Fostering Innovation in U.S. Law Enforcement: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for Improving Law Enforcement Operations and Outcomes

Fostering Innovation in U.S. Law Enforcement: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for Improving Law Enforcement Operations and Outcomes. RAND Corporation. John S. Hollywood et al. August 30, 2017.

The National Institute of Justice tasked RAND to host a panel of law enforcement experts to identify high-priority needs for innovation in law enforcement, covering advances in technology, policy, and practice. The needs discussed in this report can help prioritize research, development, and dissemination efforts in ways that will provide the greatest value to law enforcement practitioners.

The panel identified four top findings. First, there is a need to improve practitioners’ knowledge of available research and technology, starting with a central knowledge repository and research on how to improve dissemination and training methods. Second, there is a need for practices and technologies to improve police-community relations, both to improve encounters with the public and to improve community relations more broadly. Third, there is a need to improve the sharing and use of information in a range of ways. These include means to get crime analysis capabilities to all agencies (including small and disadvantaged agencies), software development to reduce information overload, and model proposal and contract language to make systems interoperable. Fourth, there is a need to reduce backlogs in forensic processing; panelists suggested broadening U.S. Department of Justice forensic grants outside of DNA to help address the backlogs.

Additional high-priority needs included further development of policies and use cases for unmanned aerial vehicles, best practices for selecting and using personal gear, and improving defenses against active shooters. The latter included improving both suspicious activity reporting processes and efforts to educate the public on responding to an active shooter. There is also a need for a review of technologies that might improve officers’ health. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 152 pages, 1.61 MB].

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2016 Law Enforcement Use of Social Media Survey

2016 Law Enforcement Use of Social Media Survey: A Joint Publication by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Urban Institute. KiDeuk Kim, Ashlin Oglesby-Neal, Edward Mohr. March 3, 2017

A national scan of practice among law enforcement agencies across the United States reveals that they use social media to notify the public of safety concerns, manage public relations, and gather evidence for criminal investigations. The Urban Institute and the International Association of Chiefs of Police partnered to develop a comprehensive understanding of law enforcement’s use of social media. A total of 539 agencies representing 48 states participated in the survey and answered questions regarding their use of social media, the management of social media engagement activities, barriers to success, and their future social media needs. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 410.63 KB].

Human Smuggling: Ruthless Crime or Invaluable Service?

Human Smuggling: Ruthless Crime or Invaluable Service? YaleGlobal . Joseph Chamie. 22 December 2016

Human smuggling is not new or easy to stop. Governments consider the activity a crime, yet migrants fleeing war, poverty, persecution or disasters seek out the services of experienced smugglers. The most desperate stories draw global sympathy. “For many unauthorized migrants, smugglers are freedom facilitators,” concedes Joseph Chamie, demography expert and former director of the United Nations Population Division. Analysts do not agree on the best approach for slowing human smuggling: Some urge tight border security, but others point out that walls and other barriers force migrants to rely on smugglers. Open borders would end smuggling but would disrupt communities and countries. Chamie describes the many challenges confronting governments including varying perceptions among their own citizens and even border guards or police who look the other way. He concludes, “Many consider human smuggling as permissible or even justified when helping those escaping persecution or desperate conditions.” Good governance emphasizes compassion and security.[ Note: contains copyrighted material].

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March-In Rights Under the Bayh-Dole Act

March-In Rights Under the Bayh-Dole Act. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. John R. Thomas. September 23, 2016.

Congress approved the Bayh–Dole Act, P.L. 96–517, in order to address concerns about the commercialization of technology developed with public funds. This 1980 legislation awards title to inventions made with federal government support if the contractor consists of a small business, a university, or other non–profit institution. A subsequent presidential memorandum extended this policy to all federal government contractors. As a result, the contractor may obtain a patent on its invention, providing it an exclusive right in the invention during the patent’s term. The Bayh–Dole Act endeavors to use patent ownership as an incentive for private sector development and commercialization of federally funded research and development (R&D). The federal government retains certain rights in inventions produced with its financial assistance under the Bayh–Dole Act.

[PDF format, 17 pages, 613.2 KB].

Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs

Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. William A. Kandel. September 8, 2016.

Congress has long supported efforts to identify, detain, and remove criminal aliens, defined as noncitizens who have been convicted of crimes in the United States. The apprehension and expeditious removal of criminal aliens has been a statutory priority since 1986, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and one of its predecessor agencies have operated programs targeting criminal aliens since 1988. Investments in DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) interior enforcement programs since 2004 have increased the number of potentially removable aliens identified within the United States.

[PDF format, 28 pages, 846.84 KB].

Local Justice Reinvestment: Strategies, Outcomes, and Keys to Success

Local Justice Reinvestment: Strategies, Outcomes, and Keys to Success. Urban Institute. Erika Parks et al. August 18, 2016.

Over the past six years, 17 local jurisdictions across the country have implemented policies to reduce their jail populations and costs, improve public safety, and increase the efficiency of their justice system. Through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, sites implemented policies to address frequent front-end users, improve pretrial strategies, apply evidence-based practices in community supervision, and enhance data systems. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages, 396.2 KB].

Trade-Based Money Laundering: Overview and Policy Issues

Trade-Based Money Laundering: Overview and Policy Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Rena S. Miller et al. June 22, 2016.

The U.S. government has historically focused on TBML schemes involving drug proceeds from Latin America, particularly the Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE). Although a number of anecdotal case studies in recent years have revealed instances in which TBML is used by known terrorist groups and other non-state armed groups, including Hezbollah, the Treasury Department’s June 2015 National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment concluded that TBML is not a dominant method for terrorist financing.

[PDF format, 21 pages, 866.5 KB].