• Al Qaeda "very much alive"; U.S. needs to be "aggressive and preemptive"

    Representative Peter King (R-New York), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, reflects back on the 9/11 attacks, discusses critical lessons learned, and the greatest threats facing the United States over the next decade; “—we have largely learned that we need to be aggressive and preemptive when it comes to our national security. Increasingly, we do not wait for an attack before we respond, but we go after and disrupt the threat before an attack can be launched; Law enforcement at all levels must follow suit, thinking more imaginatively and “outside the box.”

  • Can DHS seize -- and hold for months -- U.S. citizens' laptops?

    On Friday, a federal judge heard arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the government’s right to search laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices at the border and hold them indefinitely; civil liberties groups say the policy violates a travelers’ First Amendment right to free speech and the Fourth Amendment’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure; according to the civil liberties groups, more than 6,500 travelers have been subject to such search and seizure of their electronic devices from October 2008 to June 2010

  • Police chiefs oppose proposed Texas immigration measure

    Texas governor Rick Perry wants the legislature to pass a measure which would prohibit local police agencies from barring their officers from asking people they pull over, or otherwise detain, about their legal status in the United States; police chiefs from Houston and Dallas say the bill would impose additional costs on their already-strained budgets and would end up hampering public safety, because it would force them to divert resources and manpower to dealing with undocumented immigrants rather than criminals

  • Don't mess with these Orlando mall cops

    Far from being a piecemeal operation, security at The Mall at Millennia, a luxury mall in Orlando, Florida, is a highly sophisticated operation that uses the latest law enforcement tools, techniques, and technology; 50 unarmed security officers maintain a conspicuous presence throughout the 1.2 million square foot mall; the mall also has a comprehensive network of surveillance cameras that are monitored in a twenty-four hour command center; to prepare security personnel for emergency scenarios, the department conducts tabletop exercises with local law enforcement officials every six months; the mall also works closely with local law enforcement officials to catch local thieves and participates in sting operations

  • Lawmakers want cars equipped with alcohol detection devices

    A bill sponsored by nine U.S. senators would provide $60 million over five years to speed up research into devices to detect alcohol on a driver’s breath, through touch on the steering wheel or through other methods; car owners could select the option when buying a new vehicle; the device would prevent the car from starting if the driver is impaired

  • Yuba City purchases tactical robot with DHS grant money

    The Yuba City police department in California is spending a portion of its nearly $70,000 grant from DHS to purchase a remote controlled tactical robot; the “tactical entry robot” is designed to help police officers when they are confronting an individual barricaded inside a home; the robot is equipped with a wide-angle camera and can help provide officers with information on what is occurring inside; the robot can also help officials survey dangerous chemical spills or other hazardous situations where human exposure may prove fatal; the robot costs nearly $12,00, is roughly the size of an industrial lawn mower, and is able to climb stairs; Yuba City expects to receive the robot in the next six months

  • Paraglider unit gives police an eye in the sky

    Palm Bay, Florida police has a 4-man paraglider unit which has been operating for a year and a half, taking to the air to provide a bird’s-eye view of crime scenes while aiding in the search for everything from marijuana fields to possible arsonists

  • Bombs in flight -- Friday's false alarm not false

    Friday’s emergency activity concerned with finding explosive devices initially reported as a false alarm — early reports indicated no explosives were found; this proved to be wrong in subsequent reports, live devices containing PETN were found in the U.K. and Dubai; in the instance of the Dubai device, the bomb package had been flown on two passenger flights; U.S. intelligence analysis identify bombmaker; Yemeni authorities arrest and later release female student on suspicion of complicity

  • Bullets fired from Mexico strike El Paso, Texas, city hall

    The trend of criminal activity in Mexico spilling into the United States is steadily increasing — but this is new: seven bullets struck the ninth-floor office of Assistant City Manager Pat Adauto on the west side of the El Paso City Hall building; the gunfire may have been stray shots from Juarez, Mexico, on the other side of the border, police said; one of the bullets came through the wall and knocked over a picture frame; one city official: “Now that something like this has happened we’ll put in place more formal procedures so that if something like this occurs again we can have a major notification quickly throughout the building so people can move away from the windows”

  • Ship of fools // By Ben Frankel

    On Monday Israel forcibly stopped a ship heading toward Gaza; since Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization officially committed to the destruction of Israel, Israel insists on inspecting cargo heading to Gaza; al Qaeda operatives are already in Gaza, and Iran is the largest supplier of weapons and munitions to Hamas; the Israeli military operation was clumsy, but it revealed that the supposedly peaceful activists on the ship were anything but: they were equipped with stun grenades, guns, knives, machete, and other weapons, an attacked the Israeli soldiers with intent to kill; since Hamas is likely to try this flotilla approach to public relations again, Israel may want to think of more creative ways to intercept future ships heading toward Gaza

  • TSA joins NYPD in subway baggage screening

    TSA joins BYPD in a trial for screening passengers’ baggage on New York subways; TSA says it does not know how long the agency would run the program, but that mass transit riders should anticipate a TSA presence underground “for the foreseeable future”

  • Drug traffickers take on Mexican military

    The steady descent of Mexico into chaos was accelerated this week when drug traffickers fighting to control northern Mexico have turned their guns and grenades on the Mexican army; gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week and attempted to trap some of them in two military bases by cutting off access and blocking highways

  • U.S. institutes new, targeted security protocols for travelers to U.S.

    The United States is replacing broad screening of all in-coming travelers with a more targeted approach; the intelligence-based security system is devised to raise flags about travelers whose names do not appear on no-fly watch lists, but whose travel patterns or personal traits create suspicions