Where do the good ideas come from?
In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about—
and benefit from—some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented
by law enforcement colleagues around the world.
VIEVU Unleashes “Straight Shooter 25”—A No-Cost Startup Program for Cops Needing Body Cameras
VIEVU announces “Straight Shooter 25,” designed for agencies needing to capture video evidence from the “Officer’s Perspective.” Priced at $25 per month, Straight Shooter 25 includes the recently released rugged LE3 HD camera, VERIPATROL secure file management software that includes in-car mobile viewing, and free cloud storage access. There are zero upfront or additional costs.
VIEVU cameras are used in more than 3,100 law enforcement agencies, including the Oakland, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix police departments. Agencies continue to deploy body-worn video (BWV) cameras as studies continue to show their benefits. A study of the Rialto Police Department in California showed an 88 percent decline in complaints filed against officers and a 60 percent decline in use of force.
The LE3 is a highly secure HD video camera designed for law enforcement. The LE3 was built to make operation simple with its large slide on/off switch for easy activation in stressful situations. VIEVU’s accompanying VERIPATROL software exceeds current evidence standards and prevents tampering, editing, or deleting video using a FIPS 140-2–compliant file authenticity process. It also prevents unauthorized access if the camera is lost or stolen.
Commander Michael Kurtenbach of the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department’s Maryvale Precinct explained why the Phoenix Police Department decided to deploy BWV cameras on its patrol officers: “In March 2010, there was an unfortunate incident—a physical confrontation at a crime scene that occurred between a Phoenix city council member and a police officer. As a result of that confrontation, it became evident at that time there was a clear divide between the Phoenix Police Department and the community we serve.”
“While the cameras improved transparency and helped the department repair and gain trust, we also saw that the technology was helping our officers do their jobs significantly better, which was pretty amazing and was an unintended benefit,” Kurtenbach said.
For information please visit www.vievu.com.
WVU Launches Multi-Faceted Safety Mobile App to Campus Community
West Virginia University is furthering its commitment to campus safety with the launch of the LiveSafe app, which provides students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors an on-the-go way to connect with authorities.
LiveSafe is a free mobile application for Apple and Android devices that empowers the campus community to expedite the identification and response of any actions in progress, safety concerns, or potential threats. Kristina Anderson, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting that killed 32 students and injured 17 others, created the app.
WVU Student Government Association and the WVU Police Department collaborated to bring the mobile safety app to campus.
“One year ago, I ran on a platform of campus safety, and it was my goal to bring a mobile safety application readily accessible to students through a collaborative effort with university police, and we were able to make this idea a reality for our university,” said Jacob Evans, student body vice president. “We are starting the implementation phase, and in order for it to be as successful as possible, we highly urge all students to download, install, and use this app.”
LiveSafe, which is used on 10 other campuses across the country, enables increased safety by creating a new, two-way channel of communication between the community and safety officials. LiveSafe provides users a suite of emergency services, including options to
- report an anonymous tip (photo, video, and text options) about a suspicious act taking place.
- call campus police or 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.
- view a map of the town with the latest
information on crimes that have been reported over a specific length of time.
- notify friends in real time of your location and safety through a one-button monitoring service or an electronic escort service.
With LiveSafe, safety officials are able to better identify and assess threats, prevent crimes, and save lives, said WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts.
“The LiveSafe app will help to open the communication lines between WVU Police and our community to help prevent crimes across campus,” Roberts said. “LiveSafe allows every community member with a smartphone the opportunity to have a direct connection with police at all times to help ensure the safety of our citizens.”
The university community is encouraged to download the app and use it to report crimes, safety hazards, or suspicious activity. This service, however, will not replace the current WVU Alert text message system, which is the best way for the university to report emergencies to the community. The app will work in collaboration with other current services at WVU in an ongoing effort to maintain and provide a safe academic environment.
For more information, visit http://livesafemobile.com.
Independent Validation of the GE Healthcare Life Sciences and NetBio Rapid DNA System: A Fundamental Step toward Responsible Adoption by Law Enforcement Agencies
GE Healthcare Life Sciences and NetBio named several of the laboratories participating in the comprehensive developmental validation of DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System. Leading international and U.S.–accredited NDIS participating forensic laboratories are independently evaluating the overall system from “swab-in to profile-out.”
Chris Carney, supervisor of the DNA Investigative Support Database, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, added, “The validation of a Rapid DNA system with an integrated Expert System is a critical step towards enabling suspects to be identified, included, or excluded from the scope of the investigation while they are still in law enforcement custody. Our role as forensic scientists is to examine Rapid DNA technology and ensure the law enforcement agencies we support are equipped with an independent assessment of what this technology can do for them at the booking stations in the future.”
Results of the comprehensive multi-laboratory validation process, which includes meeting an extensive set of FBI Quality Assurance Standards, will be used to seek NDIS approval to enable forensic laboratories to submit STR profiles generated by the DNAscan System to CODIS. It is also a critical step toward the ultimate goal of obtaining approval for the DNAscan System to be used by law enforcement as part of the routine booking procedure.
Dr. Farida Alshamali, Deputy General Director for Technical Affairs, Dubai Police Crime Laboratory, noted, “We are excited to be a part of a group that is establishing the value of Rapid DNA analysis for law enforcement. Having DNA results in 90 minutes could speed up investigative leads, prevent future crimes, and provide safer communities.”
In addition to NetBio, some of the laboratories participating in the developmental validation of the DNAscan System include Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences; Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Michigan State Police; and Dubai Police Crime Laboratory. ♦
For more information, visit www.gehealthcare.com.