Mark Blackburn knows the clock is ticking.
The Sioux Falls Police Department has talked about the desire to increase demographic diversity on its force for decades, but the numbers don't add up.
A lack of racial and gender representation reflecting the growing Sioux Falls community could lead to troubling situations, said Blackburn, who has 20 years of experience as a diversity practitioner and training consultant.
"We need to be proactive," said Blackburn, a former University of South Dakota football player who serves as dean of students at Augustana. "We live in a great city and we don't have some of the issues bigger cities do. But if we don't try to bridge those gaps and channels of communication, then we will have a problem."
Sioux City Journal
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson began encrypting all 911 calls and law enforcement radio traffic Wednesday, meaning the calls and conversations cannot be tracked by the public and news media.
The radio silence reverses the decadeslong practice of allowing the public to listen and react to law enforcement calls and activity in real time. The encryption goes beyond the Sheriff’s Office, affecting 25 law enforcement departments that receive 911 dispatch service through the county. The change does not affect fire departments or emergency medical services.
Hennepin County is the first known agency in the state to encrypt the calls.
The decision was made based on the recommendation of an advisory committee. It’s a reversal in philosophy for Hutchinson, who in 2018 said he would not encrypt the radio and traffic calls. He took office in January.
New breathalyzer products claim to be able to determine if the person used marijuana within three hours.
However, Clovis and Madera Police don’t plan to use the new technology until laws and regulations are put into place.
“You need to make sure that the technology is direct and you have laws behind it,” said Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson.
According to a study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, from 2019, 14.8 million Americans admitted to driving within an hour of using marijuana within a 30 day period.
Unlike Blood Alcohol Content, THC can be hard to detect in the human body at accurate levels.
Right now law enforcement agencies conduct field tests administered by specially trained officers. If they find probable cause, a warrant is issued for a blood test.
VIDEO: In chess, a rook is a fast-moving fortress that can provide a player with a powerful advantage in the right situation.
Recently, the Fargo Police Department was given the OK to buy a real-world armored vehicle called a ROOK that is designed to give authorities, such as local SWAT officers and other first responders, a tactical advantage in the tough situations they face.
The $377,000 acquisition, which is being made with the help of grant funds from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, includes a ROOK tactical vehicle and a trailer.
The vehicle, which resembles an armored skid-steer loader and is built from a Caterpillar chassis, also comes with a number of attachments, including an armored platform that allows the ROOK to lift several officers into the air high enough to access a second-story window of a building.
Another attachment allows the vehicle to be used as a giant battering ram.
The Dickinson Press
A new piece of technology will help the Beaumont Police Department put a stop to gun violence. They're the newest recipients of the "National Integrated Ballistic Information Network", or NIBIN, an ATF tool. Basically, NIBIN allows law enforcement agencies to create 3D images of shell casings they recover at crime scenes. The image goes to a correlation center in Alabama, where it's matched with other casings in the database. If two casings are connected, officers know they were fired from the same gun. This helps narrow down leads, and collect evidence toward a suspect. Fred Milanowski is the Special Agent in charge of the Houston Field Division of ATF. He said they have 10 NIBIN systems across south Texas, covering all of the big municipal areas. Since 2016, Milanowski said they've 268 arrests of shooters, and 473 open shooting cases were cleared, thanks to NIBIN. Last year alone they took 135 shooters off of the street, and cleared 190 shooting cases.
KBMT-TV ABC/NBC 12 Beaumont