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Back to Archives | Back to August 2005 Contents 


Digital Imaging for Safe Schools
The counties of Arlington and Fairfax in Virginia are no strangers to adversity. Arlington is home to the Pentagon, which was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001, and both jurisdictions spent 23 days in October 2002 trying to catch a serial sniper. These common bonds and alliances made the two counties natural choices to partner with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in a National Institute of Justice-funded project to employ digital images taken in schools as the foundation for constructing virtual classrooms to be used during a critical incident. With the photos compiled from each school, first responders arriving on scene have access to school maps and floor plans either through the Internet or on a CD-ROM. They can then use the 360-degree images to quickly ascertain trouble spots and develop a tactical plan even before entering the building.

The result of this partnership is a how-to resource guide for public safety practitioners and school administrators to use in developing their own response plans. The guide, published by the IACP Cutting Edge of Technology Project, is titled "Digital Imaging for Safe Schools: A Public Safety Response to Critical Incidents."

If you would like to find out more about securing schools and other public buildings, or to request a copy of the digital imaging guide, please call Al Arena, IACP project manager, at 800-THE-IACP, extension 240, or write to him at (

Identity Theft Assistance Center
The Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) announced it will provide information about cases of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in order to help law enforcement catch and convict perpetrators of the crime.

"For years, banks, credit card issuers and other financial services companies have shared information one on one with law enforcement. But this is the first time the financial services industry has pooled its data and provided it to FTC's Consumer Sentinel database," said Brian McGinley, senior vice president, Wachovia Corporation.

"We look forward to including ITAC's detailed identity theft complaints in our Consumer Sentinel system in the near future" said Lois Greisman, associate director of the FTC's Division of Planning and Information, which manages the agency's Identity Theft Program. "This valuable information should help the more than 1,300 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who use Consumer Sentinel find identity thieves and support prosecutions."

"Centralizing complaint information matters enormously in catching identity thieves, since one thief may use the identities of victims from all across the country. This is exactly the kind of cooperative effort that can make a difference in stopping this serious crime," Greisman said.

George R. Handley, Unit Chief, Financial Institution Fraud Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, said "the Consumer Sentinel database is utilized as a source of information to further identity theft investigations."

ITAC helps victims of identity theft by reducing the delay and frustration that consumers often experience as they restore their financial identity. First, the identity theft victim and the ITAC member company resolve any issues at that company. Then ITAC walks the consumer through his or her credit report to find suspicious activity, notifies the affected creditors, and places fraud alerts with the credit bureaus. ITAC is part of an ongoing effort by the financial services industry to address and reduce the human and economic consequences of fraud and identity theft.

The FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network has more than 1,300 members comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and Canadian enforcement agencies. Members of the network can access identity theft data maintained in the FTC's complaint database. National law enforcement members include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Secret Service and the Postal Inspection Service. Local members include U.S. attorney's offices, and sheriff and police departments.

Crimes Against Persons Age 65 or Older
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, has release a report showing that the elderly, age 65 or older, generally experienced victimizations at much lower rates than younger groups of people form 1993 through 2002.

Although persons age 65 or older generally experienced lower victimization rates, when they were victimized they were most often the victims of property crimes, which include household burglary, motor vehicle theft and theft. Compared to younger persons, the elderly are less likely to be victims of violence, but when victimized, persons age 65 or older

  • were equally likely to face offenders with weapons,

  • were more likely to offer no resistance, and

  • were equally likely to receive serious injuries.

Lower percentages of crimes against the elderly were committed at night compared to crimes against younger persons. About a fourth of violent crimes against the elderly were committed at night, compared to almost half of all violence against persons age 12-64.

This report and others from the Bureau of Justice Statistics are available through the Internet at (

Teaching Teens Positive Ways To Talk to Police:
All too often interactions between youth and law enforcement are contentious and adversarial. Poor communication and distrust may lead to unfortunate situations, even violence. But The Law and You, a recently revised program developed by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and The Allstate Foundation, can help. Since the introduction of the first edition in 1998, more than 100,000 community organizations across the country have used The Law and You to improve relations between police and teens.

"The overwhelming popularity of the first edition of The Law and You was clear evidence of the need for this bridge-builder between youth and law enforcement officers," observed Al Lenhardt, president and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council. "We were delighted to update this kit that will help keep the lines of communication open between youth and police for years to come."

With a fresh look and feel, the new version improves upon the well-received initial edition with a series of video vignettes to provide neutral ground for an informed discussion by teens and law enforcement officers about what young people should-and should not-do if they are stopped or visited by police. Four vignettes represent possible encounters: an arrest for shoplifting, a traffic stop, a loud party, and a drug bust. The vignettes are designed to launch discussions of the viewpoints of both officers and youth and how encounters such as these can produce the best possible outcomes in any set of circumstances.

To receive a complimentary copy of The Law and You, call 800-607-2722 and select option 6. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit (; for information on the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign, visit (

Online Publication
Adapting Successful Responses to Problem-Oriented Policing: "Researching a Problem:" This 72-page document (NCJ 209526) is a new COPS POP Guide and the second guide in the Problem-Solving Tools Series designed to summarize knowledge about information gathering and analysis techniques that might assist police at any of the four main stages of a problem-oriented project: scanning, analysis, response, and assessment. Access full text at COPS Online: ( (



From The Police Chief, vol. 72, no. 8, August 2005. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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