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Public Safety Technology in the News
 Moderated by: cjustice  

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cjustice
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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 05:24 am1st Post

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Montco Moves Forward With $40m Emergency Communications Upgrade
phillyBurbs.com, (12/21/2012), Margaret Gibbons
A Pennsylvania County is poised to go forward with a $40 million upgrade to its emergency communications system. The Montgomery County system receives 4,100 calls per day and is used by police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and the county’s public safety staff. The funding approved by the county commissioners will pay for infrastructure equipment such as additional towers and microwave relays, software upgrades to 3,400 radio units, purchase of new radio units, and a service and maintenance contract. The communications upgrade will eliminate “dead zones” in parts of the county and provide broader and clearer coverage in areas with tall buildings. The Montgomery County emergency communications center dispatches 93 fire departments, 53 law enforcement agencies and 23 emergency medical units and is also used to dispatch the county sheriff’s department, county road and bridge workers and park rangers.
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States Closing Prisons as Inmates Decline
Philadelphia Tribune, (12/13/2012), Larry Miller
Declining incarceration rates and alternative sentencing and other programs have prompted states to close a number of prisons over the past two years, according to a recent report. The report, On the Chopping Block 2012: State Prison Closings, issued by The Sentencing Project, said that in 2012, six states closed 20 prisons, potentially reducing prison capacity by 14,000 beds and saving $337 million. In 2011, 13 states reported prison closures, reducing prison capacity by approximately 15,000 beds. Changes in policies and procedures have contributed to the decline in prison population. From 2004 to 2007, 36 states instituted changes that included relaxed mandatory minimum sentences and changes in sanctions for parole violators, according to the report.
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Law Enforcement Desires Better Knowledge Management Systems, Says Rand
FierceGovernmentIt, (12/11/2012), David Perera
The most common information technology need among police departments is improved knowledge management systems, according to a recent report. The report from the Rand Corp., titled Keeping Law Enforcement Connected; Information Technology Needs from State and Local Agencies, is based on interviews with 26 law enforcement agencies chosen to roughly represent the size and geographic location of U.S. state and local police departments. The departments specifically indicated they need better records management systems, basic communications infrastructure and camera systems. The need for better records management systems came mostly from large police departments (departments with at least 100 sworn officers).
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Trenton Police Chief: 'Internet Crime Mapping System is Proving Effective'
Trenton-Grosse Patch IIe, (12/27/12), Nate Stemen
An Internet-based crime tracking system in Trenton, N.J., is proving to be an effective tool, according to Trenton Police Chief Jim Nardone. In August 2012, the police department began using a website that allows residents to track crime in the city and receive statistics via email. Nardone said crime mapping helps the department and residents by updating residents daily, allowing residents to see every crime reported, and allowing the police department to track crime nearly instantaneously and respond in a more timely fashion. Drawbacks of the system include that reports can change after they are uploaded to CrimeMapping.com, which can cause an inaccurate representation of local crime. Initial information about a crime can change or become inaccurate after an investigation is completed.
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Renovated Broward College Building Comes With a Crime Lab and Gun Range
The Miami Herald, (12/31/2012), Anthony Cave
Broward College’s renovated Institute for Public Safety will offer classes, a crime lab and a rifle range. The $7 million renovation includes an indoor, 10-station, 50-yard rifle range. The range complements a simulation shooting facility and a defensive tactics gymnasium. The public safety center will provide more than 5,000 students with access to classes related to law enforcement, corrections, fire science and criminal justice programs. The building also has the U.S. Green Building standard of LEED gold certified.
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More Firearms Uncovered at Airports in 2012[size=
Los Angeles Times, (12/30/2012), Hugo Martin]
The number of firearms recovered at U.S. airports in 2012 increased by about 14 percent over the previous year. As of Nov. 30, the Transportation Security Administration had uncovered about 1,500 firearms in carry-on bags and in the clothes of would-be passengers in 2012, compared with 1,320 weapons discovered in 2011. The increase could be partly attributed to the rise in the number of air passengers, which rose 1.3 percent during the first nine months of 2012, compared to the same period 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. TSA spokesman David Castelveter said the rise in gun confiscations could also mean that TSA officers are doing a better job of screening passengers. With few exceptions, passengers are banned from carrying firearms and other weapons into the cabin of a commercial plane.
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Crime Drops in L.A. for 10th Straight Year[size=
Los Angeles Times, (12/27/2012), Joel Rubin]
Overall crime in Los Angeles dropped 2 percent in 2012, the tenth year in a row the city has seen crime decline. Preliminary information compiled by the Los Angeles Police Department indicates that many serious crimes declined, including robbery, assault and auto thefts. Homicides were up slightly. Lower level crimes such as thefts from vehicles and personal thefts also increased. Aggravated assaults fell by 7 percent and robberies were also down. Gang-related crimes dropped by about 10 percent.
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ICE Excludes Minor Offenses From Deportation Program
Los Angeles Times, (12/22/2012), Cindy Chang
In a change of U.S. policy, illegal immigrants who are arrested in minor crimes will no longer be targeted for deportation. Immigrant advocates and some police chiefs and sheriffs have complained that detention orders under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Secure Communities program were being issued indiscriminately for such offenses as driving without a license. In October, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced that his department would no longer comply with federal requests to hold low-level arrestees without significant criminal records. Previously, federal agents were instructed to treat misdemeanor offenders as a low priority, but were not prohibited from issuing detainer requests for them. The detainers instruct local jailers to hold an arrestee for up to 48 hours longer than the person’s criminal charge would have allowed, giving immigration authorities more time to take them into custody. Under the new policy, federal agents may issue detainers only for those convicted or charged with a felony; those with three or more misdemeanor convictions, excluding traffic offenses and other minor crimes; and those whose misdemeanors are more serious, such as offenses involving violence or driving under the influence.
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