• Bill would allow police to turn illegal immigrants over to members of Congress

    A new proposal from Texas state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst would allow law enforcement officials to drop off illegal immigrants at the offices of any U.S. senator or representative; the proposed bill only applies to illegal immigrants about to be released on bail or discharged after completing a sentence and does not detail what the U.S. senator or representative is supposed to do with them.

  • FBI says it does not demand encryption back doors

    The FBI says that it is not calling for restrictions on encryption without back doors for law enforcement; only last fall the agency said discussions should focus on requiring that communication providers and Web sites have legally mandated procedures to divulge unencrypted data in their possession; the FBI says that because of the rise of Web-based e-mail and social networks, it’s “increasingly unable” to conduct certain types of surveillance that would be possible on cellular and traditional telephones

  • Police using text messages to fight crime

    In an increasing trend police departments across the United States are using text messages to help fight crime; various police departments have set up a text message service that allows citizens to report any crimes that they see; informants can stay anonymous while department officials can exchange texts with them to learn more; police departments have long had anonymous hotlines in place, and text messages are the technological upgrade to these hotlines; text message systems were first introduced in 2007 in Boston and Cincinnati; this year several smaller police departments will implement a text based tip system including those in Apex, North Carolina and Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Do security cameras deter crime?

    As federal agencies, cities, and local police departments spend more money on vast networks of closed circuit surveillance cameras, some critics are wondering whether these systems are an effective way to stop crime and a good use of resources; various studies on the efficacy of security cameras have been inconclusive; some studies have shown that cameras in Chicago and Baltimore have helped deter crime, while others have shown that cameras in Los Angeles and Britain have had no impact on crime; one critic points out that studies that show cameras are effective do not weigh benefits against spending more money on beat cops, probation programs, and other law enforcement options

  • Canadian police push limits of civilian UAVs laws

    A local police department in Ontario, Canada is exploring the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and pioneering civil aviation laws for future use of these aerial drones; in 2007 the Kenora Police Department set a new precedence when photographs of a homicide scene, taken from a UAV, were admitted as evidence in a trial for the first time; unlike the large drones used in Afghanistan these smaller UAVs are not practical for surveillance and are primarily used to record photos for trials and provide aerial reconnaissance in hostage situations or bomb threats; the small UAVs are equipped with several cameras including digital still, video, and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera; the Canadian government is working on developing regulations for the use of these UAVs in civilian airspace

  • Study shows more non-Muslim terrorists in U.S.

    A new report found that the number of American Muslims involved in terrorist acts dropped by more than half compared to 2009; in 2010 twenty American Muslims were arrested for terrorism, down from 2009’s peak of forty-seven; in 2010 there were more than twenty plots by non-Muslims compared to the ten Muslim Americans arrested for domestic plots; the report supports the argument that fears of domestic radicalization are exaggerated, and was released after the American woman calling herself “Jihad Jane” pled guilty to recruiting terrorists to kill a Swedish cartoonist; Representative Peter King is preparing for domestic radicalization hearings in the House’s Homeland Security committee

  • Arizona lawmaker tries to close gun show loophole

    Arizona state senator Steve Gallardo is introducing a bill to close Arizona’s gun show loophole; currently sellers at gun shows are not required to conduct background checks before selling weapons to individuals; a recent sting operation, led by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, revealed that sellers at a Phoenix gun show sold weapons to under-cover investigators after the investigators declared that they could not pass a background check; federal laws prohibit individuals from selling weapons to people that they suspect could not pass a background check; terrorists and weapons smugglers often exploit this loophole to obtain weapons; the bill is likely to face opposition from pro-gun advocates like Arizona governor Jan Brewer

  • U.K. police to use tasers on unruly rib-pokers

    Last December, some 180 protesters, most aged between 17 and 25, stood in front of the Royal convoy, and some protesters began to kick, hit, and hurl objects at the Royal car; as the Duchess of Cornwall sat in the vehicle, she was poked in the ribs with a stick through a window slit; demonstrators pursued the envoy, chanting “Off with their heads”; to prevent such occurrences in the future, the U.K .Diplomatic Protection Squad will be supplementing their conventional firearms with stun guns

  • Foreign orders for Mass.-built bomb-disposal robots

    Massachusetts-based robot maker received orders for twenty-seven additional bomb-disposal robots from unnamed international customers; the company has delivered bomb-disposal robots to more than twenty-five countries

  • ATF budget cuts hurt efforts to stop illegal guns heading to Mexico

    The proposed budget cuts for the ATF could seriously undermine Project Gunrunner, the Obama administration’s efforts to stem the flow of guns across the border to drug cartels; White House budget office proposed cutting nearly $160 million, or 12.8 percent, from the ATF’s budget; under federal rules, the last personnel hired are the first to be fired, and in the last several years the ATF has primarily focused on hiring for the border initiative; in 2009 alone, ATF agents seized 2,589 firearms and 265,000 rounds of ammunition headed across the border; so far, agents have traced more than 65,000 guns in Mexico back to the United States

  • iPhone app helps police "see" through walls

    Law enforcement officials are using SafetyNet Mobile, a powerful new iPhone app, to fight crime; the app allows police officers to quickly access all emergency dispatch information including maps, warnings, hazard information, and other critical data; to access the emergency dispatch database, the officer simply points the iPhone or iPad’s camera at a location; this technology allows police to “see” behind doors or walls by alerting them to any potential dangers inside; the app installs on any iPhone or iPad; SafetyNet Mobile has been successfully tested by three police departments in California and is currently being rolled out

  • N.C. law enforcement pistols no good

    North Carolina’s Alcohol Law Enforcement agency says 150 new pistols bought for their agents at $1,055 each were so unreliable they got rid of them; the Kimber .45-caliber pistols repeatedly malfunctioned during training exercises, with rounds jamming, sights breaking, and the weapons’ safety buttons sometimes falling off

  • New York cracks down on illegal gun sales

    An undercover operation by New York City investigators at an Arizona gun show highlighted the ease with which people with questionable backgrounds can purchase weapons; investigators were able to purchase several handguns despite clearly stating that they would not be able to pass background checks; federal laws do not require background checks at gun shows, but it is illegal for dealers to sell weapons to individuals who they suspect could not pass a background check due to mental instability or a criminal record; investigators were able to purchase a Glock and large capacity magazines, the same used in the Tucson shooting, without any background checks; terrorists seeking to obtain weapons have been found purchasing weapons from gun shows

  • ATF allowing guns into mexico

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) — the agency tasked with keeping U.S. guns from being smuggled to Mexico — has now come under fire for allegedly allowing firearms to cross the border into Mexico; Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the ATF stating that his office had “received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the Southwest border area and into Mexico”

  • Portland's police bureau reviews taser policies

    The Portland Police department has reviewed the use of taser stun guns by officers, and found that policies and practices could be improved; after examining fifty cases of taser use, the study found that in 80 percent of the cases, the use of a taser gun led to a resolution of the situation