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In This Issue: July 27, 2017
NLECTC Spotlight

Survey of Law Enforcement

The Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, is conducting a survey of law enforcement as part of development of the Measuring What Matters: Building Trust and Legitimacy program. VCPI is currently researching and cataloging input from the field on current practices within law enforcement organizations and the community that are working or not working, effective or ineffective, in building and sustaining community trust. The anonymous survey should take about 20 minutes to complete. To participate, go to If you have questions, contact David Gardner at

Read National Institute of Justice Acting Director Dr. Howard Spivak's New Message, "Equipment Guidance From NIJ and Our Expanding Standards Program."

Acting Director Howard Spivak announces NIJ's plans to work with private-sector product certifiers to develop acceptable equipment performance criteria by which NIJ would recognize private certification programs. This pilot approach will expand the types of criminal justice equipment addressed, such as civil disturbance unit personal protective equipment, without increasing costs. Read more in the Director's Corner at

VALOR Digital Dispatch

VALOR Digital Dispatch provides officer safety-related articles, resources, upcoming VALOR trainings, new resources added to the VALOR Web Portal and research studies that are relevant for the law enforcement community. The Dispatch is provided to all members of the VALOR Web Portal, Contact to submit an article for consideration in the VALOR Digital Dispatch. The VALOR program is sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Report: Officer Safety and Wellness Group

The Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services have released Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting Summary: Improving Law Enforcement Resilience - Lessons and Recommendations. This report summarizes the October 2016 OSW meeting during which participants discussed promising practices for supporting officer resilience. To read the report, go to

Latest Issue of AJAlert

Go to to read the latest issue of AJAlert, the newsletter of the American Jail Association. Browse news briefs and learn about upcoming events.

Federal Funding Opportunities:

FY 2017 BJA: A State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Information Sharing and Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative Technical Assistance Program FY 2017 Competitive Grant Announcement,
all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 17, 2017.

FY 2017 BJA: A National Training and Technical Assistance Initiative to Improve Police-Based Responses to People with Mental Health Disorders and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,
all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 22, 2017.

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Cleveland Officer's Possible Fentanyl Exposure Highlights Drug's Threat to Police, Children, (07/19/2017), Justin Madden
A Cleveland police officer was accidentally exposed to possible fentanyl while executing a warrant in the city's North Collinwood neighborhood and was hospitalized. Law enforcement officials in Northeast Ohio are warning of how exposure to the drug can harm or kill people who simply come into contact with the powerful opioid. Cleveland police Lt. Michael Connelly said half of Cuyahoga County's overdoses happen within Cleveland's city limits, creating a greater risk for officers to be exposed to the drug. Connelly said using drugs on a coffee table can put a small child at risk for an overdose.
Link to Article

New Crime Scene Tech Team Up and Running in Calhoun County, (07/21/2017), Christine VanTimmeren
Calhoun County, Mich. has a new crime scene tech team. The crime lab will be housed at the Marshall Law Enforcement Center and two deputies from Calhoun County and two officers from the Albion Police Department will now respond to major crimes across the county. The Michigan State Police or Battle Creek Police typically respond for crime scene processing. The new team will handle many of those cases instead, possibly getting to the scene quicker.
Link to Article

DPS Crime Lab to Start Charging Law Enforcement Agencies
KXAN, (07/20/2017), Calily Bien
The Texas Department of Public Safety says its crime lab will now have to charge local agencies for various testing services beginning Sept. 1. The charges are to make up for an $11.5 million reduction in funding for the department's crime lab. DPS will charge for alcohol analysis, controlled substances, DNA and toxicology analysis.
Link to Article

DPS to Get $600,000 Upgrade of New Dispatch System
Tucson News Now, (07/23/2017), Evan Schreiber
The Arizona Department of Public Safety will use a $600,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety for a new, statewide computer-aided dispatch system. The new system will allow the agency to coordinate more quickly with other state law enforcement and government agencies, particularly the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Link to Article

Madison Police Are Now in the Air, Thanks to Two New Drones
WiscNews, (07/25/2017), Chris Aadland
The police department in Madison, Wis. is among the latest law enforcement agencies to begin using unmanned aircraft systems. The department has deployed its new drone team five times since June, including an incident in which police used a drone to help map the scene of a homicide and armed robbery at a restaurant. The department's drones can carry three types of cameras, including an infrared camera. Madison police anticipate using the aircraft for search-and-rescue operations, to look for fugitives, to map crime scenes or help guide officers in tactical situations.
Link to Article

Harris County Sheriff's Office Equips Deputies Against Deadly Opioids
Houston Chronicle, (07/24/2017), St. John Barned-Smith
The Harris County Sheriff's Office in Texas is equipping deputies with protective gloves, respirators and anti-overdose nasal sprays to protect officers from accidental exposure to dangerous opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil. Officials with Harris County said deputies are also being trained on how to avoid exposure to the drugs. Earlier this month, the Houston Police Department and officials from other local law enforcement agencies said they would stop performing roadside tests of substances believed to be illicit drugs.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Local Jail Ending In-Person Visits; Switching to Video Chats
WPRI, (07/20/2017), Alexandra Venancio and Tim White
The Bristol County House of Corrections in North Dartmouth, Mass., will soon replace in-person visits between inmates and their family members and friends with video calls. Officials said the switch is to prevent drugs and contraband from coming into the facility. Visitors will use a converted trailer on the grounds of the facility containing video units to connect with inmates.
Link to Article

'Arts in Corrections' Expands to All 35 State Prisons, Including CIM and CIW
Champion Newspapers, (07/22/2017), Josh Thompson
Instruction in guitar, dance, acting, storytelling and creative writing are among the programs being offered to inmates at California's 35 prison facilities, including the California Institution for Men and California Institution for Women in Chino. The Sacramento-based California Arts Council awarded contracts to a dozen arts organizations this month to help provide rehabilitative services to thousands of inmates through the prison system's Arts in Corrections program. Since launching Arts in Corrections in 2013, the state increased its $2.5 million investment in the first two years to an $8 million investment, officials said.
Link to Article

Jails Had Different Experiences With Inmate Tablets
The Times Herald, (07/13/2017), Bob Gross
Two Michigan jails have had varying success with providing tablets to inmates. A pilot program at the Sanilac County Jail was suspended after about four months because jail officials were not able to control use of the tablets beyond taking them away, rather than being able to deny access remotely. A one-year-old program that provides inmates at the St. Clair County jail with tablets requires inmates to sign in with a PIN specific to them. Sergeants can go into the administrative system and deny access. Each housing unit has eight tablets, rather than the tablets being assigned to individual inmates. Both jurisdictions say the tablets keep inmates occupied and can provide a means to contact family and connect with educational opportunities.
Link to Article

Threat From the Sky: 35 Drones Already Spotted at GA Prisons This Year
Fox5, (07/18/2017), Randy Travis
Prison staff have spotted 35 drones near Georgia State Prisons so far this year, compared to three spotted from 2013 through 2016. Officers have recovered several drones along with the contraband attached, usually with some fishing line that can be released by remote control. Typically, the packages include cell phones, chargers and tobacco. The Department of Corrections plans to test an early detection system for incoming drones.
Link to Article

Federal Judge Orders Texas Prison System to Provide A/C for Heat-Sensitive Inmates at Pack Unit
Houston Chronicle, (07/19/2017), Gabrielle Banks
A federal judge recently ordered Texas officials to provide air-conditioned living quarters for elderly, disabled and other heat-sensitive inmates at the Pack Unit northwest of Houston. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison gave the state 15 days to draft a plan to ensure that 475 vulnerable inmates have living units cooled to no more than 88 degrees and that 1,000 others have easy access to indoor respite areas. The prison must also develop a heat-wave policy to prevent further injuries and install insect-proof window screens. The preliminary injunction, the result of a lawsuit filed by inmates, will remain in place for 90 days, which should carry the order through the hottest months. State officials said they would appeal the decision.
Link to Article

NC Prisons Get Tougher in Fight Against Smuggled Drugs and Cellphones
Charlotte Observer, (07/21/2017), Ames Alexander and Gavin Off
North Carolina officials have begun testing ways to prevent employees from smuggling contraband to inmates. The move comes following an investigation published by the Charlotte Observer. At Lanesboro Correctional Institution, for example, workers reporting for duty must take off their shoes and pass them through an X-ray machine, staff members told the Observer. Employees are also now required to walk past devices that are designed to find contraband cellphones.
Link to Article

Santa Clara County: Fentanyl Suspected in Inmate Overdoses
The Mercury News, (07/20/2017), Tracey Kaplan
Authorities suspect that four Santa Clara County inmates who overdosed most likely used fentanyl, an opioid pain reliever 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin. The inmates were found in medical distress at the Main Jail and taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and have recovered. Officials said fentanyl is suspected in the overdoses based on witness statements, the inmates' symptoms and their responsiveness to naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid overdoses and which jail medical staff administered. The sheriff's office plans to conduct an emergency training of 150 correctional officers on how to use naloxone.
Link to Article

Providing Inmates With Tablets Keeps Jails Safer, Officials Say
ABC3340, (07/19/2017), Jennifer Gonsoulin
Walker County, Ala. is providing inmates with mobile tablets, which officials say is keeping the jail safer for inmates, staff and the community. Inmates use the technology to communicate with family. The tablets are mostly stationed inside dorms, and cannot be taken to cells. They are used under a closed circuit system, so inmates have no access to the Internet. All communication is legally monitored. Using the tablets also helps keep contraband out of the jail.
Link to Article

Let's Stop Using Ankle Bracelets to Monitor Offenders
IEEE Spectrum, (07/20/2017), Robert S. Gable
This article discusses the evolution of offender-monitoring technology and an alternative approach based on smartphones rather than ankle bracelets.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:

  • Collecting Footwear and Tire Impressions in Snow - On demand presentation
  • National Commission on Correctional Health Care: Correctional Health Care Leadership Institute, Las Vegas, NV, July 28 - 29, 2017
  • National Commission on Correctional Health Care: Correctional Mental Health Care Conference, Las Vegas, NV, July 30 – 31, 2017
  • American Correctional Association, 147th Congress of Correction, St. Louis, MO, Aug. 18-22, 2017
  • American Probation and Parole Association, 42nd Annual Training Institute, New York, NY, Aug. 27-30, 2017
  • Third World Congress on Probation, Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 12-14, 2017
  • 11th Annual National Missing and Unidentified Persons Conference, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 19-21, 2017
  • International Community Corrections Association, 25th Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, Oct. 29 - Nov. 1, 2017

For additional information on these events go to:

New Publications

Sharing Ideas and Resources To Keep Our Nation's Schools Safe! Volume 5,
Justice Technology Information Center,

The Use and Impact of Correctional Programming for Inmates on Pre- and Post-Release Outcomes,
National Institute of Justice,

Drugs of Abuse, A DEA Resource Guide,
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration,

2017 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report,
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund,


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