• Officials warn of Arizona copycat attacks

    Intelligence and law enforcement authorities informed U.S. lawmakers that they are monitoring for potential “copycat” attacks on lawmakers after the rampage in Arizona on Saturday; Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he expects to ask for a formal report on the shooting, addressing both the short-term concerns — including the likelihood of copycat incidents — and long-term issues with security; among the questions he wants answered, King said, are “Is this part of a larger movement? Is there any evidence he [the assailant] was motivated by organizational structure?” FBI director Robert Mueller said: “Given this tragedy, all logical precautions are in place to best ensure the safety of other public officials, but there is no information at this time to suggest any specific threat remains”

  • Miami Police first to use UAVs in a U.S. city

    The Miami-Dade Police Department could soon become the first police department in the country to employ unmanned drones; the department acquired two T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicles, manufactured by Honeywell, in August 2009, and has been testing and training with them since; it is now in the third phase of a three-phase testing program, and plans to apply soon to the FAA for final approval to use the drones in operations

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  • California police use electric motorcycles

    The Scotts Valley Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in California to accept delivery of a Zero DS electric motorcycle; it will be a benchmark for evaluating the performance capabilities of the Zero DS in law enforcement situations, such as responding through traffic and on local bike trails

  • Ashland, Alabama, police adopts new technology

    Six years ago there was one computer in the Ashland, Alabama, Police Department; Several grants and nearly $300,000 later, officers are typing up reports on in-car computers, scanning fingerprints, and instantly checking for matches with other police departments around the state

  • Quick Heal introduces technology to track laptops

    New laptop tracking technology will help Indian police track and locate stolen laptops across the country; Quick Heal, the company offering the technology, also aims to create a centralized database of lost or stolen laptops; the database will be accessible to retailers and consumers

  • New laser weapon dazzles, confuses pirates

    There were 430 pirate attacks last year, an increase of 5.6 percent on the previous year; in a bid to develop a suitable non-lethal weapon to help fend off this threat, BAE Systems studied pirate behavior; the conclusion was that an automatic weapon was needed, one that would not put any of the crew at risk, and one which would distract suspected pirates rather than harm them

  • South African wireless traffic lights stolen by SIM-card thieves

    The city of Johannesburg had a great idea to make traffic move more smoothly in the city: install wirelessly activated traffic lights; but this is South Africa, so it did not take more than a few weeks for thieves to steal the SIM cards from 400 out of the 600 traffic lights installed; now the city does not have the fancy lights — and it pays thousands of rand on phone calls the thieves subsequently make using the snaffled SIMs

  • Mexico violence hits new levels in scale, brutality in 2010

    Mexico’s drug violence in 2010 was striking not only for its scale but also for its brutality; more than 13,000 people were killed across the country in drug violence, up from an estimated 9,600 a year earlier; the number of people killed since the government launched its war on the drug cartels in December 2006 has reached 31,000; analysts say that the violence is the result of the collapse of the old political structure — the 80-year one-party system ran by the PRI, which came to an end in 2000, when Vicente Fox came to power; the old system, with its unwritten rules and tacit understandings, is yet to be replaced by a new, consensual system; what has exacerbated the anarchical situation are two new elements: the rise of drug trafficking through Mexico, and the free flow of arms into the country, mostly from the United States

  • Smart system to teach itself to jam new wireless threats

    As wireless communication devices become more adaptive and responsive to their environment by using technology such as Dynamic Spectrum Allocation, the effectiveness of fixed countermeasures may become severely degraded; DARPA wants smart system that can learn to jam new wireless threats automatically

  • ATF to require gun dealers to report multiple rifle sales

    Mexico, reeling under the weight of the escalating armed conflict between the government and the drug cartels, is on the verge of becoming a failed, ungovernable state on the U.S. door-step; U.S. and Mexican experts say that 90 percent of the tens of thousands of the semi-automatic rifles in the arsenals of the cartels are smuggled from the United State; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has announced a new measure, requiring U.S. gun dealers to report multiple sales of rifles to authorities; Texas law enforcement authorities say that since the reporting requirements will only include the southwest border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California — guns will continue to flow into Mexico from other parts of the United States — and from other countries

  • Closing of U.K. forensics research centers triggers protest

    The U.K. government announced that the Forensic Science Service — a leading research center based in Birmingham, United Kingdom — will be closed by 2012 because of budgetary reasons; law enforcement leaders and scientists calls on the government to reconsider the decision, saying that “The reputation of forensic science in the U.K. will undoubtedly diminish —- The lack of research means that we will be lagging behind the rest of the world, and justice will suffer”

  • ShotSpotter to detect gun firing in Huntington Station

    To combat rising gun violence in Huntington Station, Long Island, Suffolk County has decided to deploy the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system; ShotSpotter, an acoustic surveillance system, uses microphones that pick up the sounds of gunfire. Patrol cars with laptop computers can then detect the origin of the shots within ten feet

  • Holder: threat of homegrown terrorism "keeps me up at night"

    U.S. attorney general Eric Holder says the danger of homegrown terror “keeps me up at night”: “The threat has changed from simply worrying about foreigners coming here, to worrying about people in the United States, American citizens — raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born”; the attorney general said that of 126 people who have been charged with allegations related to terrorism in the past 24 months, 50 had been American citizens; Holder dismissed criticism of recent FBI sting operations, which some have argued employed the use of illegal “entrapment,” offering that “options are always given all along the way for them to say, ‘You know what, I have changed my mind. I don’t want to do it’”

  • Millions allowed into U.S. without proper border documents

    The inspector general for DHS estimated this week that about 3.6 million people a year were still passing through customs without the required documents — passports or other hard-to-forge identification cards — and that about half of those were coming through the border crossings in Texas

  • State-federal tensions on immigration issues continue

    Governor David Patterson of New York has pardoned six immigrants facing deportation because, he says, deportation is unjustified in their cases; “[immigration officials] may take no account of the New York State criminal justice decisions, but I do,” he said; the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the first of two controversial Arizona immigration law; this law was signed by then governor Janet Napolitano, now DHS secretary in the administration which is challenging the law in court