Public Safety

  • Roving robot can rescue people, detonate bombs

    Northeastern University student-researchers have created a roving robot that can locate and rescue victims of natural disasters or participate in military missions that are too dangerous for soldiers; students created a complex algorithm that would enable the robot to locate people — or even bombs that are detonated through mobile phones

  • Key to coping with disasters: neighbors

    A political scientist who had moved to New Orleans only weeks before Hurricane Katrina concluded that neighbors — and cooperation among neighbors — are more important for surviving, coping with, and recovering from disasters than ambulances and fire trucks and government aid; to make sure his observations were more than anecdotal, he visited disaster areas around the world, and his data show that his personal experiences reflect a larger truth

  • Clip-on camera helps Mississippi police

    The small police force at Walls, Mississippi, has technology on its side: a $60 clip-on camera, the size of a pack of gum, which the officer attaches to the front pocket of his or her uniform; the cameras hold a small memory card, capable of recording hours of evidence; the cameras have never been challenged in court

  • Butte County police lobbies for armored vehicle

    For the second year in a row local law enforcement officials in Butte County, California are rallying to obtain grant money to help purchase an armored vehicle; if money from 2011 DHS grants is allocated to Butte County by the state, officials say it would be used to purchase an armored vehicle for the Butte County Sherriff’s Office and Chico

  • FAA studies general aviation airports

    There are 368 primary airports in the United States — and 2,950 nonprimary, or general aviation, airports; the FAA is now studying the roles and functions of these general aviation airports; general aviation airports provide a variety of functions, ranging from access for emergency medical services, disaster relief, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, and border control to agricultural functions, flight training, charter passenger and time-sensitive air cargo services, among others

  • Key milestone for compact high-power laser

    Enemy surface-to-air threats to U.S. manned and unmanned aircraft have become increasingly sophisticated, creating a need for rapid and effective response; one solution for countering these threats is high-powered lasers, which harness the speed and power of light to counter multiple — and rapidly approaching — threats; to be useful in combat, however, these lasers need to be lighter and require less space than current state-of-the-art for use on many of today’s air assets; DARPA is working to develop this compact laser

  • New Haven, Connecticut police begin installing security cameras

    New Haven police plan to install twenty-one surveillance cameras in the city’s hot spots for crime. The cameras will give officers a 360 degree view of an area’s streets and sidewalks; police hope that the cameras will help reduce New Haven’s rising violent crime rate; in the first half of 2011, more than eighteen people have been killed

  • Austin fights to keep federal money to battle cartels

    With federal lawmakers struggling to reduce spending and cut the deficit, Austin, Texas, could lose as much as $2 million in federal grant money that it uses to combat Mexican drug cartels; on Tuesday, Austin police chief Art Acevedo and Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) urged lawmakers not to cut their funding citing the fact that the city is a dangerous hub for drug cartels

  • Concrete-breaching rescue tool available via GSA schedule

    Raytheon’s Controlled Impact Rescue Tool (CIRT) is a portable unit designed to aid fire departments, local and federal rescue agencies, and the military services; the tool sends pulverizing shock waves that enable rescuers to breach concrete structures faster than with existing techniques such as drilling, chipping or sawing; GSA has just added CIRT to the GSA schedule

  • U.S. spends $90 billion on border security, drugs keep pouring in

    A recent study found the United States has spent an estimated $90 billion over the past decade to secure the U.S - Mexico border with mixed results;annual border spending had tripled over the last decade; the increased spending has helped curb illegal immigration, but for Mexican drug cartels business is booming and they are smuggling more drugs than ever into the United States

  • SWAT Team in Washington acquires heavily armored vehicle

    The Tri-City Regional SWAT Team in Tacoma, Washington recently received a major boost to its arsenal of crime fighting tools;thanks to DHS grants, the Tri-City Regional Swat Team was able to purchase the BearCat, a $292,000 armored personnel carrier; the vehicle is heavily armored and is capable of stopping .30-caliber ammunition

  • Wireless fingerprint readers help police fight crime

    Using a new wireless device, police across the country are now able to quickly and accurately identify a suspect in the field; using RapID, a small handheld unit, officers can read a suspect’s fingerprint and check it against a database for any matches; if any matches are found the device will pull up the person’s real name, date of birth, gender, and race, making it more difficult for criminals to use a false identity

  • More borders, cheaper conflict steadily increase number of wars

    New research shows that the frequency of wars between states increased steadily from 1870 to 2001 by 2 percent a year on average; the research argues that conflict is being fed by economic growth and the proliferation of new borders

  • DHS urges greater vigilance for Independence Day, but no threats

    As Americans across the United States prepare to celebrate the nation’s birth on 4 July, DHS is urging law enforcement agencies and individuals to remain vigilant; in its latest Security Awareness bulletin, DHS is careful to note that there is no “specific or credible information” that al Qaeda is planning an attack, but did say that al Qaeda had aspired to execute attacks on the symbolic holiday