Law Enforcement

  • Councils use CCTV to collect £3 million in “ghost” parking tickets every year

    More and more councils in the United Kingdom use CCTVs to issue automatic tickets for parking violations; throughout England, 265 local authorities collected £328 million in parking fines last year — more than three times as much as speed cameras raked in; motoring groups argue these “ghost tickets” are unfair because motorists do not know they had been fined until afterward, it is more difficult to check signs and mount an appeal

  • Court finds Taser use by police officer during traffic stop was “excessive force”

    In what legal scholars describe as a landmark ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit could set the first broad judicial standards for the use of Tasers; the case involves a California police officer who tased a passive driver during a routine traffic stop in 2005; the court found that the facts of the case clearly show that the driver was never a threat to the officer

  • New radio system is working “flawlessly”

    When the switch was flipped Tuesday morning on Kandiyohi County’s, Minnesota, new 800-megahertz radio system, emergency personnel had no idea the unique technology would be put to such quick use.

  • Handheld touch screen device may lead to mobile fingerprint ID

    The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team wanted to replace the 20-pound rugged laptop plus fingerprint scanner their hostage rescue teams lug around with a smaller and lighter device; NIST researchers develop one

  • DHS investigates counterfeit operation

    DHS suspects that there is a connection between the sale of counterfeit clothing and funding of terrorist actitivites; the Fresno police raids a clothing store in Fresno, California, and confiscated half a million dollars worth of phony designer jeans, T-shirts, handbags,
    and shoes.

  • HIV-as-terrorism case draws national attention

    Two Michigan neighbors got into a fight, and one of them bit the other; when prosecutors learned from a TV report that the man who bit his neighbor was HIV positive, they added the charge of bioterrorism to the charges of assault and assault with intent to maim; prosecutors say the new charge is based on a 2004 Michigan law, passed in the wake of 9/11, which speaks of “possession or use of a harmful device,” and they point to a Michigan Court of Appeal’s ruling that HIV-infected blood was a “harmful biological substance” under Michigan law.

  • Columbus debates security cameras' costs

    The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, wants CCTVs installed in the city; a $250,000 deal with a consulting firm has been approved to study the issue, and a $1.25 million pilot project is likely to move forward; still, civil libertarians ask whether this is a wise – and effective — investment

  • Rio to hire Giuliani as security consultant for 2016 Olympics

    Giuliani will serve as a security adviser to the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro; In a meeting with Brazilian officials, Giuliani said he would bring to Rio’s favelas the same zero-tolerance policy he implemented in New York City while mayor.

  • NIST develops validation tool for cell phone forensics

    Cell phones reveal much about our daily communications — the who, when, and what of our calls and texts; for this information to be used as evidence in court or other formal proceedings, however, the software tools that forensic teams employ are normally validated to determine suitability for use

  • Arkansas officer fired after using a taser on a 10-year old girl

    A policeman in a small Arkansas town is fired after he used a taser gun to subdue an unruly 10-year old girl; the policeman used the stun gun after the girl kiced him “in the groin area”

  • Illinois officials say holding Gitmo inmates would be economic boost

    The Obama administration is considering the Thomson Correctional Center on Monday, located 150 miles west of Chicago, as home for some detainees from Guantanamo Bay; Illinois officials say the move could provide up to 2,000 jobs and up to $1 billion in federal money to the area

  • Winter Olympic private security force raises concerns

    A Canadian company has been awarded the contract to find 5,000 security guards for the Winter Olympics which open in Vancouver in 100 days; security experts say that “‘Certain facets of security screening can be overlooked in a rush”

  • Gait-recognition biometric technology to help soldiers manning checkpoints

    SET Corporation is developing a technology which directs low-power radar beams at people — who can be 50 yards or more away; early research indicates that this method could one day be augmented with video-analysis software that spots bombers by discerning subtle differences in gait that occur when people carry heavy objects

  • Black-market cigarettes could fund terrorism, RCMP fear

    Canadian authorities worry that the booming black market trade in cigarettes could be used to finance terrorism; many Indian reservations are used as bases for the illicit trade

  • Critics of dog-scent lineups charge such lineups are "junk science"

    Law enforcement has relied on dogs for many years for scent tracking or sniffing out drugs or explosives; dogs have become more and more popular in what is called dog-scent lineups, in which dogs are supposed to determine whether the scent of anyone in a police lineup was present at the crime scene; critics say this not much more than junk science