Law Enforcement

  • Top 10 crime-fighting technologies, I

    Today’s criminals avail themselves of the latest technological innovations in order to stay one step ahead of the law; fortunately, technological advances help law enforcement balance the criminals’ arsenals and keep societies safer than otherwise would be the case

  • UAVs help CBP agents keep an eye on the border (when there are no clouds)

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently operate six UAVs: there are three Predators in Arizona, two in North Dakota, and one is being tested for maritime anti-narcotics duty in Cape Canaveral, Florida; proponents say that supporters say that despite the high price tag — the Predator’s camera alone can cost more than $2 million — it is worth it

  • Florida's new fingerprint technology helps law enforcement

    Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrests 3,000 people every day; checking their fingerprints against Florida’s bank of 16.5 million prints on file was becoming a problem; a new FALCON fingerprinting system, installed at a cost of $7.4 million and in use since last June, has solved these problems

  • Backlog at Baltimore crime lab a concern

    The Baltimore Police Department’s crime lab has a backlog of thousands of analysis requests — roughly 3,100 cases for testing bodily fluids, 3,000 cases for drug analysis, and more than 400 cases for DNA analysis; lab delays caused high-profile trial delays, spike in dropped drug cases

  • Private security is good business in Guatemala

    In the United States there are 1.09 million private guards — that is, one guard for every 280 people; in Guatemala, a country of 13 million people, there are between 100,000 to 150,000 guards (the exact number is not known since many of these companies do not bother to register with the authorities); this is one guard for every 85 to 130 residents; the combined number of state and federal police in the United States is 883,600; Guatemala has roughly 22,000 active police officers

  • U.K. car theft suspect arrested by robot helicopter

    Merseyside’s $62,000 crime-fighting drone measures about a meter across and is powered by batteries that drive four carbon-fiber rotors; the drone can be controlled from about 500 meters away, but it can also be instructed to “perch and stare”’ from hidden platforms along roadsides

  • Update: The FBI caps nearly 90 years of use of biometrics with its Biometric Center of Excellence

    The FBI has been using various forms of biometric identification since its earliest days — from photographs and fingerprints in its first years (and assuming responsibility for managing the U.S. fingerprint collection in 1924), to applying handwriting analysis in the Lindbergh kidnapping case in 1932, to its laboratory’s pioneering work on raising latent finger, palm, and other soft tissue prints from evidence, to today’s development of DNA analysis as a means of genetic fingerprinting

  • Tiny sensor "listens" to gunshots to identify source of fire and type of weapon

    The sensor, developed by a Dutch company, is smaller than the head of a match, made of two 200-nanometer-thick, 10-micrometer-wide platinum strips that are heated to 200 degrees Celsius; the sensor does not truly “listen” to sounds; rather, it senses air particles that flow past the platinum strips and cool them unevenly

  • Toronto police to buy encrypted radios

    The Toronto police will spend CAN$35 million on encrypted radios; new system may shut out public eavesdroppers — by tow-truck drivers, the media, scanning enthusiasts — starting with the June 2010 G20 summit

  • U.S. buys iris scanners for prisons to prevent mistaken release of inmates

    The U.S. government has allocated funds for prisons to purchase iris recognition scanning machines; the purpose is create fool-proof system which would prevent inmates from impersonating other inmates to gain early release

  • Breast implants save California woman's life

    A woman who had breast implants was shot at her work place; the doctor who treated her and a firearm expert with the LAPD say that it was the implant that absorbed the bullet fragments, preventing them from reaching her heart and thus saving her life; the firearms expert adds, though that he would not suggest that breast augmentation is the equivalent of a bulletproof vest

  • Mathematicians suggest ways to deal with criminal hotspots

    Mathematicians suggest that there are two kinds of crime hotspots: “supercritical” and “subcritical”; the mathematicians’ equations indicated that rigorous policing could completely eliminate the subcritical hotspots, but would simply displace the supercritical variety

  • Identical DNA a problem for Georgia police: Which identical twin committed the crime?

    DNA found at the scene of a murder in Georgia pointed to a felon known to the police; when he was arrested, he insisted the crime was committed by his identical twin; the two twins share identical DNA — but fingerprints, and cell phone records, pointed to the second brother, who confessed to the crime

  • Home-made poisons pose risks for first responders

    A 23-year old St. Petersburg, Florida resident committed suicide by filling his car with gas which was a custom-made combination of pesticides and cleaning products; he learned about the deadly concoction from the Internet

  • New technologies unveiled to protect U.K. 75 million mobile phone users from crime

    U.K. e-commerce, or contatcless, mobile transactions, will account for £151 billion by 2013. the U.K. government’s Design Council unveils three solutions aiming to make mobile phones – and, hence, e-commerce – safer