Friday, November 24, 2006

Police Writers adds two local police officers and one international

November 24, 2006 (San Dimas, CA), a website dedicated to police officers turned authors added Dorothy Uhnak, Dick Kirby and Mark Mynheir.

Dorothy Uhnak worked for 14 years as a detective for the New York City Transit Police. Uhnak's debut book, The Bait (1968), received a 1969 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel. The Bait was also made into a 1973 made-for-television film of the same title. Her most famous novel is The Ledger, which was adapted for the TV film and series Get Christie Love! starring Theresa Graves. Uhnak died July 8, 2006 in Greenport, New York, reportedly of a deliberate drug overdose that may have been suicidal

Dick Kirby was born in the East-End of London, England in 1943. He joined the London Metropolitan Police in 1967. Dick worked as a detective sergeant in east and north London and served on Scotland Yard's Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad for half of his 26 years of service. Throughout his career he was commended on 40 occasions for courage, leadership and his detective ability. He retired from the police force in 1993.

In addition to having published a number of magazines and newspapers articles he is the author of two sets of memoirs: “Rough Justice - the memoirs of a Flying Squad detective” and “The Real Sweeney” A third set of memoirs, “You're Nicked!” is due to be published by Constable & Robinson in April 2007 and a set of stories told from the criminals perspective, “Villains' Tales” is due to be published by Constable & Robinson in February 2008.

Mark Mynheir was born and raised on the east coast of Central Florida. Like most boys growing up, Mark enjoyed sports, mainly football and martial arts. In 1983, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After serving four years in the Marines, Mark changed gears and pursued a career in law enforcement with the Palm Bay Police Department (Florida).

During his career as a
police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a SWAT team member, and a homicide detective. As a writer, Mark has begun a Christian orientated series of crime fiction books called the “Truth Chaser Series.”

His first book, “Rolling Thunder” is described as, “Law Enforcement Agents Can Do It All. But Forgive? John Russell is the Florida Department of
Law Enforcement agent assigned to the missing Dylan Jacobs' case. But while he's tracking down clues in his professional life, a murderer is hot on his trail - his own flesh and blood. John's father relentlessly seeks something John refuses to offer: forgiveness. Forced to face the source of his paralyzing fear of thunder and his stolen childhood, can John find the missing boy without his personal life completely unraveling?”

His second book, “From the Belly of the Dragon” carries the description: “Caught in a Cult People associated with him have been killed, but Dr. Walter Simmons is a successful man. His books and tapes incorporate psychological principles with New Age, feel-good spiritualism and are a hit on college campuses. But when his top students join him for an intensive "training" program, they are actually joining a dangerous cult. Florida Department of
Law Enforcement Agent Tim Porter's daughter, Ruby, is lured in like the rest, the heights of a dream plummeting her to the depths of a living nightmare. Tim and his ex-wife are driven to their knees for their daughter. But what about Ruby? To what lengths can they go to rescue her from Dr. Simmons's clutches? Complicating matters is an FBI investigation, a corrupt chief of police, and a mounting spiritual battle. How much time do they really have?” hosts 218 state and local police officers and their 589 books in six categories. Also, features listings of federal and international law enforcement writers.

UN Deadlock On Defining Terrorism Persists

"Why is a terrorism definition so important? First of all it provides common ground for international cooperation in combating terrorism. It lays the foundation for requesting and receiving the mutual assistance and support required under the various UN counter terrorism resolutions and the 12 international conventions now in place."

read more digg story

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology

NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Professors Devise Way to Detect Secret Data in Photos"
Des Moines Register (IA) (11/19/06); Rossi, Lisa

A pair of professors at Iowa State University (ISU) are teaming with
law enforcement authorities in the state to create a better way to locate secret information concealed in photos that are transmitted over the Internet. Professors Clifford Bergman and Jennifer Davidson have trained current software to determine whether child pornographers and terrorists have included secrets in harmless-looking photos found on the Internet. The project was financed by a Midwest Forensics Resource Center grant for $80,000. The professors are currently awaiting approval to dispense the technology from the ISU Research Foundation, which takes care of intellectual property rights matters. The professors stated they hoped to hand out the software to law enforcement personnel at no cost within the coming few months. Bergman and Davidson trained the software to find the existence of secret information by placing concealed images in 1,200 photos in various ways until they had 10,000 images with different information included. They then introduced the vast database of images to the software, so it could tell the difference between a clean and an altered image. The university's new strategy should offer a more accessible and dependable way for authorities to discover whether or not a photo has a concealed image. Although commercial software now exists for these applications, it is costly and hard to study, as the technology utilized is a trade secret, Bergman and Davidson claim.

"Cameras Focused on Crime"
Dallas Morning News (11/16/06); Trahan, Jason

Dallas, Texas, began installing wireless surveillance cameras in its downtown core in mid November this year in an initiative to deter crime and reassure citizens that Dallas is safe. The surveillance initiative involves 40 cameras covering about one third of downtown Dallas. The goal is to reduce crime levels by 30 percent after six months, and the project has been funded with a two-year maintenance budget by a $840,000 grant from The Meadows Foundation. Dallas
Police Chief David Kunkle says downtown crime mostly involves the city's sizable homeless population, and fights among club goers and bar hoppers in the wee hours of the weekend evenings. Kunkle says crime is down already, and that cameras will help augment this perception. The department plans to monitor the cameras so police can be dispatched to the scene of an ongoing crime, as well as store images for two weeks to provide evidence for crime scenes. Dallas may expand this initiative if the project produces results.

"System Speeds 911 Cell Phone Calls"
Los Angeles Daily News (11/16/06); Orlov, Rick

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has launched a communications system that can save emergency personnel time in reaching accident or crime scenes by connecting 911 calls from mobile phones to local dispatchers, rather than the California Highway Patrol. A $2.1 million state grant covered the cost of the technology that is expected to aid 911 operators by allowing them to automatically determine the location of a wireless call. 911 calls are anticipated to grow by 1,000 per day to 1,500 per day, compared to the current amount of roughly 9,000 calls handled each day by the city's 911 operators. LAPD Police Chief William Bratton indicated that the system will allow the department to avoid boosting its staff of 911 operators by 95 employees as previously expected.

"U.S. File Access Aids Police"
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (FL) (11/15/06) P. 12A; Marquez, Jeremiah

A Mexican national, who has been deported from the United States a minimum of three times, was recently arrested again in California. Jesus F. Palacios has convictions for child molestation and grand theft auto. However, the Department of
Homeland Security and the Justice Department are focusing on preventing similar cases in the future by making federal fingerprint data more quickly available to local law enforcement officers. Roughly 50 law enforcement agencies in Southern California can now access fingerprint data within a shorter period of time to prevent the release of illegal immigrants. However, civil rights groups have expressed concerns that the new approach could discourage immigrants from providing important information to police because they want to avoid a check of their status.

"Camera Phones Focus on Police Use of Force in L.A."
Reuters (11/16/06); Serjeant, Jill

Cell phone cameras provide an easy way for citizens to record footage, including incidents in which police misconduct is alleged. For example,
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton is conducting a probe of several police officers after video cell phones recorded recent arrests. The footage reportedly shows officers using excessive force when arresting the suspects. Some residents in the community complain that police unfairly target black citizens, with one activist stating that video cell phone footage would not be an issue "if the police were not overreacting."

"Adding Taser Technology"
Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) (11/18/06) P. B1; Moore, Ronnie

Fort Oglethorpe, Tenn.'s City Council recently voted to purchase 30 of the most recent design in stun guns for the police department. The devices, equipped with video cameras that record picture and sound, cost $1,200 each. Fort Oglethorpe
Police Chief Larry Black noted that police officers now handle the most violent and dangerous suspects he has ever witnessed during his time in law enforcement. Taser International is the sole firm that sells the $800 gun, the price of which increases to $1,200 when the camera is factored in. The connected camera starts recording when the Taser power is turned on. Black explained that studies have proven that when Tasers with cameras are utilized, there is a conviction or plea rate of 96.2 percent. He added that the camera-equipped Tasers will have the extra benefits of guaranteeing officer accountability, reducing the claims of too much force, discrediting false complaints, and lessening legal costs. Meanwhile, Officer Greg Plemons stated that the Taser is another means for helping law enforcement to protect both residents and themselves.

"Taser Death Raises Questions"
Memphis Commercial Appeal (TN) (11/17/06) P. A14

Memphis, Tenn., resident Darren Faulkner, 47, recently died after receiving two Taser shocks from an unidentified
police deputy, after Faulkner allegedly attacked the officer. Though Memphis District Attorney John Champion says preliminary data shows officers involved "followed the policies" and exhibited restraint, Faulkner's death will revive concerns that Tasers can cause serious injuries in some people. Today there is international debate concerning the safety of electro-muscular disruption and the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a study to help understand whether the technology can contribute to or cause death and, if so, in what ways.

Law Enforcement Pursuits: Managing the Risks" (11/20/06); Yates, Travis

Newly available technology can help reduce many of the risks associated with
police vehicle pursuits, but many police departments are unaware of how to use the technology, and some improperly deploy it. However, better education about technology use can help make pursuits shorter and slower, and thus far less risky. One of the most important tools to reduce pursuit risks is the Tire Deflation Device, which can help safely reduce a pursued car's speed. The devices cost only around $400 each, which makes them a sound investment that pays for itself through collision and injury declines. Helicopters are also an effective tool for reducing the time and risk involved in vehicle pursuits by monitoring suspects' activities and alert ground officers when the suspects abandon their vehicles and where. The Pursuit Intervention Technique, which requires the police driver to ram the pursued car, is also effective, but must be used only with careful training. However, experts also note that officers need to be trained to maintain the safety of the roadways, surrounding drivers, and pedestrians above their desire to capture the suspect engaged in the pursuit.

"Va. Beach
Police Trace Victim's Cell Phone"
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) (11/15/06) P. B-7

Virginia Beach, Va.,
police were able to find a murder victim's killer by using her cell phone. The phone's global-positioning feature directed police to a house in Norfolk. At the home, police discovered the phone, the victim's purse, and a hooded sweatshirt covered in blood. A woman in the house informed police that she had loaned her vehicle to Christopher Eugene Hagans, her boyfriend; authorities located the car, with blood on the door of the driver's side, sitting on a street a few miles away. Hagans was arrested and is being charged with first-degree murder and robbery. He could be charged with capital murder, punishable by execution, because the victim, Elisabeth Kelly Reilly, was shot and killed during a robbery at a shopping center in Virginia Beach.

"Policing Terror"
Federal Computer Week (11/13/06) Vol. 20, No. 39, P. 21; Moore, John

A recent report from Rand, called "Unconquerable Nation: Knowing our Enemies, Strengthening Ourselves," emphasizes the important role local
police can play in homeland security beyond serving as first responders. In the Los Angeles area, local and federal agencies have put together a Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC) based on a Memex intelligence management and analysis system to track leads and information from all over a seven-county region. Such a solution can be difficult to scale when organizations begin linking to additional information sources, but JRIC is working around this problem through in-house replication of databases of interest. A similar system has been launched by the Louisiana State Police for counterterrorism and crime investigation, called the Louisiana Fusion and Analytical Center and put together by Apogen Services and based on Microsoft .NET and an SQL Server database. The system brings in incident information from police who contact the center, enabling state police to review leads and assign them to investigators with the help of an automated workflow script. Another component of the Fusion Center enables analysts to search multiple data sources with a single search. Another region that has put together this sort of system is the Seattle region, where the Law Enforcement Information Exchange Northwest has put together a data warehouse full of information from local and state agencies, with Northrop Grumman as contractor. Putting such systems into place involves more than just deploying the IT: there are also cultural, policy, and human-resources issues that have to be overcome in order for the systems to be a success.

"In-Car Computers"
Police (10/06) Vol. 30, No. 10, P. 34; Griffith, David

Computers have become so ubiquitous in patrol cars that some cars have more than one computer. A laptop that can be used in and outside of the patrol car remains the most popular patrol computer. These computers must be more rugged than typical laptops, due to the hard use they receive from officers and the constant vibrations produced by patrol cars. These types of computers, known as "ruggedized computers," have been tested for their durability, having been exposed to a variety of rough treatment, including drops, liquid spills, and shaking. Some of the leading manufacturers of these types of computers include Amrel, Data911, Datalux, Getac, Itronix, JLT Mobile Computers, Kontron, L3 Communications, and Panasonic. Popular computer models by these firms include Amrel's Rocky Unlimited and the Tracer from Datalux. The Toughbook from Panasonic is the most popular laptop used by law enforcement.

"Post-9/11, a New Push for Information Sharing"
Baseline (10/06) No. 64, P. 67; Gage, Deborah

The mission of the Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), which is sponsored by the
Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, the FBI, the Homeland Security Department, and the state of California, is to set up networks and policies for sharing information across agencies in the seven-county Los Angeles area for the purposes of bolstering public safety and deterring terrorist attacks. The center is designed to link the various agencies with international law enforcement agencies and local firms that watchdog potential terrorist targets or critical components of local infrastructure. Analysts think the time is ripe for JRIC because of technological advancements such as Global Justice XML and service-oriented architecture. These standards form the basis of Memex, the Windows-based collaboration software that lies at the heart of the center. Memex compiles, manages, secures, and circulates information according to participant-established rules; it looks for both structured and unstructured data, and can visually sort, connect, or display data. JRIC project manager Mario Cruz says the project's success does not hinge on the software, but on whether or not participating agencies can resolve their differences over what type of information to share and the manner of sharing. At this point no agency can link electronically to any other agency because information sharing agreements are still lacking. An array of analytical tools (Google Earth, Microsoft SQL, and ESRI's ArcView GIS software among them) are employed to filter information. "The people who work [at JRIC] now are interested in analysis and cooperation," reports LAPD detective Stanley Salas. "They really want this."

Article sponsored by
Navy Gifts and police officer turned law enforcement writer.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Convicted Cop Killer has Myspace Account

On death row for the murder of a Police Officer, he has a Myspace page where he, like millions of other people, talks about his daily life, his likes, dislikes, favorites, etc. In a recent new story, the mother of the slain officer was reported to have said, "To me, if ( had any sort of ethics whatsoever, they wouldn't want that sort of thing on their Web site,"

Find the hyperlink to the Myspace account, associated new stories, join the discussion and take a poll on the issue at:

Friday, November 17, 2006

Keating: Katrina Lessons to Ensure Better U.S. Disaster Response

By Donna Miles

Nov. 17, 2006 – Lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina have been applied to ensure a faster, more efficient and coordinated U.S. emergency response, the commander of U.S. Northern Command said today.
Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating pointed to a wide range of initiatives, all adopted after Hurricane Katrina, to improve the way military troops and assets are used during an emergency when called on by the president or secretary of defense. These include:

Thousands of active-duty troops are now on alert at any given time to respond to an emergency. These troops are organized into "force packages" sized according to "the magnitude of the potential catastrophe," Keating said.

New off-the-shelf communications capabilities ensure a steady communication flow even if local cell phone towers or the electrical grid are disabled or destroyed. "We literally put up a small, portable tower, fire up the generator and start handing out cell phones," Keating said. "That lets us get a first-hand assessment of the situation on the ground - a capability that wasn't in place last summer." Keating noted that while DoD has three of these systems, the Department of
Homeland Security has about 12.

The national response plan, revised by DHS in coordination with DoD and other agencies, ensures a better emergency response. "It is a more effective more efficient, more timely way of providing our citizens the response capability they need," Keating said.

Full-time, active-duty
military defense coordinating officers are now positioned in each Federal Emergency Management Agency region to coordinate with DHS and other emergency responders. By building relationships and an understanding of capabilities and requirements before they're needed, this ensures a faster, better coordinated response, Keating said.

NORTHCOM exercises its response capabilities "frequently and vigorously" and continually improves on its disaster planning and coordination. Keating noted an upcoming exercise, Vigilant Shield, which will test the U.S. response to a simulated nuclear accident.

As NORTHCOM fine-tunes its plans and procedures, Keating emphasized, the military's job isn't to run emergency response efforts, but rather to support civilian authorities when directed by the president or defense secretary.

"We will respond, as directed, with the capabilities that are in the DoD and the arrows that are in our quiver," he said. "We're not interested in taking charge. We're interested in saving lives and reducing human suffering."

That mission requires a deviation from the traditional military emphasis on command and control, he said. Now the big watchwords, he said, are "communication and collaboration."

"You have to be able to talk to each other," he said. "You have to be able to assess the situation and you have to collaborate - not just coordinate, but collaborate-on the capabilities we can provide, that the first responders can and can't provide, and that the National Guard under the auspices of their commander in chief, the governor, can provide."

This collaboration will ensure a better response and "avoid efficient overlap but at all costs, eliminate the seams," Keating said.

Articles sponsored by
Police Officer Gifts and Police Officer turned law enforcement writers.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Missing World War II Airmen Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are 1st Lt. Robert H. Miller, of Providence, R.I.; 2nd Lt. Robert L. Hale, of Newtonville, Mass.;

Staff Sgt. Joseph A. Berube, of Fall River, Mass.; and,

Staff Sgt. Glendon E. Harris, of North Monmouth, Maine; all U.S. Army Air Forces. Miller, Hale and Berube were buried last month and Harris' burial is being set by his family.

On Oct. 24, 1943, a B-25D-1 Mitchell bomber crewed by these airmen departed Oro Bay Airfield in New Guinea on a bombing run of enemy targets in Rabaul. As the aircraft neared its target, it was attacked by Japanese fighter aircraft. Crewmen from other aircraft said they saw the B-25 crash near a plantation at Kabanga Point. There were no survivors.

In 1946 and 1947, Australian War Graves search teams recovered some of the crew's remains from the crash site. Identifications were not possible at the time and the remains were ultimately buried at the Manila American Military Cemetery in the Philippines.

From 1999-2000, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) led a joint U.S. and Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) investigation and excavation of a WWII-era crash site in East New Britain Province. One joint team interviewed individuals having information on the crash, including an eyewitness who said he saw the B-25 crash near his village. Another individual found and buried human remains at the crash site in the mid 1990s. The team surveyed the site and found aircraft wreckage, human remains and personal effects. A second joint team excavated the site and recovered additional human remains and crew-related artifacts from the wreckage field.

In 2004, an anthropologist from JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) exhumed the graves at the Manila American Military Cemetery where he recovered the remains buried there in the 1940s.

Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or call (703) 699-1169.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kojak, Lone Ranger and Tonto, and other love stories, a website dedicated to police officers turned authors added Albert Seedman, John Sepe, Robert Wheeler, Joseph Turner and Anthony Schiano.

Albert Seedman, the once NYPD Chief of Detectives, recounts his career and the cases with which he was involved in his book “chief.” According to “Jump the Shark” Kojak was based on Albert Seedman, “an NYPD detective who was known for wearing huge gold cufflinks, etc., as well as being quite brilliant at solving crimes.” The book cover of “Chief” shows Seedman, an Edward G. Robinson doppelganger, chomping on his trademark cigar.

“Cop Team” by
John Sepe, of the New York City Housing Police, is billed as “the blockbusting true story of New York’s famed “Lone Ranger and Tonto” undercover cop team. The New York Housing Bureau was responsible for providing the security and delivery of police services to about 420,000 people using public housing throughout New York City. They were stationed in Police Service Areas (PSA), which are almost identical to police precincts, with nine PSAs in total located throughout the five boroughs. Police officers often did vertical patrols, making sure illegal activity does not take place in the halls, stairways, or the roof. The housing police was merged with the New York Police Department, like the New York City Transit Police, in 1995. Today, some police officers are randomly assigned to housing units.

Readers might be surprised to find that a retired motorcycle police officer writes romance novels.
Robert Wheeler, a retired Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer, has published two novels, "Love Forever Lost" and "Beyond Yesterday." Wheeler, a Southern California native who grew up during Hollywood’s heyday of the 1940s and 1950s, retired from the LAPD in 1980. Post retirement he worked in the film industry. In 1994, he pursued his goal of becoming a writer and subsequently published his first novel – “Love Forever Lost.” In addition to being listed on Police Writers, Wheeler is also listed on LAPD Authors.

Joseph Turner is a retired NYPD police officer who has authored three books: “Memorandum Pad U.F. 16,” “Partners” and “New York City Medley.” In his book, “Memorandum” it is explained that certain members of the New York Police Department are required to maintain a record of all duty performed on a Department Form called the “U.F. 16 - Memorandum Pad.” His book is a collection of stories told by five NYPD officers who joined NYPD in 1954. Using their pads, these five old-timers share funny, poignant and frightening stories from their careers.

New York Police Department police officer Anthony Schiano was also added to the website with his book, “Solo: Self-portrait of an undercover cop.” hosts 217 state and local police officers and their 578 books in six categories. Also, features listings of federal and international law enforcement writers.