Law Enforcement

  • Wife of former judge accuses husband of Texas prosecutor killings

    The investigation into the murders of two prosecutors in Texas has taken a strange twist. The wife of a former justice of the peace has come forward, admitting she was involved in the murders of Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia McLelland, and Mark Hasse, who worked in McLelland’s office.

  • Ease of construction makes pressure-cooker bombs popular among terrorists

    The ease of building pressure-cooker bombs has made them popular among terrorist organizations and insurgent groups. Inspire, the on-line English-language magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), three years ago published an article titled “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” by “the AQ Chef,” which contained detailed instructions on building a pressure-cooker bomb.

  • DHS formula grants to states drop dramatically

    DHS money allocation o money to states for first response and disaster recovery has dropped significantly. DHS formula grant program was at an all-time high of $2 billion in 2003, but last year the program had only $294 million. As a result of the sequester, another 5 percent will be cut from the program.

  • Bombs kill 2, injure 23 at Boston Marathon

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    Two loud explosions near the finish-line of the Boston Marathon killed two people and injured twenty-three this afternoon. The two blasts occurred after about half the runners taking part in the marathon had already crossed the finish line. Thousands of runners were still heading toward the finish line, but race organizers halted the race within minutes after the explosions.

  • Large DHS ammunition purchase continues to be a topic of debate

    Conservative lawmakers and commentators continue to question why DHS is purchasing 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, and will the agency do with so many bullets. DHS says it is cheaper to buy things in bulk, and that the rounds will be used in target practice and training for government agencies’ employees.

  • ATF: store which sold guns to Lanza’s mother committed more than 500 firearm violations

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) found that the gun store which sold the mother of Adam Lanza the guns he used to carry out the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, had been cited for more than 500 violations of federal firearms laws and regulations. The store’s license has now been revoked.

  • Canada’s crime-rate calculation method significantly underestimates actual crime numbers

    The government of Canada is using a method called “capping” to measure crime in Canada. Capping is a common methodological practice used in most victimization surveys. Researchers find, however, that the technique significantly underestimates the number of crimes — especially the violent kinds — that occur in Canada.

  • Napolitano’s arguments about border security undermined by rise in arrests

    As recently as last Thursday, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano said that border security is at its most robust in years. New numbers released on the same day tell a different story about activity on the border: arrests on the border are up 13 percent compared to this time last year, from 170,223 last year to 192,298 this year. Napolitano argues that arrests alone are not a reflection of how secure the border is, and that crime statistics in border regions – a better measure of border security, she says — are down from previous years.

  • Maryland’s new firearms safety law requires fingerprinting gun buyers

    The Maryland House of Delegates passed a new law on Wednesday which will require the fingerprinting of gun buyers, mandate background checks, restrict availability of weapons to the mentally ill, and ban certain kinds of assault weapons and magazines of more than ten bullets.

  • U.S. prosecutor leaves Texas Aryan Brotherhood case due to safety concerns

    A federal prosecutor in Houston has withdrawn from a racketeering case involving the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Assistant U.S. attorney Jay Hileman left the case due to concerns over his and his family’s safety after a Kaufman County district attorney and an assistant attorney were killed in two separate incidents. It is not known whether Hileman and his family were specifically threatened.

  • Georgia town requires households to have firearms

    Nelson, a Georgia town of fewer than 2,000 people, has passed a mandatory gun ownership law in an effort to lower the town’s crime rate. The city council unanimously passed the Family Protection Ordinance on Monday, requiring “heads of households to maintain firearms … in order to provide for the emergency management of the city.”

  • NYPD issues strict guidelines for use of social media by officers

    The New York Police Department (NYPD) has issued strict guidelines for employees using social media, and ordered its employees to take a second look at their profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to ensure they conform to the new rules. The NYPD follows other police departments around the country in insisting that police officers draw a clearer line between their private life, as reflected in their social media postings, and their official duties.

  • Spotting potential killers, rather than armed guards, would make schools safer: study

    Tragedies involving children, such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School, fuel outrage and calls for immediate action to prevent similar atrocities. Lawmakers are debating different gun control measures, while the National Rifle Association’s unveiled a plan – the National Shield School Proposal — which calls for placing armed guards at schools. Three criminal justice researchers argue that the NRA’s proposal is problematic, expensive, and would not be effective. The researchers say there is evidence to show that in the majority of school shootings, the assailant suffered from some type of mental health issue, dysfunctional family, problems at school, social isolation, and in some instances, bullying. The article authors suggest that it is these issues that are the root cause of these tragedies, and that in order to prevent school violence, society must address troubled youth.

  • Aryan Brotherhood suspected in Texas prosecutors killings

    The FBI and other law enforcement agencies believe the white supremacist group the Aryan Brotherhood could be behind the murders of a Texas district attorney and his wife last weekend, and the death of an assistant district attorney earlier this year.

  • Pervasive surveillance threatens privacy, gives power advantage to the watcher

    Surveillance is everywhere, from street corner cameras to the subject of books and movies. A researcher says that pervasive surveillance menaces our intellectual privacy and it gives the watcher a power advantage over the watched, which can be used for blackmail, persuasion, or discrimination.