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Monday, December 22, 2008

Married for Life (in Melbourne West): Life is Cheap

Married for Life (in Melbourne West): Life is Cheap

Testing the Impact of the Midtown Community Court

Community courts are neighborhood-focused courts that attempt to harness the authority of the justice system to address local problems. The first such project was the Midtown Community Court, launched in midtown Manhattan in 1993. As of the end of 2007, more than 50 community courts had opened across the globe, including 32 in the United States (Karafin 2008). Yet, only a handful of studies have tested the effects of the community court model in accomplishing its goals (see Kralstein 2005). Many of these goals involve having a real impact on the local community – by implementing restorative community service projects or initiating greater collaboration between the court and community representatives. In addition, community courts seek to diversify the range of disposition and sentencing options that are at the court’s disposal and to apply a form of individualized justice that tailors each response to the litigant’s specific situation and needs (Sviridoff, Rottman, and Weidner 2001). The expected outcome is a far greater use of “alternative sanctions” than in a traditional court (Kralstein 2005; Sviridoff et al. 2000, Weidner and Davis 2000). Indeed, a recent survey found that 92% of today’s community courts routinely use community service mandates, and 84% routinely use mandates to social services, including substance abuse treatment, treatment readiness sessions, individual counseling, employment readiness, or life skills classes (Karafin 2008).

READ ON
http://www.courtinnovation.org/_uploads/documents/Midtown_Downtown.pdf

Using Ethnographic Research to Enhance Youth Program Planning

With the help of the Independence Community Foundation, the Red Hook Community Justice Center, a community court that aims to improve public safety in a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood, sought to tackle the problem of the positive perceptions of youth crime among young people residing in public housing. The Red Hook Houses—the largest public housing development in Brooklyn—are home to a sizeable population of disconnected youth. Many of these young people—predominantly male, poor, and black and Latino—are involved in the neighborhood’s drug trade. The Justice Center wanted to design a program that would provide young popular opinion leaders with the analytical skills and marketing techniques to create and disseminate a youth-designed and -driven community education campaign to challenge the positive perceptions of youth crime.

As it was initially conceived, the first step of this program—drawn from public health safe-sex models—involved using ethnographic research methods to identify young popular opinion leaders in the community so they could be recruited for program participation. As an experienced youth ethnographer and youth program designer, I was hired to oversee the process. After some consideration, my colleagues and I decided to expand the first step to include a larger investigation into Red Hook youth culture. The results have had a dramatic impact on the way we approached program design, content, and recruitment. The final result was a new program, Youth ECHO, that opened its doors in March, 2008. Designing any new program is a lengthy process, a series of sequential decisions each of which impacts the ultimate product. As social services, public health, and other community-based programming is looking more and more to evidence-based models, program designers are working harder than ever to make those decisions deliberately and conscientiously.

Unfortunately, in the world of youth programming the following scene is still all too common: a group of adults sitting around a conference table discussing what programmatic elements might be the most appealing and beneficial to youth. Unlike professionals who work with adults, those who work with youth often approach their jobs with an uncomplicated sense of authority; after all, each was once a teenager. The result can be a set of program components that engages only a subset of youth—those who are the most amenable to participating in
leadership training programs, internship opportunities, or mentoring programs. Despite the lengths to which many of these programs go to recruit more hard-to-reach youth, many ultimately fail to do so.

Consequently, those teenagers who are the most vulnerable—those who have either dropped out of school or are dangerously close, those involved with the juvenile and
criminal justice system, those with limited job prospects—fall through the proverbial cracks. The program design approach described in this report proceeds differently. We drew on the practices of ethnographic research to get closer to understanding how youth themselves feel about their social lives, their cultural milieu, their community, and their futures. By using their words, their stories and their experiences, those of us involved in building Youth ECHO acquired a unique view of youth culture and youth programming needs in Red Hook and in so doing simultaneously jump-started the necessary process of building bridges with potential program participants.

READ ON
http://www.courtinnovation.org/_uploads/documents/RH_Youth.pdf

The Impact of the Community Court Model on Defendant Perceptions of Fairness

This report presents the results of a research project comparing defendant perceptions of fairness in the Red Hook Community Justice Center (Red Hook) and a traditional centralized criminal court. Nearly 400 defendants, who were seen at either Red Hook or the traditional court in summer 2005, took part in a survey comparing their perceptions of the treatment they received.

The survey evaluated the effects of court location (Red Hook or the traditional court), defendant background (race, ethnicity, sex and socioeconomic status), the outcome of their current court case (dismissed or required to return to court; required to attend drug treatment or not), and the stage of their case at the time of the survey (arraignment or subsequent court appearance).

Structured courtroom observations supplemented the results of the survey and helped to generate richer explanations about why different defendants might have perceived their court experiences as fair or unfair.

Among other outcomes, community courts seek to improve public confidence in the courts and to encourage law-abiding behavior. Previous research shows that when defendants perceive their treatment to be fair, they are more likely to accept the decisions of the court, comply with court imposed sanctions, and obey the law in the future (Tyler and Huo 2002). This study provides the first-ever evaluation of the success of a community court in improving upon the traditional court’s capacity to ensure that defendants leave court believing they were treated fairly.

This research project had two main goals:
1) to compare defendant perceptions of fairness at the Red Hook Community
Justice Center and the traditional criminal court and 2) to identify the predictors of defendant perceptions. Since effective communication as well as respectful and fair treatment of defendants are important tenets of the community court model, we focus on how each of these elements affects defendants’ overall perceptions of fairness.

READ ON
http://www.courtinnovation.org/_uploads/documents/Procedural_Fairness.pdf

Strange Justice

Strange Justice

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Criminal Justice Courses and Program Offered at URock

In January the University of Maine at Fort Kent will offer courses in its Criminal Justice Concentration at University College at Rockland. The program prepares students for a variety of careers in the field of Criminal Justice and serves as an in-service program for law enforcement officers. Students can earn the concentration entirely online.

“It seemed like a natural fit,” said Dr. Tony Enerva,
Criminal Justice and Public Safety faculty at UMFK. “We have had great success with previous Criminal Justice courses offered through distance education formats, and we are seeking ways to reach more people around the state.”

The University of Maine at Augusta will deliver seven courses in its Justice Studies programs at University College at Rockland online and via interactive television (ITV). UMA’s bachelor and associate degrees in Justice Studies provide opportunities in law enforcement, paralegal work, detective work, corrections and security.

The URock spring semester begins January 12. For more information about
Criminal Justice/Justice Studies programs and courses, please contact University College at Rockland or visit www.learn.maine.edu/rockland to view a complete course listing.

Staff are available to help you with registration questions. Contact URock at 800-286-1594.

Barbara's Journey Toward Justice: DENNIS FRITZ, KEY-NOTE SPEAKER AT THE MINNESOTA U.S. PARDON AND PROBATION CONFERENCE

Barbara's Journey Toward Justice: DENNIS FRITZ, KEY-NOTE SPEAKER AT THE MINNESOTA U.S. PARDON AND PROBATION CONFERENCE

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Combustible Dust: The Threat to First Responders

On December 19, 2008, Conversations with Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with John Astad and Bob LaPlante on preventing and mitigating fire and explosion from combustible dust. According to OSHA, “any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, it can become explosive.

The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings. Such incidents have killed scores of employees and injured hundreds over the past few decades.” As an example, “In January 2003, devastating fires and explosions destroyed a North Carolina pharmaceutical plant that manufactured rubber drug-delivery components. Six employees were killed and 38 people, including two
firefighters, were injured. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), an independent Federal agency charged with investigating chemical incidents, issued a final report concluding that an accumulation of a combustible polyethylene dust above the suspended ceilings fueled the explosion. The explosion severely damaged the plant and caused minor damage to nearby businesses, a home, and a school.”

Program Date: December 19, 2008
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Topic: Combustible Dust: The Threat to First Responders
Listen Live:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/12/20/Combustible-Dust-The-Threat-to-First-Responders

About the Guests
John Astad is Director and Research Analyst of the Combustible Dust Policy Institute. At the Institute, John tracks and researches combustible dust related fires and explosions. The results of this business intelligence data can be utilized by a myriad of stakeholders in the public and private sectors in developing cost effective strategies in assessing risk concerning combustible dust hazards in the workplace. John Astad holds a BS Business and Public Administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, with a major in Environmental Management.

Bob LaPlante is the General Manager at United Training Specialists (Phoenix, AZ). He has 29 years of power plant experience in Engineering, Fire Protection and Emergency Response Planning. His responsibility have included developing emergency response plans for power generating plants with regards to meeting OSHA, NFPA and DHS regulations and standards; and, developing emergency response power plant training, facility pre-plans, standard operating procedures and fire protection equipment maintenance and training programs for plant Emergency Response Team members. Bob LaPlante is a member of the NFPA, Edison Electric Institute’s Fire Committee, International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association and the Arizona Fire Training Association.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles
Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, Criminal Justice technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/12/20/Combustible-Dust-The-Threat-to-First-Responders

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Request For Proposal Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database System (CAPRAD) and Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) Support

Request For Proposal Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database System (CAPRAD) and Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) Support

Law enforcement and corrections professionals have expressed interest in supporting the Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database System (CAPRAD) and the Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) efforts via the National
Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) Communications Technologies Center of Excellence (COE). The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to gather quotes for the support of these two efforts. The COE seeks proposals from organizations and agencies that have capability and experience in the communications arena that can meet the tasks outlined in this RFP.

For a copy of this RFP go to:
www.justnet.org/Pages/RecordView.aspx?itemid=1832.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES IMPROVEMENTS AND NAME CHANGE FOR DRU SJODIN NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER PUBLIC WEB SITE

Changes Announced Near the 5-year Anniversary of Dru Sjodin Disappearance

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of
Justice today announced improvements to the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Web site (NSOPW) and a new internet domain name, www.nsopw.gov. The new Web address will replace www.nsopr.gov. The updated version has a new look, is more user-friendly and provides enhanced search capabilities to locate sex offenders. NSOPW is administered by the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART).

"NSOPW provides the public with information to protect themselves, their families and their communities from coming into contact with registered sex offenders," said Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, Assistant Attorney General for OJP.

NSOPW allows jurisdictions to participate in an unprecedented public safety resource by sharing public sex-offender data nationwide. It is the only government system in existence that links to public, state, territory and tribal sex-offender registries from one national search site. With a single query, NSOPW currently searches sex offender registries in up to 50 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia to deliver matched results based on name, state, county, city or ZIP code. NSOPW will soon link to newly established sex offender registries, including certain Native American Tribes and additional U.S. territories.

Since its launch in the summer of 2005, there have been more than 17 million NSOPW user sessions, with 2.3 billion hits. Today, NSOPW remains extremely active, averaging 2.3 million hits per day and 14,000 daily users. Additional information can be found at
www.ojp.gov/smart.

The Web site, initially known as the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR), was established in 2005 and renamed in 2006 by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act to honor 22-year-old college student Dru Sjodin of Grand Forks, N. D. Sjodin was kidnapped and murdered on November 22, 2003, by a sex offender who crossed state lines to commit his crime.

The Office of
Justice Programs, headed by Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer Justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

Local Author Gives Hope to Bringing Emergency Services Personnel Home Safe

Calgary, AB - Car crashes, drunk drivers, fires, abuse and violence all increase during the holiday season and emergency services personnel (ESP) and their families are often looking for a little hope amidst the tragedies and dangers they face.

“During the holidays, celebrations can often be overshadowed with concern when family members are out on emergency calls. It can be very difficult to cope with those feelings,” explains Maryanne Pope, CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and no stranger to loss. Her husband was Cst John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Service. John died after falling through a false ceiling during the investigation of a break and enter complaint, as there was no safety railing in place.

Pope’s company produces workplace safety public service announcements, educational films and plays, and now a new book to draw the public’s attention to the role they can play in helping ensure ESP make it home safely after every shift. Pope is hoping she can inspire optimism and create awareness this Christmas by sharing the intimate details of her personal loss with her book A Widow’s Awakening.

One reader, married to a firefighter, wrote: “This unforgettable book made me feel that although there are dangers faced by emergency workers, everyone has the same right to safety. The threats emergency workers face can be reduced.”

An engaging and powerful read, A Widow's Awakening is an uplifting story that awakens hope for those who may need it this Christmas. 20% of the proceeds are donated to the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization that raises public awareness about workplace safety for ESP. The Fund focuses on both building and traffic safety, including the ‘Slow Down and Give Us Room to Work’ message to motorists.

Maryanne Pope is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc. and the Board Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. Her products are available online at
www.pinkgazelle.com, www.jpmf.ca, and her book is available at amazon.com and in select bookstores.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maritime Security

The December 5, 2008, episode of Conversations with Cops at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion on Maritime Security with author Michael Walling.

Program Date: December 5, 2008
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Topic: Maritime Security
Listen Live:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/12/06/Maritime-Security

About the Guest
After graduating from Montclair State College with a BA in Biology,
Michael Walling served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years as a commissioned officer and a senior petty officer. His assignments included buoy tending, search and rescue missions, drug law enforcement, and oceanographic operations in the Arctic. As part of the Boarding Party and Prize Crew teams on two cutters, Michael Walling participated in the seizures of a Panamanian drug-runner and a Cuban fishing boat. His decorations include the U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medal (O) for counter-drug operations, the Arctic Service Medal, the Sea Service Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the USCG Cutterman's insignia.

Michael Walling is the author of Bloodstained Sea: The U.S. Coast Guard in the Battle of the Atlantic 1941-1944; an editor of the Sinbad of the Coast Guard; and, the author of Choke Points. According to the book description of Choke Points, “Stretching from the treacherous shores of Iraq to inner circles of power in Washington, DC, Choke Points leads the reader deep into the heart of the War on Terror and the real threats of attack on the U.S. This is the first book of the Fletcher Saga that stretches from the tumultuous Colonial times to the ever-dangerous present.”

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the
Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, criminal justice technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/12/06/Maritime-Security

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Public Safety Technology in the News

Colorado to Deploy COPLINK in a Statewide Law Enforcement and Public Safety Information Sharing Initiative
PR Newswire, (10/23/2008)

Colorado is the latest state to deploy COPLINK® for information sharing. COPLINK allows information sharing and collaboration among local, state and national public safety agencies. Colorado agencies will be able to analyze information from databases from across the state. The system can help quickly identify
criminal suspects and patterns to deter crime and thwart terrorism. With the addition of agencies in Colorado, COPLINK supports 1,600 jurisdictions in 20 states.
www.marketwatch.com/news/story/colorado-deploy-coplinkr-statewide-law/story.aspx?guid=%7BDF2D11EB-E653-4272-8884-7E1CD0791D4D%7D&dist=hppr

Progress is Minimal in Clearing DNA Cases
New York Times, (10/24/2008), Solomon Moore

Clearing the nationwide backlog of cases awaiting DNA analysis is progressing slowly in some areas. According to status reports filed by more than 100 agencies with the National Institute of Justice, progress varies among state and local
law enforcement agencies who received federal money to reduce DNA backlogs beginning in 2004. About one-fourth of the 105 agencies received less money this year because they failed to meet spending goals. The problem is especially acute in Los Angeles, where the police department has an estimated backlog of 7,000 cases. In October, federal legislation was enacted that includes an additional $1.6 billion over six years to speed DNA analysis through hiring temporary crime lab workers, overtime pay and lab renovation.
www.nytimes.com/2008/10/25/us/25dna.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Cities See Decrease in Crime With ShotSpotter
Norwalk Citizen-News, (10/24/2008), David Hennessey

One city
police department in the Northeast that is using ShotSpotter is seeing a marked reduction in gunfire. ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System technology can pinpoint the location of a weapon discharge or explosion down to the foot. The technology triangulates the location of a sound and transmits data about the incident to computers. police in Rochester, N.Y., said the city has seen a 43 percent reduction in gunfire since they began using the technology in July 2006.
www.norwalkcitizen-news.com/topstories/ci_10805511

Reverse 911 System Used in Search for 77-Year-Old Woman
Brenham Banner-Press, (10/23/2008), Angela Hahn

Authorities recently used Reverse 911 to help search for an elderly Texas woman who had wandered away from home. Reverse 911 allows emergency services to quickly contact citizens with information. The family had been searching for the woman for a couple of hours before notifying
police. After searching without success during the night, authorities activated the city of Brenham's Reverse 911 system. Residents who received the reverse 911 calls notified the communications department if they had seen the woman. She was later found unharmed.
www.brenhambanner.com/articles/2008/10/23/news/news02.txt

Retailers Use E-Mail Alert System to Thwart Theft Rings
Patriot Ledger, (10/25/2008), Steve Adams

New England retailers are fighting back against shoplifting by using an e-mail system to alert each other and
law enforcement to sophisticated theft rings. Organized retail crime is costing merchants $30 billion a year. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts and retailers' groups from five other states have formed the law enforcement Retailer Alliance of New England. In the theft rings, shoplifters work in teams; some thieves act as lookouts while others pilfer merchandise. Retail groups want tough new laws to address the problem. Currently retail theft is not a felony under federal law unless the merchandise exceeds a value of $5,000 and are transported across state lines.
www.patriotledger.com/business/x1904370820/Retailers-use-e-mail-alert-system-to-thwart-theft-rings

Washington Seeks Tools to Fight Identify Thieves
Insurance Journal, (10/24/2008)

Washington state officials are seeking innovative ways to deter identity theft. At a meeting in October, 90
law enforcement officials, victims' advocates and representatives from the financial and retail industries discussed actions taken to date and ways to improve on those efforts. Suggestions made during the meeting include applying facial recognition software to all Washington driver's license photos and business licenses, appointing a special prosecutor to handle organized retail identify theft cases, developing a shared database for identify theft cases, and developing a new identity theft educational campaign targeting seniors, youth and businesses.
www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2008/10/24/94977.htm

Prison Officials Looking at Cell Phone Tracking
technology
American Statesman, (10/30/2008), Mike Ward

The Texas Department of
criminal Justice is reviewing technology to detect cell phones in prisons after inmates used cell phones to make thousands of calls. During a recent contraband sweep of the state's 112 state prisons, officials found 71 cell phones, including five from death row, and 65 chargers. A variety of detection systems are on the market. John Moriarty, the prison system's independent inspector general, said some systems use hard-wired antennas that intercept cell signals; others use portable equipment to locate the origin of the signal.
www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/10/30/1030cellhones.html

New Communications Tools Help Emergency Responders
CNN, (10/29/2008), Marsha Walton

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and
technology (NIST) are working to improve emergency communications during disasters. Search-and-rescue robots used to help find survivors in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11, 2001 could not go far into the debris because radio signals were lost. NIST researchers have deployed a robot in an old silica mine tunnel in northern California to test how far the robot could go before the communications signal failed. The tunnel research discovered a "sweet spot," which is a frequency in mines, subways and tunnels where radio signals travel farthest. The information could help researchers design wireless systems that are more likely to function in a disaster.
edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/10/29/disaster.communication/

Atlantic Beach Crime Information Will Be Online
The Leader, (10/25/2008), Jennifer Knoechel

Citizens in Atlantic Beach, Fla., will be able to keep track of crime in their community online. Using Crimereports.com, a map of Atlantic Beach will provide the type of crime and the block where it occurred. Photos of registered sex offenders living in the community will also be available. The city had considered developing its own system but found a vendor that could deliver the service for less money. The city's cost for the services is $99 per month.
www.beachesleader.com/articles/2008/10/24/beaches_leader/news/doc4901cf516134d906105116.txt

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Conversation with Stacy Dittrich

On November 14, 2008, Conversations with Cops at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation with Stacy Dittrich, an award-winning 15-year law enforcement officer, author, media consultant, and former detective specializing in sex crimes

Program Date: November 14, 2008
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Topic: A Conversation with Stacy Dittrich
Listen Live:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/11/15/A-Conversation-with-Stacy-Dittrich

About the Guest
Stacy Dittrich is an award-winning 15-year law enforcement officer, author, media consultant, and former detective specializing in sex crimes. With past training by a former FBI Behavioral Specialist, Stacy is certified through the National Institute of Truth Verification as an examiner (CVSA- lie detector). Stacy has also been assigned to a federal drug task in the investigations of numerous homicides. In 2002, Stacy Dittrich received the Victim’s of Crime Award from former Ohio Attorney General, Jim Petro and is a certified law enforcement instructor.

Stacy Dittrich is the author of the upcoming CeeCee Gallagher thriller series about a female detective. She and her first novel in the series, The Devil’s Closet, were recently featured on CNN’s Nancy Grace. Based on an actual case Stacy investigated, the novel debuts in October, 2008, followed by Mary Jane’s Grave, the second in the CeeCee Gallagher series, debuting in June 2009. Stacy’s first true-crime book, Murder Behind the Badge, will debut in September, 2009 (Prometheus) and her memoir, “Stumbling Along the Beat: A true story of a policewoman’s journey,” debuts in Spring 2010.

Stacy Dittrich is a member of the International Thriller Writer’s Association, Sisters in Crime, and is a regular contributor on Women in Crime Ink, a new web blog by an impressive group of award-winning true-crime authors, print and broadcast journalists, crime novelists, producers for CNN and CBS News, television personalities, and criminal justice professionals. Stacy is also a guest contributor at OfficerResource.com. Stacy is co-owner of Justice Interrupted, LLC; an investigation and media team along with LA Deputy District Attorney, Robin Sax, and famed author and violence expert, Susan Murphy-Milano.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the
Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/11/15/A-Conversation-with-Stacy-Dittrich

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Friday, November 07, 2008

Calming Down: Could Sedative Drugs Be a Less-Lethal Option?

When law enforcement officers face a critical situation that puts innocent people at risk of injury or death, what options do they have to diffuse the situation and save lives?

Russian Special Forces faced just such a situation in October 2002, when 50 Chechen terrorists stormed a Moscow theater and held more than 800 civilians hostage with guns and explosives for nearly three days. Russian forces decided to use a gas to subdue the terrorists, leading to the release of hundreds of hostages. Unfortunately, at least 129 hostages died during the raid or in the following days. Some reports cited the effects of the gas — combined with the hostages' poor physical condition and inadequate medical treatment following the rescue — as contributing to the victims' cause of death.

The siege of the Moscow theater raises questions for
law enforcement in this country. Might calmative agents be a viable option for officers to safely and effectively respond to critical situations?

READ ON
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/261/calmatives.htm

DNA Solves Property Crimes (But Are We Ready for That?)

The study, funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and evaluated by the Urban Institute, compared burglary investigations that used only traditional police practices to burglary investigations in which DNA evidence was also collected and analyzed. The study revealed that, when DNA was added to traditional property crime investigations:

More than twice as many suspects were identified.
Twice as many suspects were arrested.
More than twice as many cases were accepted for prosecution.

The DNA Field Experiment also found that suspects were five times as likely to be identified through DNA evidence than through fingerprints; blood evidence was more effective in solving property crimes than other biological evidence, particularly evidence from items that were handled or touched by the suspect; and evidence collected by forensic technicians was no more likely to result in a suspect being identified than evidence collected by
police officers.

READ ON
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/261/dna-solves-property-crimes.htm

Expert Systems Help Labs Process DNA Samples

Criminal justice professionals who work in the field of DNA analysis know that a backlog of convicted offender samples exists in our nation's laboratories. It takes a long time to analyze a DNA sample of a convicted offender. Two forensic analysts must visually review the sample and apply a set of standard operating procedures that can have many sets of rules. The procedures can be difficult to apply consistently. After the review is complete, the data must be entered into the national database.

Completing all the steps quickly is a formidable challenge.

New software programs called "expert systems" are helping increase the speed of the review process. Expert systems capture all possible circumstances that experts encounter when they do their jobs and dictate what the appropriate responses should be. For
forensic analysts, expert systems not only allow them to get consistent, accurate results more quickly, they also help them review and upload many DNA profiles into the national database faster

READ ON
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/260/expert-systems.htm

Medical Panel Issues Interim Findings on Stun Gun Safety

During the three-year period from 2003 to 2005, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 2,002 arrest-related deaths to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Deaths in Custody Reporting Program. For many years, police leaders have sought alternatives to lethal force and better methods to subdue individuals to limit injuries and death.

Less-lethal devices have been used by
law enforcement for decades; during the early 1990s, pepper spray became the less-lethal option of choice for law enforcement and corrections agencies. Although pepper spray is inherently safer than lethal-force options and may be preferable to blunt-force methods, many advocates were concerned that pepper spray was associated with in-custody deaths. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reviewed those cases and, in 2003, issued a report that found pepper spray was safe and effective.

READ ON
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/261/stun-gun-safety.htm

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

American Heroes Story Contest

Law enforcement, fire, military and other emergency services personnel are our American Heroes. Did one of your parents, a sibling, a friend or even an anonymous American Hero touch your life? Who is your American Hero and what is their story? American Heroes Press is looking for the best stories about our heroes. You don't have to be a member of the law enforcement, fire, military or emergency services community to enter. You simply need to share your story concerning these unique individuals – whether funny, compelling or truly life-altering

The contest launches Nov. 3, 2008. We will accept submissions through Jan. 31, 2009. Winners will be announced April 1, 2009.

Grand Prize
One Grand-Prize-winning story will be selected. The author of the story will receive the following prizes:

Choice of $200 cash, or $250 credit toward an American Heroes Publishing package
Featured spot for his/her Grand-Prize winning story in the contest anthology
Printed and bound copy of the finished anthology

Runner-Up
One Runner-Up-winning story will be selected. The author of the story will receive the following prizes:

Choice of $100 cash, or $150 credit toward an American Heroes Publishing package
Featured spot for his/her Runner-Up winning story in the contest anthology
Printed and bound copy of the finished anthology

Finalists
Fifteen Finalist stories will be selected. Each finalist author will receive the following prizes:

Inclusion of his/her winning story in the contest anthology
Printed and bound copy of the finished anthology

All participants will be eligible to receive an electronic copy of the finished anthology.

CLICK HERE FOR CONTEST DETAILS

About American Heroes Press
American Heroes Press is more than just a means of publishing your book. It's a growing, active and innovative community of writers. Retired police Lt. Raymond E. Foster of the Los Angeles Police Department started this community in 2003. Today it offers a brand of publishing designed specifically for true American Heroes: police, military, firefighters and emergency workers. As an American Hero, great things are accomplished through teamwork. This community – this team – is here to help you achieve success with your literary work.

More information about American Heroes Press can be found at:
www.americanheroespress.com

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations

On November 7, 2008, Conversations with Cops at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation with Captain Franks S. Root, Arizona Department of Public Safety (ret.) on law enforcement intelligence operations.

Program Date: November 7, 2008
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Topic:
Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations
Listen Live:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/11/08/Law-Enforcement-Intelligence-Operations

About the Guest
Frank S. Root has more than 35 years in law enforcement and intelligence operations with special emphasis on complex intelligence investigations organization and case management. During his law enforcement career he worked for the Arizona Department of Public Safety (20 years, retired as Captain); San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office (Automation and Crime Analysis Unit); and, State of California, Division of Investigation (conducting criminal investigations involving identity theft, insurance, and consumer fraud)

Frank S. Root is the author of Law Enforcement Intelligence Critical Elements which “is described as a publication designed to demonstrate how to identify, develop, and deliver the various intelligence-related products and services required to effectively support law enforcement intelligence and operational managers at each management level within an agency.”

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the
Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2008/11/08/Law-Enforcement-Intelligence-Operations

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Public Safety Technology in the News

Vendors, Cops, Profs Team to Study Cybercrime
PC World, (10/11/2008), John Fontana

Public safety, national security, financial and corporate fraud, and individual protection against crimes such as identify theft and fraud will be the focus areas of the newly formed Center for Applied Identity Management Research. A group of corporations, government agencies and academic institutions have banded together to form the center, which will study and help solve identity management challenges related to cybercrime,
terrorism and narcotics trafficking. The nonprofit research corporation is headquartered at Indiana University.
www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/152156/vendors_cops_profs_team_to_study_cybercrime.html

“Brain Fingerprinting” Could Be Breakthrough in
Law Enforcement
KOMOnews.com, (10/10/2008), KOMO staff

A Seattle-based company has developed a "brain fingerprinting" process, termed "a lie detector for the 21st century," that provides court-admissible evidence of how a person's brain reacts to words and images related to a crime. Brain Fingerprinting Labs uses a
technology based on the premise that an individual who has been at a crime scene and is then shown a photograph of the scene, has an involuntary brain reaction that cannot be disguised. Its creator, a Seattle neuroscientist, has offered $100,000 to anyone who can defeat the technology.
www.komonews.com/news/local/30821859.html

County Jail Inmate Tracking System for Public Set Up
Sharon Herald, (10/24/2008), Matt Snyder

Residents of Mercer County, Penna., can sign up anonymously to receive notifications if a certain inmate is released or escaped. The Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification (SAVIN) system can bring peace of mind to victims and also provide information to parents concerned about child molesters and firefighters concerned about arsonists. The free service is available 24 hours a day and provides alerts either via e-mail or the telephone.
www.sharonherald.com/local/local_story_296214843.html

Equipment May Speed Emergency Response
Courier-Post, (10/13/2008), Adam Smeltz

An extensive
technology upgrade recently approved in Camden County, New Jersey, will permit the county's communications center to accurately track the location of its police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances, and allow the pinpoint tracking of calls made from newer model cell phones. The automated vehicle location (AVL) system, expected to be in place by early 2009, should improve response time.
www.courierpostonline.com/article/20081013/NEWS01/810130338/1006

NIEM Ventures Forth
Government Computer News, (10/06/2008), Joab Jackson

A beta of version 2.1 of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) should be released by the end of 2009. Based on the Global
justice XML Data Model, the new version of NIEM includes a number of new features, including version independence for separate domains and new vocabulary sets. The new sets include juvenile justice terms and biometrics terms.
www.gcn.com/print/27_25/47300-1.html

Got a Tip? Text a Cop
Battle Creek Enquirer, (10/13/2008)

Battle Creek's crime tip program, Silent Observer, has begun accepting anonymous text messages, providing citizens with another route to help get crime off the city's streets. A new software program called Tipsoft, which is available nationwide, allows dispatchers to read text messages onscreen and reply via e-mail. This new initiative allows tipsters to remain anonymous, just as they are when they use the telephone to report crimes to Silent Observer.
www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20081013/NEWS01/810130308/1002/NEWS01

So Long, “Crunchy, Old Yellow Ticket”
Neighborhood Star, (10/15/2008), Paige Winfield

A new electronic ticketing system in the Chicago area counties of DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry, Cook and DeKalb will shorten the length of time needed for officers to issue tickets and eliminate the need for manual data entry - not to mention making it easier for drivers to read their tickets. Officers will enter the car's license plate number and the driver's license number into a laptop, then make some menu selections on their laptops to produce the electronic tickets. The citations will then be automatically transmitted into a processing system, ending up at the county clerk's office.
www.southtownstar.com/neighborhoodstar/orlandpark/1221713,6_1_NA15_TICKETS_S1.article

License Plate Readers Help Recover Stolen Cars
East Valley Tribune, (10/17/2008), Mike Sakal

Since May 1, 2008, the Scottsdale (Ariz.)
police Department has used four automatic license plate reader systems to recover 26 stolen vehicles. The system consists of two cameras facing forward and two facing to the rear, mounted on a standard police cruiser, and capable of scanning up to 1,000 license plates per hour. If the system generates a "hit" on a particular license plate, it alerts the officers in the cruiser immediately. Of the 26 vehicles recovered due to use of the technology, five included apprehension of a suspect who was in the vehicle at the time of the “hit.”
www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/128338

Washington, D.C. Launches Crime Text Alerting System for Local Businesses
MarketWatch, (10/15/2008)

D.C.
police Alert allows the District of Columbia Metropolitan police Department to send text messages to local businesses, alerting them to crimes that have taken place in their neighborhoods. The messages can be sent to cell phones, Blackberries, and other paging devices. If anyone receiving an alert has pertinent information, that individual should call 911. Business owners and employees must subscribe to participate in the service.
www.marketwatch.com/news/story/washington-dc-launches-crime-text/story.aspx?guid=%7BD0922086-59DE-4D36-840E-6F3584BB834A%7D&dist=hppr

Officers at Risk by Resisting Armor
USA Today, (10/28/2008), Kevin Johnson

Law Enforcement analysts estimate that as much as 50 percent of all Law Enforcement officers in the country do not wear their body armor regularly, despite the fact that the risk of dying from a gunshot wound is 14 times higher for officers not wearing their armor. Comfort appears to be the major issue for many officers, and many Law Enforcement agencies to do not mandate that their officers wear vests when on duty. There is some concern that new body armor standards issued by the National Institute of justice in July 2008 will result in heavier, less comfortable vests. Affordability is also a concern for smaller departments.
www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-24-police-armor_N.htm

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Prison Rape

After more than four decades of research, it is still unclear how much rape and sexually violent activity occurs in prisons, jails, and other corrections facilities in the United States. What is clear from research is that, as with rape in free society, prison rape goes largely unreported.

Of the hundreds of studies in institutional corrections, less than 25 research studies have been conducted on prison rape. Of those studies, some asked inmates to describe their victimizations, including nonconsensual activities other than rape, while others examined official reports filed by inmates. Because none of these studies were national in scope, it remains difficult to estimate the extent of the problem. A meta-analysis of this research estimates a 1.91 percent lifetime prevalence for all inmates in the United States (Gaes and Goldberg, 2004).

In 2004, the Bureau of
Justice Statistics (BJS) examined administrative records from adult and juvenile facilities at State and local levels. According to these official records, slightly more than 8,000 male, female, and juvenile inmates—or 0.005 percent of the total incarcerated population—reported that they had been victims of sexual violence while incarcerated. An even smaller percentage of inmates' claims were substantiated (Beck and Hughes, 2004).

Thus, although the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) 2003 states that 13 percent of all inmates have been raped in American prisons and jails, the most recent research estimates less prevalence of rape, whether inmate-on-inmate or staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004; Beck and Hughes, 2004).

READ ON
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/corrections/prison-rape/welcome.htm

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Job Opportunity at the National Institute of Justice

NIJ Seeks Deputy Director to Lead Social Science Research Efforts

The National Institute of
Justice (NIJ), the research, evaluation, and development arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking a dynamic, enthusiastic, and forward-thinking individual to lead and manage NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE). ORE is comprised of three divisions: Crime Control and Prevention; Violence and Victimization; and Justice Systems.

The ideal applicant will have extensive
leadership and management experience, in addition to substantive expertise in the area of criminal justice. Applicants must have experience in long-range planning and development of criminal justice research and evaluation programs. Applicants must demonstrate their ability to build successful relationships and partnerships both internally and with other Federal agencies; State, local, and tribal governments; nonprofit and private sector organizations; educational institutions; or international organizations. A Ph.D. in criminology, sociology, psychology, or a related field is strongly preferred.

Duties include:

Provide supervision and oversight of an office of 25+ individuals;
Provide technical support and
leadership on a variety of criminal justice and social science research initiatives;
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with various high-level individuals within and external to DOJ;
Provide advice, guidance, and assistance to the NIJ Director on criminal and juvenile j
Justice research initiatives.

View more information about this position.

NIJ staff will be available to answer questions about this position at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology Conference in St. Louis, MO. Visit the "What's Up at NIJ?" panel in the St. Louis Ballroom B on Friday, November 14 from 9:30-10:50 a.m.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Public Safety Technology in the News

New Device Can Sniff Out Dirty Bombs, Other Radiation
Contra Costa Times, (10/02/2008), Mike Taugher

Law enforcement and other agencies have a new tool to alert them to small amounts of radiation. The devices, called adaptable radiation area monitors, can detect small amounts of radiation and identify what type it is. The device can be placed inside vehicles to patrol highways or survey stadium entrances, or set up on a road. It could be used in a variety of ways, for example, in a vehicle to inspect a parade route. The New Jersey State Police have installed the detectors in a fleet of vehicles. The equipment is small enough to pack into a SUV. The software allows authorities to immediately know whether the source of the radiation is from natural, industrial or medical sources or from materials that could be used in a dirty or nuclear bomb. The technology can detect tiny amounts of radioactive material at about 40 miles per hour, within 12 feet of the material. The technology was developed at Livermore National Laboratory in California.
www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/ci_10611239

Tiny Cameras Going With Seattle Cops Out on the Street
Seattle Times, (09/11/2008), Jennifer Sullivan

Some
Seattle police officers are now using tiny video cameras to record events as they perform their duties. The cameras, which weigh about 3.5 ounces, are made by VIEVU, a company founded by former Seattle police officers Steve Ward. He said video provides an accurate account of events during an incident and can be useful in determining liability. The devices can be worn on an officer's uniform, helmet or belt and can store more than four hours of video. Seattle police have used the cameras during demonstrations.
seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008172390_cameras11m.html

Dog to Sniff Out Phones in Prisons
Tampa Tribune, (10/04/2008), Josh Poltilove

The Florida Department of Corrections will soon be using a dog's powerful sense of smell to deter smuggling of cell phones into prisons. Razor, a 14-month-old Malinois, is trained to smell cell phones and will report for duty in November. Cell phones can help inmates commit a variety of illegal activity, including dealing drugs, planning escapes and harassing victims. Between July 2007 and June 2008, authorities confiscated 336 cell phones from Florida prison inmates. A state law took effect in October making it illegal to smuggle cells phones into prisons.
www.heraldtribune.com/article/20081004/ARTICLE/810040364/-1/newssitemap

North Charleston Police Take Step into the Future
The Post and Courier, (09/25/2008), Noah Haglund

The police department in North Charleston, S.C., is the latest
Law enforcement agency to use a wireless device that allows officers to quickly check criminal histories and vehicle registration. The handheld unit allows police to check a national database for warrants and vehicle information, before they confront a driver. Previously, officers had to call dispatchers to obtain that information. The device is made by the Atlanta-based American Law enforcement Network and costs about $400. The monthly subscription fee is $30 per unit. About 500 departments in five states are using the device.
www.charleston.net/news/2008/sep/25/north_charleston_police_take_step_into_f55749/

State Buying DNA-Testing Robots to Speed Up Results
Coloradoan, (09/05/2008), Trevor Hughes

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is turning to robotic analyzers to speed up processing of DNA evidence samples. CBI has a backlog of DNA evidence requiring testing, partly due to more samples being submitted from property crimes in addition to violent crimes such as rape and homicide. CBI already has one robotic analyzer, which is used to develop DNA profiles from convicted felons. Three new analyzers will be used for evidentiary samples taken from
crime scenes and suspects. The new analyzers are to be installed by the end of 2008, with technicians trained and using them by May 2009.
www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080905/UPDATES01/80905017

Grant to Help Solve Crimes
The Troy Messenger, (10/04/2008), Holli Keaton

The Troy University
Forensic Science Institute is using a U.S. Department of Justice grant to expand its services for Law enforcement. The institute offers training to Law enforcement and helps with computer crime research. The university also uses its computer forensic science lab to help local, state and federal Law enforcement obtain digital evidence. The $463,000 grant will allow the university to offer more in-depth training, increase cybercrime work and expand the lab.
www.troymessenger.com/news/2008/oct/04/grant-help-solve-crimes

FEMA Awards $17.6 Million in Equipment and Training to Smaller Emergency Response Agencies Nationwide
Media-Newswire.com, (09/29/2008)

More than 1,000 emergency response agencies in the United States will receive equipment and training under $17.6 million in grants awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is part of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security. The grants are awarded through the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). FY 2008 CEDAP funds are to be used for extrication devices; thermal imaging, night vision and video surveillance tools; chemical, biological and radiological detection tools; information technology and risk management tools; and vehicle tracking tools. Of the 1,045 grant awards, 79 percent were awarded to Law enforcement agencies. The rest went to fire departments, emergency medical service, emergency management and public safety agencies.
www.desastres.org/noticias.php?id=29092008-09

GM Introduces
technology to Slow Down Stolen Vehicles for Police
Canadian Press, (10/02/2008)

technology to remotely slow down stolen vehicles may soon be available. General Motors of Canada is introducing the technology through its OnStar service beginning with some 2009 model year cars. An On-Star adviser can locate a vehicle using a global positioning system and send a remote signal to slow a vehicle down to help police make an arrest. Police say it will help them catch car thieves and possibly reduce the number of high-speed chases. The owner of the vehicle must first contact the police and an OnStar adviser and request the service before it can be activated. Once activated, the suspect car's parking lights flash to alert police to the correct vehicle, which is slowed to a crawl so police can easily pull it over. The car's brakes and steering will still work; the accelerator will not.
www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2008/10/02/6959481.html

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Law Would Help Drug Enforcement, Coast Guard Officer Says

By Kristen Noel
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 2, 2008 - Legislation imposing tough penalties for operating undocumented semi-submersible vessels in international waters would help drug-interdiction efforts, the deputy chief of the
Coast Guard's Law Enforcement Office said Sept. 30. Self-propelled semi-submersibles, or SPSSs, are small sea vessels, usually less than 100 feet in length, designed to sink themselves when detected, Coast Guard Cmdr. Cameron Naron explained to bloggers in a teleconference. Drug traffickers are adapting the technology with increasing success to evade Law Enforcement, he said.

"Drug-trafficking organizations continue to adapt these vessels ... to our
Law Enforcement successes," Naron said. "These SPSSs were once perceived as a very impractical and risky smuggling tool, but now have proven successful as an innovative and highly mobile asymmetrical method of conveyance."

Naron said the number of encounters with smugglers using semi-submersibles to transport illegal drugs from South America to the continental United States ballooned in fiscal 2008, with 62 known incidents in the first three quarters of the fiscal year, compared to about two dozen over the previous six and a half years.

Coast Guard officials estimate that two to three semi-submersibles carrying illegal drugs travel up the Pacific coast each week, he added.

"In order to prosecute these cases, we've always needed to have at least a representative sample of the drugs on board," Naron explained, which is difficult and risky to obtain if the crew succeeds in sinking the vessel before
Law Enforcement takes control.

"These SPSSs are built to scuttle, which means to sink themselves very quickly," he explained. "And the time ... that it takes to get on board and try to keep them from scuttling is a very, very short amount of time that we have, and [it] puts our boarding teams at significant risk."

Naron described a Sept. 13 nighttime interdiction of a stateless semi-submersible detected 350 miles west of Guatemala, in which smugglers tried to throw a
Coast Guard law-enforcement team off the vessel by backing down and quickly reversing the engines. When the team clung to exhaust fixtures to avoid being thrown into the ocean, he said, the people aboard attempted to flood the vessel and escape through the conning tower.

"Although the scuttling valves were only open for a few moments," he said, "nearly a foot of water had already entered the hull of this SPSS."

Naron said the team recovered and detained four Columbian nationals who will be prosecuted in the United States. The vessel was carrying 11,850 pounds of cocaine, he said.

"The operator later admitted that he was trying to kill the boarding team by throwing them off the SPSS and into the vessel's propeller," Naron said.

If signed by the president, Naron said, new legislation approved in the House of Representatives Sept. 29 would allow for the prosecution of anyone caught on a self-propelled semi-submersible if it's on an international voyage and isn't documented in any country or registered in any state.

The legislation, he said, provides for a 15-year jail term and a $1 million civil penalty for the offense. It was passed by the Senate prior to House approval, he added.

"This legislation will allow us to prosecute these people just based on the fact that they were operating [a semi-submersible] vessel, subject to the ... qualifications," Naron said. "So, that will help our enforcement efforts significantly to counter this, and hopefully, this means moving drugs into the U.S. and other places will be significantly reduced."

Naron said the legislation also would help reduce the risk associated with drug-interdiction efforts by the
Coast Guard and other agencies.

(Kristen Noel works for the New Media branch of the Defense Media Activity.)

Mock Prison Riot® 2009

The Mock Prison Riot, held on the ground of the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsvillw, is a program of the Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, and an initiative of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The purpose of the Mock Prison Riot® is to showcase emerging corrections and law enforcement technologies and to give corrections officers and tactical team members an opportunity to use and evaluate emerging technologies in riot training scenarios. The next OLETC Mock Prison Riot is scheduled for May 3-6, 2009.

To learn more about this exciting event and register online go to
www.mockprisonriot.org

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Caribbean Studies Program

Since 1986, The University of Southern Mississippi has offered a wide variety of study abroad courses in Jamaica. This winter, students can earn four hours of undergraduate or graduate credit in one of 11 courses across a variety of disciplines. From December 29, 2008 through January 13, 2009, students will live and learn in the beautiful resort town of Ocho Rios. Students are housed at Turtle Beach Towers, an ocean-front condominium resort. Below is a list of courses that will be offered on this years Caribbean Studies program:

Art 492/680- Art Studio in Jamaica
Biology 404/504- Caribbean Marine Biology
Chemistry 332- Natural Products Chemistry in the Caribbean
Criminal Justice 489/589- Criminal Justice in the Caribbean
English 496/596- Literature in the Caribbean
Human Performance and Recreation 411/511- Adapted Recreation Techniques in Jamaica
Nursing 489- Health Care Delivery Systems
Nutrition 492/692- Food, Nutrition and Culture in Jamaica
Public Health 492/792- Public Health in Jamaica
Social Work 495/695- Social Development and Social Welfare in Jamaica
Sociology 489/589- Sociology in Jamaica

The cost of this program is $3,099 for undergraduate credit and $3,299 for graduate credit. This price includes round-trip airfare from New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas or Minneapolis; tuition; fees; lodging; ground transportation; field trips and some social activities. Students are responsible for food and personal expenses.

Students may apply for financial aid if they meet federal requirements for a guaranteed student loan. Non-Southern Miss students should contact the Office of Financial Aid at the school in which they are currently enrolled and seeking their degree. Financial aid agreements between Southern Miss and other schools are available, if requested. For information or assistance with this program contact Frances Sudduth in the Office of International Programs at 601.266.4344.

Spend New Year’s in the Caribbean and take part in a cultural and academic immersion that we hope you’ll count among your best learning experiences. For more information visit our website at
www.usm.edu/ip or e-mail us at studyabroad@usm.edu.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO ENHANCE EFFORTS TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

ATLANTA – Associate Attorney General Kevin J. O’Connor today announced almost $10 million in additional funding to supplement existing task forces and to expand the number of task forces working with community-based organizations to combat human trafficking. The Associate Attorney General made the announcement at the 2008 National Conference on Human Trafficking, where more than 350 representatives from federal, state, and local organizations gathered to discuss methods of investigating human trafficking and servitude and how best to provide services to trafficking victims.

“Human Trafficking is a serious
crime and deserves the focused attention of law enforcement and victim service providers,” said Associate Attorney General O’Connor. “The task forces receiving funding today are made up of both of these important elements. We will continue to use all of the resources at our disposal to make sure that traffickers are convicted and that victims receive the assistance they need to recover.”

Since 2002, the Department has partnered with state and local
law enforcement, and victim service organizations to convict 342 traffickers and assist 1,300 victims from 80 countries. In 2007 alone, the Department opened 154 new trafficking investigations.
Of the funds announced today, more than $4.1 million will go to task forces in: Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; Boston, Mass.; Suffolk County, N.Y.; New Jersey; Nassau County, N.Y.; San Jose, Calif.; Saint Paul, Minn.; Lee County, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Multnomah County, Ore. Three new task forces will be established in Westminster, Calif.; Homestead, Fla; and Pitt County, N.C. To date, the Department has provided more than $70 million in funding to these task forces.

In addition, the following victim service organizations have received funding to work with the task forces:

Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance
$230,000
International Rescue Committee, Miami, Fla.
$460,000
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
$460,000
Salvation
Army, Orange County, Calif.
$460,000
Bilateral Safety Corridor
San Diego, Calif.
$230,000
YMCA of Greater Houston Area
Houston, Texas
$230,000
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs
Chicago, Ill. area
$230,000
Safe Horizon, Inc.
New York City and Nassau County, N.Y. areas
$230,000
Salvation
Army Hawaiian and Pacific Island Division
$230,000
Justice Resource Institute, Inc.
Massachusetts
$200,000
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
Los Angeles, Calif.
$230,000
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
$230,000
International Rescue Committee
Phoenix, Ariz.
$230,000
International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo.
$230,000
Tapestri, Inc.
Atlanta, Ga.
$230,000
Catholic Charities of Venice, Inc.
Lee County, Fla.
$230,000
Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pa.
$230,000
Catholic Charities Oregon
$299,999
Salvation
Army Alaska
$230,000
Refugees Services of Texas
$230,000
Northeastern University
$299,999
The Department also announced more than $400,000 to fund two studies conducted by Abt Associates, Inc. and San Diego State University Research Foundation. The studies will assess criminal justice strategies and collaborative programs across the country and internationally that focus on reducing the demand for commercial sex.

The Office of
Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. More information about OJP’s work on human trafficking can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov. More information about the efforts of the Civil Rights Division to combat human trafficking can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/whatwedo/whatwedo_ctip.html.