• U.S. fears cops being targeted as 11 cops shot in 24 hours

    U.S. Authorities are worried a recent wave of police officer shootings may not be a coincidence; in just twenty-four hours, at least eleven cops were shot around the country; “It’s not a fluke,” Richard Roberts, a spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations, said; “There’s a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on”; according to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, an organization that tracks police casualties, there have already been as many officer deaths in January 2011 as there were in January of last year; the organization reported that officer deaths were up 43 percent in 2010 compared to 2009

  • Domestic use of drones make privacy advocates anxious

    The age of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) UAV is coming; for now, use of these types of drones for high-risk law enforcement purposes is rare, although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to implement new rules that would allow the routine flying of these drones across the United States by 2013; equipped with high-resolution, infrared and thermal-imaging cameras, these drones could provide police with the accurate monitoring of all types of civilian areas and topographies; privacy advocates worry

  • U.K. changes terrorist surveillance procedures

    U.K. home secretary announces changes in manner in which terrorist suspects may be detained and questioned; modifications are in response to claims of overreaction to 9/11 and the London bus bombings; critics claim changes not enough

  • Ogden, Utah buys its police a blimp

    The mayor of Ogden, Utah, wants to buy a blimp to help the city police fight crime; Mayor Matthew Godfrey says a blimp is “far less expensive to purchase and to operate than the other UAVs that are out there”; Godfrey envisions using a blimp “largely to patrol,” and said that another benefit of the model being developed for Ogden is that its route can be pre-programmed; he also highlights the blimp’s “deterrent factor”

  • Mexico Federal Police Take Delivery of UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopters

    The United States has delivered three UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters to the government of Mexico’s Federal Police; the aircraft are the first of six advanced helicopters designed to support Mexico’s law enforcement operations as part of the Merida Initiative, a security cooperation agreement between the two countries

  • Remote controlled police dogs

    Researchers at Auburn University are testing a new system that can help law enforcement and military personnel guide dogs remotely; the system relies on a non-invasive harness that contains a GPS unit, radio device, and sensors that can all be remotely controlled by a computer; vibrations and audio commands guide the dog; possible uses include dangerous surveillance situations where dogs are less suspicious, delivery of medical aid in hard to access places, and having a single handler direct multiple dogs; unlike unmanned drones or robots, dogs can easily avoid obstacles and harm

  • In Illinois, you could go to prison for using your Blackberry

    Illinois is one of twelve states with “two-party consent” eavesdropping laws on the books; audio recording a civilian in Illinois is a felony with up to three years in prison the first time you do it and up to five years if you do it again; the penalties are much stiffer, though, if you record certain people: audio-recording a law-enforcement officer, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general, or judge in the performance of his or her duties is a Class 1 felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison

  • New meth database helps fight crime

    States are increasingly passing laws to establish electronic databases to track pseudoephedrine purchases to crack down on meth drug labs; Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama have already implemented such databases, while large retail chains like Walmart, CVS, and Rite Aid maintain their own electronic databases; in 2008, 850,000 Americans were found to abuse meth; in 2009, the DEA discovered more than 10,000 meth labs, down from a high of more than 19,000 in 2004

  • Sophisticated analytic software helps identify criminals

    Law enforcement agencies around the world are increasingly using powerful predictive analytic software to help fight crime; the software is capable of compiling massive quantities of data from criminal records, Internet files, phone calls, monetary transactions, traffic movements, and patrols in seconds; Los Angeles, Memphis, and Bangalore currently use or are experimenting with these predictive analytics; in Memphis fifty-four criminals were apprehended using the software

  • U.K. government spent millions on botched spy ring

    The U.K. government spends £5 million a year to operate the NPOIU, which monitors domestic environmental and animal rights activists; the NPOIU has been hit with a series of scandals after it was revealed that one of its spies began actively to aid the group he was sent to monitor; the operation led to the failed trial of six activists after the agent offered evidence in their favor; the unit has been stripped of its funding and placed under the command of the Metropolitan Police; the unit was previously run by a private entity

  • Proposals to enhance lawmakers' security questioned

    Lawmakers have offered many new measures to protect members of Congress from attempts on their lives; some call for better protection of politicians by local law enforcement; Representative Peter King (R-New York) would make it illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a federal official; another proposal is to erect a blast shield around the gallery in the House of Representatives and the Senate; critics of these proposals say that at end of the day, none is going to deter a determined assassin bent on killing a public official

  • Pointing lasers at aircraft a growing problem

    According to the FBI, in 2008 there were approximately 1,000 instances of people aiming laser pointers at the pilots of aircraft; in the eight month period from January to August of 2010, there were 1,700 reported incidents, demonstrating an increasing trend in the cases; the light emitted by a laser pointer can then be directed toward and seen by a pilot, causing visual impairment such as glare on the windshield of the aircraft as well as flash blindness and after-images like the kind that can be experienced after a flash picture is taken; even if the beam does not hit the pilot directly causing temporary blindness, the beam can be distracting at times when distractions can be deadly

  • Lubricant in fingermarks identifies sexual offenders

    There has been an increase in the use of condoms by sexual offenders, likely due to both to the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and to prevent the transfer of DNA evidence — but sexual offenders hoping to outsmart police by using a condom during their crimes may be out of luck thanks to a technique: the technique is claimed to provide proof of contact with a condom, placing someone accused of a sexual offence at the scene of the crime

  • Olof Palme's killer is still alive

    One of the greatest mysteries in post-Second World War Europe may be a step closer to resolution; on 28 February 1986, Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was shot and killed while strolling down a busy Stockholm street with his wife Lisbet; despite tens of thousands of tips and leads in the almost twenty-four years since the crime, the murder has never been solved, and the weapon, a .357 Magnum revolver, has never been found

  • Boom in Pakistan's private security industry

    Pakistan’s deteriorating law and order has led to a boom in the private security industry in the country; companies are investing millions of dollars to train and update their security operations; an estimated 30,000 private security guards have found employment with 400 private security agencies that have sprung up in Pakistan in recent years