-six year old political activist who died after being stunned by police

  • NYPD works with suburban police to stop terrorism

    In the ten years since 9/11, the New York City police department (NYPD) has worked to forge closer ties with local police departments in an effort to stop terrorist attacks; “The idea is to add rings of security,” explained chief inspector John Hodges of the Westchester County police; “What’s changed since 9/11 is New York City has learned that people who might want to bring something into New York City will have to infiltrate from somewhere outside,” he said

  • Terrahawk showcases its mobile surveillance vehicle

    This Thursday Terrahawk, LLC will show off its Mobile Utility Surveillance Tower (MUST) to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate along with their staffs; with MUST, law enforcement agencies can quickly set up a mobile surveillance tower for emergency response, crowd control, or general surveillance

  • Courts uphold rights of citizens to record police in action

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, in a unanimous decision that many see as a victory for the First Amendment, has recently upheld the right of an attorney to sue police after the police arrested him for using his cell phone to make an audio and video recording of officers conducting an arrest on Boston Common in the fall 2007

  • Thermal imaging allows ATM theft from a distance

    ATMs’ PINs can be stolen using thermal imaging cameras; when ATM customers press down keys to enter their personal code number, they leave behind residual heat from their fingertips; thermal imaging cameras can catch these numbers

  • Facebook could mean the end of undercover ops

    Law enforcement officials have begun using Facebook to identify criminals and gather information about their habits, but the technology has the potential to be a double edged sword; an undercover officer could successfully infiltrate a gang only to have their cover blown after their photo is recognized and their Facebook profile carefully scrutinized

  • Unusual smuggling tunnel found near California-Mexico border

    Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) continued to gather evidence following the discovery of an incomplete pipeline-style smuggling tunnel last Thursday afternoon; the tunnel originated beneath the floor of a vacant Mexican supermarket

  • Israeli military develops new doctrine for dealing with civil unrest

    The Israeli military is preparing for massive demonstrations by Palestinians in the West Bank and along Israel’s borders with neighboring Arab states — demonstrations which will follow the 20 September debate in the UN about whether to recognize Palestine as a state; Israeli snipers will be equipped with new laser finders so they can shoot at the feet of demonstrators, and the military has acquire a variety of non-lethal systems to help disperse unruly crowds