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CRIMINAL JUSTICE NEWS - August 2005

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August 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice Newsletter
Terrorism and Technology
  Dear Raymond,
The Hi Tech Criminal Justice newsletter continues to grow with nearly 1000 subscribers. Our growing readership has help attract a number of first-rate contributing writers. Last month we introduced Todd Brown who continues with his series of articles looking at the intersection of police training and technology. In this issue, we introduce Jimmy Lee Shreeve, a London-based correspondent who has provided us with an excellent primer on Cybercrime.

The lead article begins a two-part series analyzing police officer casualties in the War Against Terror. In the next issue this series will conclude with a look at technology, counter terrorism and local law enforcement. Our final two articles take you off-site to the National Institute for Justice and National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence.

Counterterrorism Tactics for Police Officers
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.)   Police officer fatalities mount world-wide
The data from outside the US indicates that police officers are specifically targeted by terrorists. Like the US, many countries rely on internal police organizations to pursue criminal investigations against terrorists. Police officers are on the front line in the War Against Terror as they make arrests, guard critical facilities and respond to the scenes of terrorist acts.

A close look at terrorist incidents involving police officers reveals that fatalities and casualties have several commonalities. An in-depth analysis of the data on attacks against police officers has led to several recommendations concerning counterterrorism tactics and training for local police officers.

Cyber Sleuths
Jimmy Lee Shreeve, Contributing Writer   Computer forensic analysts - the consulting detectives of the digital world - are in big demand as computer-related evidence proves increasingly critical in solving crimes.
In the days of Raymond Chandler's wise-cracking sleuth Philip Marlowe, the proverbial "smoking gun" was a trail of physical evidence. Now, due to the proliferation of computers, mobile phones, PDAs and lately iPods, that trail often includes a good deal of digital evidence. Sometimes a deleted e-mail or Internet bookmark, retrieved by experts from the hard drive, is the key to getting a conviction.

In South Dakota in 1999, for example, a woman was found drowned in her bath. An autopsy showed a high level of the sleeping pill Temazepan in her bloodstream. It looked like a typical suicide - until investigators took a close look at her husband's computer. It turned out he had been researching painless killing methods on the Internet and taking notes on sleeping pills and household cleaners. Armed with that evidence prosecutors were eventually able to put him behind bars.

TASER® Guidelines
Todd Brown, Contributing Writer   10 guidelines for use of TASERs® in simulated training environments
The use of TASER® conducted energy weapons in law enforcement has increased dramatically over the last few years. The less-lethal weapons have proven effective in a variety of situations and their use has been credited with saving many lives, In many cases if the TASER devices weren't effective the only alternative left to the officer would have been lethal force. To say that the statistics estimating saved lives, reductions in injuries and cost savings to agencies resulting from TASER use is impressive would be a gross understatement
What Every Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence
    Best practices for identification, preservation, and collection of DNA evidence at the crime scene
The National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidences Crime Scene Investigation Working Group has developed two interactive modules of instruction on the identification, preservation and collection of DNA evidence at crime scenes.

The Beginning Module focuses on the first-responding law enforcement officer and the Advanced Level delivers more in-depth information for the detective and/or evidence technician.

Without a Trace?
    Advances in detecting trace evidence
Currently, law enforcement has no accurate way to match the glass shards or coated hair to known samples, and locating tiny particles of explosive material or body fluids might be difficult or impossible. But all thats about to change as new and improved techniques for detecting and distinguishing trace evidenceminute quantities of materials such as blood, chemicals, fibers, glass, hair, plant material, or plasticsare very close to being added to the law enforcement arsenal.

Connecting a person or object to a specific crime scene is often essential to proving guilt or innocence. Developing such a link is frequently based on identifying and comparing trace evidence. Because trace evidence samples can look similar and the environments where they are found are often complex, identifying unique characteristics and establishing a link can be difficult. Older techniques often cannot distinguish such evidence due to these challenges. New technologies for trace evidence may help eliminate many of these obstacles, allowing more trace evidence to be found and identified.

 
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