Public Safety

  • Gwinnet County, Georgia to issue instant e-tickets

    In the past, in Gwinnet County, Georgia, like in many counties across the United States, residents would not see a traffic ticket on their records until several weeks later, but now thanks to new technology, police officers, fire marshals, and animal control agents will be able to issue and print citations immediately

  • Law enforcement and privacy concerns in Vancouver

    Last month, the police in the otherwise sedate Vancouver had to use tear gas, pepper spray, and flash bombs in downtown Vancouver to try to disperse angry rioters who set cars on fire, looted stores, and taunted police officers after the Canucks’ 4-0 Stanley Cup final loss to the Boston Bruins; the police wants to use facial recognition technology to identify the rioters, but privacy advocates are worried

  • Law enforcement and privacy concerns in Massachusetts

    Massachusetts has a plan: create a database which could map drivers’ whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour — and store that information indefinitely so local police, state police, federal agencies, and prosecutors could access it as they choose; privacy advocates are worried

  • Taser, Metal Storm collaborate on less lethal ammunition

    TASER International has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Metal Storm Limited and to develop and market TASER less-lethal ammunition for the Metal Storm MAUL weapon; Metal Storm’s MAUL weighs 800 grams can be fitted as an accessory to an assault rifle, or operated from its own shoulder stock or pistol grip attachments

  • FBI now free to search your trash?

    FBI agents will soon have heightened investigative powers that would allow them to delve more deeply into databases, rummage through an individuals’ trash, or place surveillance teams on suspects; in the upcoming release of the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, the FBI’s manual, agents will be given greater leeway in searching for evidence of criminal or terrorist activity

  • New risk to first responders: chemical suicide

    First responders and HAZMAT teams are becoming aware of a new threat: chemical suicide. This new type of suicide is increasing in popularity as a result of instructions being posted on the Internet; the suicide is carried out by mixing household cleaners and detergents to produce a cloud of toxic gas; trouble is, after killing its intended victim, the cloud of gas remains present, threatening to kill those who attempt a rescue

  • After FBI arrests LulzSec announces more cyber mayhem

    In response to the FBI’s arrest of several hackers, the recently disbanded hacking group known as LulzSec has vowed to return and the group says it will renew its attacks on corporations and government agencies; the announcement comes after U.S. authorities arrested sixteen people last week in relation to the groups’ previous attacks which included bringing down PayPal’s website after it suspended its service to WikiLeaks

  • Students develop landmine detection robot

    A team of Texas A&M University at Qatar students and faculty has developed a state—of-the-art landmine detection robot as part of the NI Mine Detection Robot Design Contest; The competition challenged engineering students in the Middle East to work toward solutions to the real-life landmine problem that the Arab region and other areas face in the aftermath of conflict

  • Test for classifying force used in bottle stabbings developed

    Stabbing is the most common method of committing murder in the United Kingdom; in approximately 10 percent of all assaults resulting in treatment in the U.K. emergency units, glasses and bottles are used as weapons; official UK estimates suggest that a form of glass is used as a weapon in between 3,400 and 5,400 offenses per year; engineers at the University of Leicester have for the first time created a way of measuring how much force is used during a stabbing using a broken bottle

  • Lawmakers blast the Federal Protective Service

    Last week lawmakers held a hearing to investigate the Federal Protective Service’s (FPS) progress in addressing its ongoing problems; the agency has made little progress drawing the ire of lawmakers; in recent years, FPS has suffered from a series of high-profile security failures

  • Old fashioned methods best for detecting IEDs

    U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have resorted to an old method to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs); using long poles with hooks on the end, troops feel around in the dirt to detect any IEDs

  • Too much armor hampered French

    The French may have had a better chance at the Battle of Agincourt had they not been weighed down by heavy body armor; during warfare in the fifteenth century, soldiers wore steel plate armor, typically weighing 30-50 kg; this may have been a contributing factor in whether an army won or lost a battle

  • Wisconsin hospitals ahead of the curve

    In the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic while public health officials across the United States were contending with shortages of basic supplies like ventilator masks, Wisconsin health authorities were able smoothly to weather the storm thanks to its stockpiles of protective clothing, emergency planning, and advanced training

  • WWII bombs still plague Germany

    For one bomb squad in Germany the Second World War never ended; members of Germany’s War Ordnance Disposal Service are racing against time to locate and safely defuse the hundreds of thousands of unexploded bombs dropped by Allied war planes that still litter the country