Public Safety

  • CrimeView Dashboard helps fight crime in real-time

    In an effort to share information in an easily manageable format, the Chesapeake Police Department in Virginia recently implemented the CrimeView Dashboard; CrimeView is a cloud-based software system that allows an entire agency to monitor criminal activity in real-time with maps, charts, and reports

  • Hi-tech bus helps catch drunk drivers

    With the help of a new $350,000 Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) bus, police in Lafayette, Louisiana are cracking down on drunk drivers; with the BAT bus, officers have access to five computer stations, three breathalyzers, and a yellow line on the floor for suspected drunk drivers to walk along

  • Virginia police go 3D

    AREVA, an international nuclear services firm, provided the Central Virginia Crash Team with two 3D scanners that use lasers to reconstruct traffic crashes as well as crime scenes to create accurate, scale models as evidence

  • FBI completes new information sharing system

    Late last month the FBI completed work on its newest information sharing database that will allow local, state, regional, and other law enforcement agencies across the United States to pool information; with the National Data Exchange (N-Dex), local investigators can now pull up records like incident reports, criminal incarceration records, and similar investigations from across the United States

  • Industry: government hampering efforts to fight counterfeit chips

    Representatives from the semiconductor industry said that new Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies have made it difficult to assist the Pentagon in its struggle to keep counterfeit computer components out of its supply chain; Brian Toohey, the president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, a lobbying group, said that new policies introduced in 2008 by the Treasury Department and CBP have made it difficult for manufacturers to identify counterfeit products

  • New desalination technology to help solve world's water shortage

    Over one-third of the world’s population already lives in areas struggling to keep up with the demand for fresh water. By 2025, that number will nearly double; a new study argues that seawater desalination should play an important role in helping combat worldwide fresh water shortages once conservation, reuse, and other methods have been exhausted

  • Man purchases FBI, CIA, and Chicago police badges online

    Last month a man was arrested after airport screeners at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport found a Chicago police badge in his baggage; a search of the man’s apartment revealed that he had obtained more than fifty federal, state, and local law enforcement badges from agencies including the Illinois state police, the FBI, the CIA, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.

  • Virginia Tech lockdown ends, no gunman found

    In an attempt to avoid a repeat of the 2007 mass shooting which left thirty-two people dead, officials at Virginia Tech locked down its campus yesterday after receiving a report of a suspicious man who may have been armed; after an exhaustive search by local police that did not yield any results, authorities decided to lift the lockdown

  • Researchers show how to unlock, start a car remotely

    Two researchers at the Black Hat event in Las Vegas demonstrated they could send commands from a laptop to unlock the doors of a Subaru Outback — and then start the car; they said that in addition to vehicles, many other GPS-tracking devices, 3G security cameras, urban traffic control systems, SCADA sensors, and home controls and systems are also telephony-enabled and, as a result, susceptible to attack

  • Napolitano addresses Public Private Partnership conference

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano spoke to the attendees and reiterated the private sector’s role as an important partner in strengthening the homeland security enterprise better to defend against evolving threats, including disasters

  • DHS slow to crack down on ammonium nitrate sales

    U.S. lawmakers are becoming frustrated with DHS for its slow implementation of regulations on ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a key ingredient in dangerous homemade explosives like the one used in the deadly 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; Congress initially passed legislation tightening control on the sale of the fertilizer in 2008, but DHS has yet to implement such regulations and three years later is only now publishing a set of “proposed” rule

  • Thales’s Liberty LMR completes Department of Interior tests

    Thales’s Liberty LMR has passed U.S. Department of Interior tests; the radio had earlier been approved for Law Enforcement and Tiers 1, 2, and 3; the company says the Liberty LMR, a software-defined radio solution, enables interoperability across all public safety bands, linking government agencies and first responders with a single portable radio

  • Alliance urges Congress to focus on D block allocation

    The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) strongly encourages Congress to stay focused on legislation that would allocate the D Block to public safety for the creation of a nationwide, interoperable first responder broadband network

  • Solving cold case by recovering old fingerprints

    Researchers are developing a novel method for recovering old fingerprints using gold-antibody nanoparticles; the new fingerprinting method that could make it possible to recover previously unusable or undetected prints from old evidence and from surfaces long considered too difficult by crime scene investigators

  • Listening to the sound of bullets

    ShotSpotter systems relies on a system of acoustic sensors to identify the location from which a shot has been fired; the alerts are immediately conveyed to police dispatchers, 911 operators, and sometimes to officers in the field via laptops in patrol cars; the system includes a computer program which displays a comprehensive bird’s-eye view of the area, marking the location of the incident with a red dot and indicating the time and number of rounds fired