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Vallejo, CA Police outsource report writing

The Vallejo, CA Police Department is now using Tennessee-based Nashville-McLintock Transcrip-tion and Consulting Services, Inc. to write up its police reports. The reports are dictated into a digital audio file and then sent via a secure connection to Nashville-McClintock, where retired law enforcement officials write them up. With its corporate office in Nashville, TN and West Coast Operations located in Southern California, Nashville-McLintock provides transcription services for rural, mid-city and metropolitan police agencies—as well as district attorneys—across the United States.

Solving the need for law enforcement agencies to blend hand-written reports with digital dictation and high-speed security encrypted wireless technology, Nashville-McLintock offers patrol officers, investigators and district attorneys the ability to expeditiously document written reports by dictating them into any touch-tone phone or digital recorders. Reports are dictated into any telephone via toll-free 800 lines or dictated into digital recorders. These dictations are downloaded to the corporate office through a proprietary secure server technology and Department of Defense approved software.

Nashville-McLintock transcribes the dictated report onto a Word or XML document that reflects an agency’s official report form. Nashville-McLintock transcribes every written document a department needs, including: Patrol reports, Internal affairs investigations, Spanish-to-English interviews, Traffic accident investigations; Narcotics investigations, Detective interviews and investigations, Community Service reports, School Resource reports, Gang and Specialized Task Force investigations.

NCCIC opens

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano opened the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)—a 24-hour, DHS-led coordinated watch and warning center that will improve national efforts to address threats and incidents affecting the nation’s critical information technology and cyber infrastructure.

The new, state-of-the-art facility reflects the shared priority of President Obama and Secretary Napolitano to bolster information sharing and incident response in order to protect and secure the nation’s cyber networks and infrastructure. The NCCIC provides an integrated incident response facility to mitigate risks that could disrupt or degrade critical information technology functions and services, while allowing for flexibility in handling traditional voice and more modern data networks.

The new unified operations center combines two of the DHS’s operational organizations: the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which leads a public-private partnership to protect and defend the nation’s cyber infrastructure; and the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications (NCC), the operational arm of the National Communications System.

FL Sheriff’s Office moves to handheld fingerprint scanners

The Sarasota County, FL Sheriff’s Office has deployed handheld devices that scan fingerprints to aid officers working in the field. The Sheriff’s Office purchased 14 of the handheld scanners that connect to state and local databases and the FBI Repository for Individuals of Special Concern to identify individuals.

The devices allow police officers to positively identify people in the field, instead of returning to the jail to process the information. The devices utilize Motorola’s MC75 Enterprise Digital Assistant outfitted with a fingerprint scanner and idSoftware’s PrintSearch Mobile software, and costs about $4,100 each. Implementing the technology allows officers access to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s FALCON, a Web portal that biometrically identifies an individual based on fingerprints, pulls criminal information from state and local databases, and provides photos of individuals’ scars, tattoos and other identifying marks.

The devices use Bluetooth connectivity to let officers leave their patrol cars while staying connected to the database. The Sheriff’s Office is testing the use of Mi-Fi cards, mobile hotspot cards that can connect multiple devices, which officers carry in their pockets to allow them to use the handheld scanners farther away from their patrol cars during large crowd situations, like county fairs.

Microsoft, NW3C offer digital forensics tool

At the Digital Crimes Consortium, Microsoft Corp. and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)—the nation’s premier provider of economic and high-tech crime training to law enforcement agencies—announced an agreement establishing NW3C as the first U.S.-based distributor of the Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE).

A Microsoft-developed program, COFEE uses digital forensic technologies to help investigators gather evidence of live computer activity at the scene of a crime, regardless of their technical expertise. This agreement will make COFEE available to law enforcement agencies at no charge so they can better combat the growing and increasingly complex ways that criminals use the Internet to commit crimes. This distribution agreement broadens availability for law enforcement agencies, building on Microsoft’s April 2009 distribution agreement with INTERPOL, which is making the COFEE tool available to law enforcement in each of its 187 member countries.

Law enforcement agents with less than 10 minutes training can capture live evidence of illegal activity by inserting the COFEE USB device into a computer. The evidence is then preserved for analysis, protecting it from being destroyed when the computer is turned off for moving.

Dell delivers XT2 XFR

Dell unveiled the industry’s smallest 12.1-inch rugged convertible tablet PC that is the first with a multi-touch display, the Latitude XT2 XFR. The system is designed to meet the unique and demanding needs of customers in the military, police, border patrol, field service organizations, factory fulfillment and first responders. The Latitude XT2 XFR adds to Dell’s Rugged Mobility Solution offering that includes the fully rugged Latitude E6400 XFR and the semi-rugged Latitude E6400 ATG laptops. It also joins purpose-engineered products like the Latitude Z, Latitude 2100 netbook for education and Dell Precision™ M6400 mobile workstation. Features of the Latitude XT2 XFR include: At 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) it is the thinnest 12.1-inch rugged convertible tablet and starts at 5.4 pounds (2.45 kilograms) with four-cell battery and solid state drive[i], it is engineered and independently tested to meet MIL-810G standards for operation in harsh environments. Compression-sealed and rugged I/O doors, LCD, and keyboard, provide an IP54 level of Ingress Protection, or resistance to moisture and dust. The Latitude XT2 XFR can be installed in police or first-responder vehicles where critical information can be accessed with one hand.

Cellular Specialties unveils tracking solution

Cellular Specialties unveiled the Co-Pilot Beacon, the first viable location-based solution for simulcast CDMA Distributed Antenna Systems (DASs). The Co-Pilot Beacon is designed to improve location accuracy of cell phones and wireless devices outdoors and within buildings. Under typical indoor conditions, methods for location determination, such as direct reception of GPS by the mobile station or triangulation using the signals from multiple base stations, are not sufficient.

By placing Co-Pilot Beacons in selected locations, the mobile devices quickly and reliably receive fixed location references that allow the network to determine a handset or cell phone’s specific location. This information can then be used to aid the GPS receiver in acquiring signals if they are present or it can be used directly as a position report until more accurate information becomes available.

Co-Pilot Beacon features include: 100% handset compatibility with all CDMA phones; Ability to optimize location resolution for the needs of the site by simply adjusting the number of Co-Pilot Beacons installed; Compatible with virtually all indoor and outdoor repeater/DAS solutions; and Full coverage for all of a provider’s CDMA channels from a single Co-Pilot Beacon.

PowerPhone Inc. receives U.S. patent

PowerPhone, Inc. announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued the company patent number 7,515,693 entitled “Call Handler Systems and Methods.” The embodiment of the patent, PowerPhone’s TOTAL RESPONSE® Computer-Aided Call Handling (CACH) software application, gives 9-1-1 operators the ability to provide localized protocols and “pre-arrival instructions” for the broadest range of emergency call types including active shootings, domestic disturbances, CPR and suicide. Further, it allows 9-1-1 center managers and other stakeholders unprecedented insight into their emergency call handling operations.

TOTAL RESPONSE® is the first and only integrated protocol system designed to ensure each and every call, regardless of the incident type, is handled efficiently and according to an agency’s specific requirements. The CACH solution includes extensive management tools such as real-time auditing and retrospective quality assurance, detailed call logs and a protocol builder.

Houston training program goes high-tech

The Houston Fire Department upgraded its fire training facility. The training facility morphed from a garage-based facility available only to chief officers to a $2.6 million, 10,000-square-foot simulator warehouse that trains 4,000 local firefighters, as well as visiting firefighters. The facility has two bays for training where two separate incidents can be run at once or individually.

Simulations focus on large-scale, multiple-alarm interoperability drills run on a computer console with a simulation software program from Flame-Sim. The software coincides with a specific curriculum. The software offers firefighters a realistic simulation. Firefighters start at the firehouse, then drive the engine to the scene, receive instructions from dispatchers over radio, and must react accordingly on the fireground. The software can be customized as far as vehicles and scenarios. Structures can be adapted, fires lit in any room within the structure, and accelerants tailored.

E9-1-1 Institute hosts policy discussions

On Oct. 1, 2009, in Washington, DC, the E9-1-1 Institute hosted a morning of policy discussions regarding emergency communications. Experts and officials on hand from the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus, APCO, NENA, NTIA, DHS and the DOT discussed the legislative policy agenda for 2009-2010, funding issues, “next generation” technology and awareness and education for the general public. The three sessions of the event were: Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus Legislative Agenda Round Table; Next Gen Pilot Projects - Results of the Test Bed Participants; and Agency & Industry Perspectives on Emergency Communications & 9-1-1 Issues Round Table.

As emergency communications issues and technologies come to the forefront of both public and legislative policy, the E9-1-1 Institute has taken a leadership role in its support of the E9-1-1 Caucus and issue awareness, bridging the divides between corporate responsibility, general public awareness and local, state and federal policy. The event is one of many initiatives the E9-1-1 Institute has and will be undertaking for the public good.

Oregon builds statewide network

The Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network, dubbed OWIN, eventually will replace 80% of the state’s public safety infrastructure with a 700 MHz microwave system. OWIN was created after a mandate from the state legislature to consolidate the state’s four existing major radio networks and create a statewide system of systems for mission-critical, public safety communications. According to Steve Noel, the statewide interoperability coordinator, the existing radio systems for the Oregon State Police, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Department of Forestry are in need of repair. In addition, radio systems operated by public-safety agencies in jurisdictions around the state are often incompatible, and most of the technology is outdated.

Thus far, OWIN has completed for 680 miles of microwave pathways linking 28 separate sites and 54 microwave radio installations. When Phase I of OWIN is complete, engineered sites will cover the 18 counties of western Oregon—where 80% of the state’s population lives and works.

DHS’s new hiring authority for cybersecurity experts

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by announcing the Department’s new authority to recruit and hire cybersecurity professionals across DHS over the next three years—established to help fulfill the Department’s broad mission to protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure, systems and networks.

The new hiring authority, which results from a collaborative effort between DHS, the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget, allows the Department to staff up to 1,000 positions over three years across all DHS components to fulfill critical cybersecurity roles—including cyber risk and strategic analysis; cyber incident response; vulnerability detection and assessment; intelligence and investigation; and network and systems engineering.

Memex to use MI criminal intelligence system

Memex Inc., a leading provider of intelligence management, data integration, search and analysis solutions, announced its selection by the State of Michigan to deploy the state’s primary criminal intelligence platform, which will provide access to more than 600 law enforcement agencies, more than 21,000 certified police officers as well as numerous state and federal departments.

That platform, known as the Michigan Criminal Intelligence System (MCIS), is run by the Michigan State Police and will be used in the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center for Homeland Security (MIOC), the state’s fusion center. HP Enterprise Services, a leading global technology services provider, is serving as sub-contractor, working with Memex on this implementation.

The MIOC will use the Memex intelligence system to gather, collate, track, analyze and disseminate terrorism intelligence information. Additionally, the system will be used to counteract conventional criminal activity, including street gangs, organized crime and high-volume crimes. Just as important is the Memex products capability to assist the Michigan State Police in compliance with State and Federal laws pertaining to the protection of citizens’ privacy rights.

MotionDSP demos Ikena software for forensic video enhancement

MotionDSP Inc., a pioneer in advancing video forensics and image enhancement technology, demonstrated its Ikena® product during the GEOINT 2009 Symposium in San Antonio, TX. During the Symposium, visitors to the InQTel Carahsoft booths saw how the latest version of Ikena builds on the innovative technologies, ease of use and cost savings that made the previous version so popular with law enforcement, military and intelligence groups around the world. With the new Ikena, users will also benefit from significant upgrades in speed, functionality and processing quality.

MotionDSP’s Ikena products increase resolution and remove noise while providing advanced image stabilization. The software is able to enhance traditional surveillance video footage as well as video from modern sources such as cell phones, security cameras and YouTube®. Ikena runs on a Windows® PC, and can be used on a laptop in the field or a lab desktop system without requiring any additional hardware or software. With the simple, single-step enhancement capabilities, users can quickly and easily enhance faces, identify objects, and read license plates. They can also preview enhancements and can save high-resolution stills and enhanced videos to disk.

Published in Public Safety IT, Nov/Dec 2009

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