Monday, April 2, 2007

Surveillance and recording criminals in the real world

"Police Record Calls Using Audio, Video"
State (SC) (03/25/07)
The Bluffton Police Department and Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina have been using digital audio and video recording to capture on-the-scene evidence. Recording eyewitnesses and victim statements at the scene is one way to ensure stories do not change when a trial comes to court. Furthermore South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster notes that police do not have to inform suspects that they are being recorded. In some cases South Carolina police are using small microphones attached to their lapels or collars to record audio from on-the-scene interviews. Audio information can also be stored on a laptop's hard drive affixed in the patrol car, which means that audio recording devices will have copious room for recording. The Bluffton Police Department plans to spend about $18,000 on a central server to archive and track their audio recordings, according to Chief David McAllister.

"City Surveillance Cameras Will Also Transmit High-Speed Internet Access"
Buffalo News (03/22/07) P. B1; Meyer, Brian
The city of Buffalo plans to start a $4.4 million pilot project this spring involving five surveillance cameras placed in high-crime areas. The cameras will also be able to transmit broadband Internet connectivity at no cost citywide. Later in 2007, the initiative will broaden to 32 cameras installed near schools, in business districts, and near border crossings. Dorothy A. Johnson, executive director of the state control board, which endorsed the city's plan on March 22, is confident the surveillance effort will help the city dispatch its police officers more effectively. "This is a way that they can make the smartest use of their personnel," she said. The initiative is just one part of a $10 million bundle of projects advocated by Mayor Byron W. Brown and approved by the control board. Other approved projects include a 311 calling system for non-emergency problems and pay-and-display parking meters. Brown now hopes to secure $1 million in federal funds to enlarge the surveillance program to include up to 45 cameras.
"Running New Tests on Old Evidence Could Help Solve Woman's Murder"
Arizona Republic (03/23/07) P. 8; Ferraresi, Michael
Scottsdale, Ariz., police are opening some unsolved homicide cases from two decades ago in order to obtain DNA evidence and find suspected murderers. Scottsdale lead investigator of cold cases Lt. Craig Chrzanowski says the department is using new technology to harvest fingerprint and DNA evidence from a 1978 murder case. The case involves the stabbing death of Patty Kerger, then 30 years old. Police suspected it was a crime of passion, but never could solve it.

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